Last night, Greg and I had the privilege of attending a screening of this labor of love, the documentary film about the group of studio musicians who played on all kinds of albums in the 1960s. This interview with the filmmaker, Denny Tedesco, explains how it came to be.
The audience had more than the typical spread of gray-haired heads. The 60s were quite some time ago, so the people who loved this music are a little … older … than the average movie audience. (Of course, I was an anomaly — a spring chicken, just a babe, really).
One thing that struck me in the film, and the musicians themselves were certainly aware of this fact, is that these men (and a lone woman, who played bass guitar) were in the right place at the right time. They were also wonderful musicians, but that era was the time when studio musicians were in huge demand. Popular bands weren’t “all about that bass” or any other instrument, for that matter. There was a huge production factor in popular music in the 60s.
The heyday for the Wrecking Crew wound down in the late 60s as bands began wanting to create their own music, playing their own instruments. The audience was demanding the same, and the 70s saw a huge uptick in bands that made some awesome music together.
There was a question and answer session afterwards, hosted by a local deejay. He had some interesting stories to tell about meeting Glen Campbell (one of the studio musicians before he became a star), and the camaraderie among the audience was really enjoyable.
A tiny personal achievement for me was to ask two questions during the Q&A. I have typically stayed quiet, second- and third-guessing myself before I even open my mouth. I managed to allow myself to have the questions, and then ask them, without worrying about how imperfect they were. And when one has a question that one would like the answer to, one most definitely ought to take the opportunity to ask it!
So many of the great songs of the late fifties and sixties were in this film. My favorite nostalgic moment was Glen Campbell’s Wichita Lineman.