Tag: Beach Boys


Echo In The Canyon

August 4th, 2020 — 12:13am

Echo In The Canyon (nf)
****

Being relative newcomers to Los Angeles and not having grown up here, we had no idea how the lovely mountain and valley area northwest of downtown Los Angeles is actually the birth place of the “California Sound.” The musicians who were drawn to this area in the early 1960s included well known groups such as The Byrds, The Beach Boys, Buffalo Springfield, and The Mamas & the Papas as well as many other groups. They transformed folk music into the all familiar electric guitar sound that still resonates today. The film was directed by Andrew Slater and features Jakob Dylan, a very talented musician himself who also happens to be the son of Bob Dylan. He interviewed several of the featured musicians who were now in their senior years including Stephen Stills, Michelle Phillips, David Crosby, Graham Nash, and even Ringo Starr. Jakob Dylan is also shown performing a good deal of the time. Many of these interviews appeared to be made just for this film and there were also many archival clips. Many parts of this film were made in the famous Los Angeles recording studios.

What was it about Laurel Canyon that attracted these musicians and allowed it to be the birthplace of this beloved sound? In part, it was the presence of recording companies including the iconic MGM building that resembles a stack of records. Also, most likely, the proximity to the movie studios and the lifestyle of the rich and famous. While not highlighted in the film, this also was the time of psychedelic drugs such as LSD that were often associated with rock and roll. Whatever the attraction, it was a magical time that gave birth to the unforgettable music and the musicians that created it. This movie, whether it is a trip down memory lane or an introductory education about the music of the 60s, is a worthwhile cinematic and music experience. (2020)

Comment » | 4 Stars, Documentary, Musical

Love & Mercy

July 2nd, 2015 — 2:35am

****

Love and Mercy – rmScreen Shot 2015-07-01 at 11.37.10 AM

This is a biopic about Brian Wilson, the leader of the Beach Boys. We did not know the story of how he went through a serious mental breakdown with psychotic symptoms for several years. During this period he apparently came under the influence of Dr. Eugene Landry, shown to be the evil doctor (wonderfully depicted by Paul Giamatti). Dr. Landry was said to be a psychologist in the film but was shown to be “over medicating” Wilson. What is very clear is the brilliance of Wilson. It is interesting to speculate whether or not some of his amazing creativity was related to his genius brain, which also may have been the source of his tendency to lose touch with reality. This is also a great love story (apparently true to life) between Brian Wilson and Melinda Ledbetter ( Elizabeth Banks). While it was not shown in the body of the film, she ultimately became his second wife and the mother of five of his children.

Great credit for this movie has to be given to Director Bill Pohlad. We also thought that Paul Dano was excellent as the younger Brian Wilson (he bulked up to add many pounds to his preexisting physical resemblance to the younger Wilson). We also felt that John Cusack was outstanding as the older, very troubled Brian Wilson. We can only repeat our phrase for Elizabeth Banks and Paul Giamiatti in their roles. But as expected the other star of the movie is the music. The soundtrack is constantly playing the old and the newer music created by Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys which includes the title song and it adds to the authenticity of the film.

We hope you see this movie and if you’re any kind of a Beach Boys fan, we also suggest that after you view it you read about the trivia connected to the making of this film by going to the following link: CLICK HERE   You will appreciate how the filmmakers worked so hard to present the story as true to life as possible

Comment » | 4 Stars, Documentary, Drama, Musical, Uncategorized

The Wrecking Crew

September 6th, 2010 — 2:55am

* * * *
The Wrecking Crew
– sp – If you are an aficionado of music between the 50s and late 80s early 90s you will find this a fascinating documentary. It is the story of studio musicians who did most of the playing for the recordings of some of the great groups of this time period. The film is lovingly put together by Denny Tedesco and includes a particular focus on Tommy Tedesco who is his father and who recently died after having participated in interviews for this film with many other of these great musicians. You probably did not know that just about all the music of Beach Boys was not recorded by them but was played for the records by the musicians affectionately self named ” The Wrecking Crew ” The film also features Carol Bass who is obviously a great guitar player and is only really known by people in the music business as these musicians did not get any recognition on the albums they recorded. They were financially well paid during this time and have no regrets for their anonymity. There are film clips from many recording sessions including one with Frank Sinatra. Apparently potential distributors have been skeptical that the producer would be able to get the rights to include all the great music that is in this film but he did it as people recognized the historic value of this documentary. The soundtrack is unbelievable and is a concert in to itself and will make a great CD. 2008

1 comment » | 4 Stars, Documentary, Musical

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