Wrecking Crew Story Told in New Documentary
After nearly 20 years since production began, a documentary about the loose collective of Los Angeles-based studio musicians who played on hundreds of hit records is finally making its way to the public. On March 13, The Wrecking Crew will finally be released.
The movie, whose trailer can be seen above, is the work of Denny Tedesco, whose father, Tommy Tedesco, was one of the Wrecking Crew's guitarists. Denny decided to chronicle the group's history when Tommy was diagnosed with lung cancer in the mid-'90s. As he told L.A. Weekly, "When they said he had a year to live, my concern was, if I don't do it, it's going to be the biggest regret of my life. It wasn't going to be just about my dad; it was going to be about the group of them."
It turned out to be a far more complex project than he anticipated. While it was easy rounding up those involved in the story for interviews, financing the film was a different matter. Especially when it came to licensing fees for more than 120 songs, many of which are mainstays of classic-rock and oldies radio.
"We had a $750,000 bill before we could even release this film theatrically," Tedesco pointed out. "So no one was touching us. We still had this thing around our neck. Documentaries don't sell, and music docs are the worst."
Since 2008, Tedesco has been showing the film at various festivals. In 2013, he launched a Kickstarter campaign, in which 4,245 people raised more than $300,000 to cover the licensing fees. Late last year, Magnolia Pictures bought the worldwide rights to distribute the movie in theaters, with DVD and downloading arriving in mid-June.
The Wrecking Crew was the name given to the young classically and jazz-trained musicians who lent their talents to virtually everything that came out of L.A. in the '60s. They played on hits by everybody from the Beach Boys and the Byrds to Frank Sinatra and movie scores. Leon Russell, Glen Campbell, Mac "Dr. John" Rebennack and P.F. Sloan were Wrecking Crew members who later launched solo careers.
The film's release will coincide with its L.A. premiere at the Nuart Theatre. Following the showing, Denny Tedesco will join musicians Hal Blaine, Joe Osborn, Don Randi, Bill Pitman and several other people who participated in the film for a Q&A session. You can get complete information on future screenings across North America at its website.
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