With a soundtrack you can sing along to, this spirited doco celebrates the hitherto anonymous LA session musicians who enlivened hit LPs by The Byrds, Cher, Nancy and Frank Sinatra, The Beach Boys, The Monkees and many more.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2015
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Director Denny Tedesco is an enthusiastic guide to the legacy of his father, LA session guitarist Tommy Tedesco, and the loose coterie of ace musicians known as ‘The Wrecking Crew’ who contributed to some of the greatest pop tracks of the 50s and 60s. As Tedesco – happily abetted by many of the surviving players – tells it, the arrangements and riffs these guys (and one woman, bassist Carol Kaye) came up with defined the unique styles of many and varied pop greats. Phil Spector’s vaunted ‘wall of sound’? The bass riff on ‘These Boots Are Made for Walking’? The Beach Boys classic album Pet Sounds? ‘The Pink Panther Theme’? Herb Alpert’s Tijuana Brass? Their versatility was staggering. Brian Wilson, Cher, Nancy Sinatra, Glen Campbell and Herb Alpert are on hand to testify that it’s all true. Shot over a decade and completed in 2008, the film is so loaded with hit tracks that it took another six years and a Kickstarter campaign to clear the music rights.
“A wonderful, touching and hilarious film about the unsung stars of so many records that you carry in your heart.” — Elvis Costello