The Wrecking Crew - This Movie Wreckingly Rocks
Dir: Denny Tedesco
Starring Brian Wilson, Jimmy Webb, Cher, Mickey Dolenz, Dick Clark, Herb Alpert, Nancy Sinatra, Carol Kaye, Hal Blaine, Glen Campbell, Tommy Tedesco
Denny Tedesco’s Kickstarter-funded film is very much a labour of love, given that his late father was guitarist Tommy Tedesco, one of the key players in the West Coast group of studio session players that became known as The Wrecking Crew.
For those not in the know, The Wrecking Crew more or less played on every American pop record of the 1960s you’ve ever heard. They were Spector’s Wall of Sound, Brian Wilson’s Beach Boys replacements, backed Sinatras Frank and Nancy, Lost That Lovin’ Feeling, swam that River Deep and climbed that Mountain High, and, at various times, were The Byrds, The Association and The Monkees. To name but a few.
It’s a remarkable track record that, sadly, seemed to dissipate with the singer-songwriters of the early 1970s. But what a run – captured here with more music that you could possibly imagine, used well, it at times too sparingly. (Seriously, as you watch this you will just want to hit Spotify and play EVETYTHING!)
Tedesco’s film has been a long time in the making so thankfully he has interview footage not only with his late dad, but several others of the original crew, (some of whom have also subsequently passed), not least the great Carol Kaye - she played the bass line on the original Mission Impossible theme you know - amongst hordes of others. (One year she worked out she was earning more than the US president, just in session fees.)
Tedesco’s closeness to the subject means his film is always a little on the overtly personal side, but it does also grant him unique access and insight to these people who, as the film wisely states at the end, very literally provided the soundtrack to our lives. Definitely worth seeking out.
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