Groovebox Studios, a Detroit-based music production company that supports independent artists through innovative social media and crowd-sourcing campaigns, has teamed up with Lunch Box Entertainment and award-winning director and producer Denny Tedesco to premiere “The Wrecking Crew,” a documentary about a group of musicians of the same name, at the Main Art Theatre (118 N. Main St., Royal Oak) on Wednesday, Aug. 21 at 7 p.m.
Similar to "Standing In The Shadows of Motown,” a documentary about legendary group The Funk Brothers, “The Wrecking Crew” shines a light on the little-known Los Angeles musicians that were behind some of America’s biggest hits, including The Beach Boys’ “Good Vibrations,” Sonny & Cher’s “I Got You Babe” and Frank Sinatra's “Strangers in the Night.” It is a celebration of the musical work of the instrumental group that stayed largely behind studio glass and out of the public eye.
Yet to be released due to the expense associated with obtaining licensing and music rights, the film has been a two-decade-long labor of love for Tedesco. According to the American Federation of Musicians, the film may be one of the largest soundtracks of any film history, with 131 music cues. With songs by Frank Sinatra, Nancy Sinatra, The Monkees, The Byrds, Mamas and Papas, Sonny and Cher, The Beach Boys and dozens of others, the cost of licensing the music for the film is estimated at more than $500,000.
Through the International Documentary Foundation (IDA), a California non-profit, Tedesco, who is the son of Wrecking Crew guitarist Tommy Tedesco, began accepting donations from fans of the film back in 2006, and has been able to pay $250,000 toward the fees thus far.
“Bringing a film of this caliber to Detroit was a no-brainer,” said Jeff Wenzel, owner of Groovebox Studios, who was approached by Tedesco because of their shared musical philosophy. “GBS’s entire concept is based on supporting the artists and musicians who deserve to be heard, regardless of funding. Denny’s film is no different. His dream to tell this story to the world is one that we stand behind.”
The Wrecking Crew comprised a group of studio and session musicians in the 1960s that created myriad television theme songs, advertising jingles, and film scores. More notably the group was responsible for the background music of bands in nearly every popular genre of music in America. Famed artists such as The Beach Boys, Simon & Garfunkel, Nat King Cole, and The Mamas and the Papas hired the group to play in their recording sessions.
Many of the group’s musicians and the artists who employed the Wrecking Crew’s services are interviewed in the film, providing a true insight into the creation and recording process of the music.
“We have witnessed such a large fanbase and support system in Detroit for this film,” said Tedesco. “It really goes back to the shared respect and close relationships the Detroit and Los Angeles musicians had for one another.”
The film, which originally premiered at the 2008 South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin, Texas, has been the recipient of a number of awards including the Connecticut Film Festival Audience Award, the Rome International Film Festival Audience Award, the Barbados International Film Festival Best Documentary, and the Idaho International Film Festival Winner Best Documentary. Despite its critical acclaim, the film has never been widely released due to the licensing expenses.
Tickets for the limited showing on August 21 are $15 and available for purchase at http://detroitcrew.eventbrite.com/ or at the Main Art Theatre box office. Proceeds from the event support Tedesco’s ongoing efforts to achieve a national release. Tedesco will be on-site at the premiere and conduct a Q&A after the film.
Source: The Midnight Oil Group