Tuesday evening at the screening for The Wrecking Crew Movie at Skye, a restaurant in Peoria, Arizona, a sold out crowd learned about the musicians behind many of the biggest hits of the ’60s, including Nancy Sinatra’s “These Boots Are Made For Walking,” The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds album and The Byrds’ “Mr. Tambourine Man.” Tommy Tedesco, Don Randi, Carol Kaye, Hal Blaine, Earl Palmer, Plas Johnson and Al Casey, among other musicians, were collectively known as “The Wrecking Crew.” This collective played on several classic records from the ’60s, including hits by Sonny & Cher, Simon & Garfunkel, Elvis Presley and The Association, and many others.
The 99 minute documentary featured interviews with the late Dick Clark (filmed prior to his stroke in 2004), Cher and Brian Wilson, discussing the unsung heroes of a good number of hits of the ’60s. The film, which was completed in 2008 and has won over 50 awards at various film festivals around the world, isn’t available to the general public, except at special screenings. It’s not yet available on DVD.
Danny Tedesco, son of late Wrecking Crew guitarist Tommy Tedesco, directed the film. He began the project in 1996, when his father was diagnosed with cancer. As he told the crowd, after his father’s diagnosis, he decided “I should do something and put together a round table between him and Hal Blaine, Plias Johnson, and Carol Kaye. And they sat around a round table in the studio. It was based on a little of Barry Levinson’s Diner, and Woody Allen’s Danny Rose. My favorite movies are when people just sit around and banter.”
Learn more about the film, where you can see upcoming screenings, and see a trailer here.
Watch videos of Tom Peake interviewing Denny Tedesco and Hal Blaine here.
– Steve Goddard and Jason Pawlik, 94.5 KOOL FM