The wrecking crew

The group of musicians called `The wrecking crew`, are today considered the most influential musicians. But beside Glen Campbell, who became a big hit as a country singer, they are mostly unknown to the public (they sometimes are uncredited). People like drummer Hal Blaine, guitarist Tommy Tedesco and bassist Carol Kaye, among others, recorded some of the most memorable songs of the 60s and 70s. About the songs Good vibrations and California girls from The Beach Boys, you learn that producer and arranger Brian Wilson was the only Beach Boys present. The voices from the other Beach Boys were added once the session musicians did the work. That is one example, but chances are that if you hear a song from that era, ‘The wrecking crew’ was involved. They were involved with Phil Spector and in perfecting the innovative ‘Wall of sound’. Songs like Da doo ron ron by The Crystals, and Ike and Tina Turner’s River deep, mountain high. They played on albums from artists like The Monkees, Sonny & Cher, Simon & Garfunkel, The Mamas & the Papas and Frank and Nancy Sinatra, but also movie music and TV themes like Mannix, Batman, Mission impossible, Bullitt, The way we were and Our man Flint. The film was directed by Denny Tedesco, son of the late Tommy Tedesco. Although The wrecking crew was made in 2008, Tedesco Jr needed money to cover the music’s licensing fee. The director had interviewed his father before his death, but you also see Herb Alpert, Brian Wilson, Cher, Micky Dolenz (The Monkees), the late Dick Clark and Glen Campbell, who is now suffering from Alzheimer. It is so much fun to see, for instance, Carol Kaye play the bass line she created for Nancy Sinatra’s These boots are made for walking. And the music is great.

Rémi-Serge Gratton

The wrecking crew

Directed by:
Denny Tedesco
101 min.
Rated Parental Guidance

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