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The Wrecking Crew | Review

If you happen to like or have any interest in music then you will enjoy this film, if you like music from the 60’s and early 70s then you will LOVE it. This is a head bopping, toe tapping musical extravaganza that tells an important story about a group of genius studio and session musicians who wrote the soundtrack for an entire generation and never gained any credit for it; the music industries best kept secret otherwise known as “The Wrecking Crew

The Wrecking Crew poster

The Wrecking Crew is a documentary film produced and directed by Denny Tedesco, son of legendary late Wrecking Crew guitarist Tommy Tedesco who through interview, archival footage, photographs and an extraordinary soundtrack recounts the legend of the unsung musicians that provided the backbeat, the bottom and the swinging melody that drove many of the number one hits of the 1960’s. It didn’t matter if it was Nat “King” Cole, Frank Sinatra, Nancy Sinatra, The Monkees, The Byrds or The Beach Boys, these dedicated musicians brought the flair and musicianship that made the American “west coast sound” a dominant cultural force around the world. 

What is most fascinating about the documentary is just how widespread the use of the wrecking crew was in the sixties. Often creating or laying down whole tracks anonymously that bands would later claim as their own work, I was under the impression that the infamous West German-based R&B pop group MIlli Vanilli created by Frank Farian in Munich in 1988 were the first of their kind and ultimately they ended up getting their Grammy for best newcomer withdrawn. Watching this documentary then felt like a huge OMG moment when I realized just how duped we have been by an entire industry.

Interestingly, according to some the name “The Wrecking Crew” was derived from the impression that these younger Levis and T-Shirt working studio musicians made on the business’s older generation (who at the time typically wore blue blazers and ties) and felt that they were going to wreck the music industry. They did anything but; this group of music aficionados have left a haunting legacy in the music they have created and chances are that on any given day you have sung along to at least one tune that this ensemble are responsible for without even knowing it.

What ultimately comes across through this well constructed documentary is a story about a diverse group of people including producers, engineers, and the musicians themselves who are not only the best at what they did but who loved doing it. Almost four decades later most seem unphased by the fact they received zero recognition on dozens of hit records but instead recount treasured stories with warmth and humor of experiences and events that they seem to hold dear. Most importantly this is a testament from a proud son to his Father

The Wrecking Crew is directed by Denny Tedesco. Produced by Denny Tedesco, Suzie Greene Tedesco, Damon Tedesco, Chris Hope, Mitchell Linden, Claire Scanlon, Jon Leonoudakis and Susanna Hoffs.

This film opens in Los Angeles, New York and on VOD and iTunes on March 13th. Check Local listings

Seattle International Film Festival – Golden Space Needle Audience Award Winner

Tallgrass Film Festival – Audience Award Winner

SXSW Film Festival (Official Selection)

Docuweek (Official Selection)

Mill Valley Film Festival (Official Selection)

Nashville International Film Festival (Official Selection)

Florida Film Festival (Official Selection)

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