I wanted to make note of a couple of documentary opening today in Los Angeles that appear to be excellent films about the music world.
A.K.A Doc Pomus is a portrait of the legendary songwriter who penned hits like “This Magic Moment,” “Young Blood” and “Save The Last Dance For Me.” This last tune gains significance because Pomus had polio and wasn’t able to dance. For more on his fascinating life, you have to see the movie (or Google him.)
Muscle Shoals obviously is about the historic FAME recording studio that was the site of so many great recordings (too numerous to name). The film features studio owner Rick Hall and guys who were the key session musicians (known as the Swampers) along with marquee names like Keith Richards and Bono.
Also, the movie CBGB (while not a documentary) is playing Friday night at the American Cinematique’s Aero Theater. While I haven’t seen the film, I have heard the soundtrack, which is a dandy disc. It earns points for including tracks by lesser known CBGB bands like the Tuff Darts, The Laughing Dogs and Wayne County and the Electric Chairs along with CBGB “stars” the Dead Boys, Talking Heads, Richard Hell & the Voidoids, Television and Blondie. It’s definitely superior than the 1976 Live At CBGB’s album that I remember being so dissappointed over because it had only the second tier bands. This soundtrack does make me wonder where the MC5 fit into it (and really, do we need to hear the Police’s “Roxanne” again?).
On just a slight tangent, there is a radio play, written by the great playwright Tom Stoppard, entitled Darkside based on Pink Floyd‘s Dark Side of the Moon. A deluxe CD will be released on November 25 that includes the nearly hour long radio play plus the script and other items. The wonderful Bill Nighly is one of the actors. This project was done to salute the album’s 40th anniversary. This fall has also seen a number of salutes to the Wizard of Oz‘s 75th anniversary – coincidence?
Lastly, I couldn’t resist include one final item about the new William Shatner album, Ponder The Mystery, which features performances by Rick Wakeman, Al DiMeola, Steve Vai, Robbie Krieger, Vince Gill, Edgar Winter and George Duke. Yes, ponder that mystery.