Walter Mencken 9 a.m., May 23
Locally Produced Hollies Documentary Gets BigScreen Debut Sept. 22
David Peck's local Reelin' In The Years Productions maintains an archive of over 10,000 filmed musical performances, as well as representing others with footage to license for broadcast or video releases. VH1 probably couldn't make shows like I Love the '70s and Behind the Music without Peck's ever-growing database of footage.
In October, the company will release the DVD The Hollies: Look Through Any Window 1963 – 1975. Issued with the full cooperation of the Hollies, this is the first official documentary film of the legendary British group known for its classic songs and brilliant vocals. The film includes 22 full-length performances sourced from television appearances filmed at the time the songs were hitting the charts for the first time.
Between performances, original band members Graham Nash, Allan Clarke, Tony Hicks and Bobby Elliott share the history of one of the most beloved groups of the 1960s. Starting with Graham and Allan reminiscing about singing together as young schoolboys and culminating in the group’s last major hit in 1975, the film features over two hours of interviews and music.
Before the DVD release, the documentary will get a big-screen debut on September 22, at the American Cinematheque’s Aero Theatre in Santa Monica. Graham Nash and Allan Clarke, along with the producers, will take part in a panel discussion immediately following the screening.
The film features performances of “Bus Stop” and “Stop Stop Stop” from 1967 and “Look Through Any Window” and “I Can’t Let Go” from 1966. Also included is a great 1968 performance of “Dear Eloise”, a 1966 rendition of UK chart-topper “I’m Alive” and newly discovered versions of “Jennifer Eccles” and “Carrie Anne” from the 1968 Spilt Festival in Yugoslavia.
Of special note is 10 minutes of footage of the band shot in early 1967 at the Abbey Road Studios recording session for their world-wide hit “On A Carousel.” The segment includes footage of Graham, Allan and Tony recording their lead and backing vocals, heard “naked,” without the instrumental track.
Also featured are performances by the Hollies from the “post-Graham Nash era,” featuring Terry Sylvester, and including the worldwide chart-toppers “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother,” “Long Cool Woman (In A Black Dress)” and a beautiful version of their last Top 10 hit “The Air That I Breathe”. In addition, the film features never-before-seen home movies of the group on tour in the ‘60s in America, Europe and Japan and backstage at television appearances, providing a rare glimpse of their offstage lives.
(Reelin' honcho David Peck with Elvis Costello)
Reelin’ in the Years honcho David Peck told staff writer Dave Good about how the Reader played a role in his Grammy-winning career as a music video archivist.
“I was in Off the Record one night. I was 18 at the time. The guy who worked there turned me on to all these great Stones videos. This was ’84, when video collectors were underground. There was no YouTube; there was nothing. Collecting videos was a swapping thing. So he turned me on to this great rare stuff — the Stones playing with Muddy Waters — and that’s when I got the bug and started collecting.”
“In ’86, John D’Agostino, who was then writing for the Reader, wrote an article about me as a collector, and it kinda went from there. I started doing research and consulting on projects. By ’98, I started representing video libraries, and now I have amassed the world’s largest library of music footage.”
Peck once told me a great story about locally-shot footage that includes longtime local DJ Jim McIness.
Reelin' holds a piece of historical footage featuring McInnes, which it has licensed for use to VH1. "I got ahold of a piece of film that was shot at a backyard party here in San Diego , around 1981," says Peck.
"Weird Al Yankovic was there, before he really broke big, when he was still doing 'Another One Rides the Bus' on [syndicated radio show] Dr. Demento. Jim is playing with him, and he's playing Weird Al's accordion and somebody comes by and spills beer on the thing. Weird Al got really upset with him, because it was a brand new accordion! And Jim is just shrugging his shoulders, like, 'hey, it's just an accordion, not a Les Paul,' but Weird Al wasn't laughing. Shows which one of them actually had the sense of humor, huh?"
Last year, Peck uncovered a 30-minute film of home movies from the 1950s featuring the legendary Hank Williams Sr. along with Marty Robbins, the Carter Family, Merle Travis, Lefty Frizell, Hank Snow, Maddox Bothers & Rose, Bill Monroe and a host of others.
These images, shot in pristine 16mm color film, capture these classic artists in performance and in rare candid moments. Highlights include Hank Williams singing at a disc jockey convention in Nashville, Marty Robbins playing guitar on a front lawn, Kitty Wells standing in front of her tour car and Merle Travis preparing to board a small plane.
This newly recovered footage was shot by John Banks, part owner of radio station KRDU in Dinuba, CA while these artists were at the station and his home. In addition to filming these artists in California, Banks took his 16mm camera to Nashville and captured many artists backstage during a convention of disc jockeys held in the early 1950s.
More like this:
- Locally Produced Pretty Things Docu: Rare Screening July 6 — June 16, 2012
- Reelin’ in the Years' Profit of the Heart — Nov. 22, 2011
- When DJs Ruled the Air - Jim McInnes and the Birth of KGB Homegrown — June 10, 2011
- Jim McInnes: The Last DJ, Busted at Boomer’s, plus the Monroes Story — Feb. 24, 2008
- JIM McINNES: THE LAST DJ — Sept. 1, 2007