Film Review: The Wrecking Crew

wreckThe Wrecking Crew documents the history of a group of Los Angeles-based studio musicians who were known in the recording industry by the titular nickname. This group was at the heart of the recording industry, playing the actual music on records by musical acts such as The Monkees, Sonny And Cher, Nancy Sinatra, Herb Alpert and even The Beach Boys (yes, Pet Sounds is actually these musicians playing with the Beach Boys doing the vocals!) The film follows a core group of The Wrecking Crew, which at times was as many as 30 artists, and interviews them about their history in the music industry and their memories of the artists they recorded with (or as.) Along with Wrecking Crew members such as Tommy Tedesco, Carol Kay and Glenn Campbell (who went on to have his own music career) we are treated to reminiscences from music industry luminaries such as Cher, Nancy Sinatra, Dick Clark, Micky Dolenz and Brian Wilson, just to name a few.

A comprehensive, educational and somewhat somber-at-times story, The Wrecking Crew is a fascinating film that gives a unique insight into the music industry of the ’60s. Director Denny Tedesco has a rare point of view into this story as the son of Wrecking Crew guitarist Tommy Tedesco, but doesn’t let the story of his father overwhelm the narrative and gives ample time to explore the stories of other members of the group who made major contributions to their recordings. Many of the members have great stories and happy memories, but there are also some less-than-positive stories about their treatment from producers or the fact that they never received credit for most of the music they recorded. I highly recommend this film for fans of music of the early ’60s, any of the artists involved, and film scores of the ’60s — The Wrecking Crew also recorded the tracks for some truly iconic film scores.

The Wrecking Crew plays at The Avon Cinema starting Fri, March 20. Now I have to go flip my Monkees LP over.

The Wrecking Crew; Directed By: Denny Tedesco; Starring: Tommy Tedesco, Brian Wilson, Dick Clark

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