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Sopranos creator’s band past made into movie By Richard Crouse Metro Canada Friday December 21, 2012

NOT FADE AWAYDavid Chase, the mastermind behind The Sopranos, says his new film is not strictly autobiographical.

Chase, who came of age in 1960s New Jersey, was the Rolling Stones obsessed drummer of a garage band, a career choice his father didn’t approve of.

In Not Fade Away John Magaro plays Doug, a New Jersey teen who earns the disdain of his father as he becomes caught up in the musical culture of the 1960s.

Still Chase says, “You don’t really see a lot of me. The stuff between Douglas and his father, that’s kind of me and my father.”

When I suggest that people will inevitably make a connection between Chase and the film’s New Jersey teen musician he says, “A lot of people were musicians then. Everybody was to a certain extent.”

His experience behind the drum kit may not have shaped Not Fade Away, but it have helped mold his professional life.

“We had this half-assed rock and roll band,” he says, “and somewhere around 1967 a band mate of mine, who was the lead guitar player, a great guitar player, and I were in a car in Greenwich Village. I was thinking about getting married and going to California. We were talking about the future. I said I was thinking about going to film school. He said, ‘Really? Go ahead man, but frankly I don’t think you’ll ever be anything but the drummer in my band.’ That filled me with determination.”

He tells the story, then pauses for a moment. “I don’t know why it’s not in the movie. But it’s not.”

Determination wasn’t the only thing he learned in those days.

“I think I first learned about show business in that garage band—people with agendas and ego. That was my first foray into all that. I think I realized early on that you had to really go for it. To take something so seriously that you would hurt someone’s feelings would be considered uncool. Still, I realized that you really have to do that in quote, unquote show business.”

Wrapping up, I ask Chase if there is more to Doug’s story after the final credits roll.

“It doesn’t stop,” he says. “It doesn’t stop there.”

I ask, jokingly, if Doug becomes the creator of a very popular television show, maybe a gangster series set in New Jersey.

“I’ve never thought about it that much,” he says, straight-faced.

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