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.