Richard sits in on the CTV NewsChannel with news anchor Marcia MacMillan have a look at the weekend’s big releases including “The Secret Life of Pets 2,” “X-Men: Dark Phoenix,” the indie drama “Mouthpiece” and the rockumentary “Echo in the Canyon.”
Richard has a look at the new movies coming to theatres, including the housebroken sequel “The Secret Life of Pets 2,” the cosmic bonfire of CGI flames “X-Men: Dark Phoenix” and the nostalgic 60s doc “Echoes in the Canyon” with CFRA Morning Rush host Bill Carroll.
Laurel Canyon, a nexus of 60s counterculture located in the Hollywood Hills, was home to a generation of singer-songwriters who shaped the music that dominated the baby boomer heyday of commercial radio. “It was the one place you could live that was the antithesis of the plastic straight world you saw on television,” says longtime resident Jackson Browne. “It was always a hangout for bohemians,” says Mamas and Papas singer Michele Phillips and now it is the subject of an entertaining documentary, “Echo in the Canyon.”
The movie’s framework comes from a 2015 tribute concert featuring songs made famous by Laurel Canyon acts like Buffalo Springfield, the Mamas and the Papas and the Beach Boys. “The music that came out of the Laurel Canyon scene in the 60’s was not only inspiring to other bands at that time,” says Jakob Dylan, “but also became inspiring to my generation. Tonight is an opportunity, like folk music, to pass it on to a new generation and keep the echoes of that music going.”
Between live performances from artists like Beck, Fiona Apple, Regina Spektor and Norah Jones, Dylan interviews a who’s who of California Sound-era superstars like David Crosby and Roger McGuinn of the Byrds, Buffalo Springfield’s Stephen Stills, Michelle Phillips, producer Lou Adler and Brian Wilson, about whom Tom Petty, in his last filmed interview, says, “I don’t see anything in Mozart that is better than Brian Wilson.” Other accounts of those times come from John Sebastian and Eric Clapton.
They often say if you can remember the 60s you weren’t really there, but the talking heads here seem to have no trouble recalling the details of the Canyon’s early days. Adler remembers exactly where the musicians sat during the Mamas and the Papas’s first recording session and Ringo Starr says the Byrds turned the Beatles on to a “hallucinogenic situation” when they first met. A mix of contemporary sounds and nostalgia, it paints an apolitical (you would never know that Vietnam was raging during the time documented) picture of a creative collaboration that saw artists competing with one another to expand the limits of what rock music could be. “You can listen to the records,” says Stephen Stills, “and you can hear the cross-pollination.”
Ultimately this isn’t a history of a generation but an enjoyable look at a brief period that still echoes in the imaginations and ears of many fans. “These records came like an avalanche,” Beck says of LPs like “Pet Sounds,” “and there was nothing like them before.”
Richard sits in on the CJAD Montreal morning show with guest host Ken Connors to talk the new movies coming to theatres including the housebroken sequel “The Secret Life of Pets 2,” the cosmic bonfire of CGI flames “X-Men: Dark Phoenix” and the nostalgic 60s doc “Echoes in the Canyon.”
The name Tommy Tedesco is likely unfamiliar to you, but if you have played air guitar sometime in the last fifty years, chances are you have mimed to at least one of his guitar licks.
Tedesco was one of the guitar players of an unofficial group of musicians known as the Wrecking Crew, the session band who played on records by everyone from the Byrds to Cher and Nancy and Frank Sinatra to the Beach Boys, the Monkees, and Captain and Tennille.
In “Wrecking Crew” Tedesco’s son, filmmaker Denny Tedesco, has brought together many of the anonymous west coast players who provided much of the back beat of the 1960s and 70s.
It’s a personal project for Denny who spends a great deal of time reminiscing about his dad. We learn about how his father became the most recorded guitar player in history, some personal and studio stories and there is even a clip of Tommy on “The Gong Show,” wearing a pink tutu singing his satirical song “Requiem For A Studio Guitar Player.” “I used to be number one / Did all the work in this town / In the Fifties I was something / In the Sixties I was king / Now the Seventies come around and I will do anything…” It’s a funny moment that really speaks to the big picture story of The Wrecking Crew. They were the kings and queens of the Los Angeles music scene, hitmakers who worked round the clock and became millionaires until the work dried up as the singer-songwriter phase of the 1970s took hold.
Tedesco doesn’t focus on the post 70s careers of the players. Light and breezy, “Wrecking Crew” is as frothy as the music it details but he does mine some interesting biographical details about musicians like Hal Blaine, the genius drummer who went from millionaire to security guitar to working musician again, Carol Kaye, the lone female member of the band and Earl Palmer, a jazz drummer who played with everyone from Count Basie to Little Richard.
“Wrecking Crew” is a heartfelt and interesting peak into an unexplored part of our collective musical history and it has a good beat and you can dance to it.