The People Behind The People

I had a meeting yesterday about a documentary. Denny Tedesco has been working on a documentary about his father, Tommy Tedesco, one of the most prolific Los Angeles session guitarists, and the other session musicians he worked with. People like Hal Blaine and Carol Kaye. The Wrecking Crew as they came to be known.

Denny has been working on this project for eight years collecting interviews, cutting his footage together, and trying to find investors and distributors. He showed a 15 minute promotional cut to Cameron, my partner in crime in sound, and I. It was one of the cooler documentaries I’ve ever seen. I had no idea.

We all know that The Monkees didn’t actually play their own songs. Tommy was the guitar of the Monkees. But what people probably don’t realize is how many recordings session musicians appeared on in the 60s and 70s. Hal Blaine claims to have played on tens of thousands of recordings during his time as a session drummer. If you look at a list of the recordings that Tommy Tedesco played on (which is definitely not complete), it will blow your mind. Practically every big American name from the 60s and 70s like The Beach Boys, Herb Alpert, Joan Baez, Pat Boone, J.J. Cale, Glen Campbell, Sam Cooke, Bobby Darin, Doris Day, The Everly Brothers, The 5th Dimension, Jan & Dean, Peggy Lee, Barry McGuire, Roger McGuinn, Harry Nilsson, The Partridge Family, Elvis, The Rip Chords, Linda Ronstadt, Sonny & Cher, and Frank Zappa.

Denny is getting close to pulling his documentary together. He has an editor who is going through the footage and helping him make a cut. But he wasn’t sure about the post-sound end of things–the editing and mixing. He came to us looking for advice.

This is one documentary I hope gets finished and made available to the public whether through film festivals, or PBS, or DVD, or all of the above. It is a fascinating story about the classic rock era and the people who made it happen. And I would consider it an honor to be able work on this project.