Last weekend was the world premier of The Wrecking Crew at Beverly Hills’ Saban Theatre. With footage covering a couple of decades, legendary guitarist Tommy Tedesco’s son has put together a marvelous story of a group of 20-25 studio musicians in 1960s, who were largely over looked despite that they recorded nearly all the hits of that decade.
Percussionist Hal Blaine was honored that evening, having performed on over 35,000 tracks. While this was not the first time this film was shown, it marked a more public viewing then their previous showings, which earned them over a dozen film awards. The film walks the viewer through Glen Campbell’s career, which began as a studio musician with the likes of Earl Palmer, Don Randi, and Plas Johnson, to name a few. While some have passed on, others attended in person.
This group of studio musicians in Los Angeles was referred to as ‘the Wrecking Crew,’ and made records for the Beach Boys, Frank Sinatra, Nancy Sinatra, Sonny and Cher, Jan & Dean, The Monkeys, Gary Lewis and the Playboys, Mamas and Papas, Tijuana Brass, Ricky Nelson, and Johnny Rivers.
Because it was not politically correct to advertise the use of studio musicians, the Wrecking Crew went largely un-credited on albums. This small group recorded so often, they became legendary for their ear and ability to produce a hit in a fourth of the time that it took the touring bands of the day.
After all the licensing funds have been acquired, the film will be distributed throughout the US and available on DVD. This is a great film to really understand musical history and the start of rock music.