DVD/Blu-ray Review: “Good Ol’ Freda”

Good Ol Freda

Over the years nearly everyone remotely connected with the Beatles has offered up an opinion or experience about them and their music. The number of Beatle books listed on Amazon numbers more than 7,700. So it is very special that one of the few living connections to those early days of Beatlmania still has a story to tell that hasn’t been told. Freda Kelly, who became president of the Beatles’ official fan club as a teenager, and was soon after hired as manager Brian Epstein’s secretary, is the main subject of the documentary Good Ol’ Freda. Now a modest 60-ish grandmother, Freda has kept quiet all these years as part of the Beatles family, but here she details her story…
Read the entire review at Blog Critics

 

Amazon

[youtube]OoAJLFk1CiI[/youtube]

Read More

DVD/Blu-ray Review “Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me”

If you didn’t see it during its premier or the follow up concert, now is your chance to own this very thorough documentary on one of the most important bands in the history of power pop. Big Star is better known for their massive influence than hit records or performances. Born in the shadow of the Memphis rock scene of the 1960s it couldn’t catch a break, despite critical acclaim and the legendary Alex Chilton and Chris Bell combination.

The first half concentrates on the Memphis scene at Ardent Records, and studio founder and engineer John Fry giving the group a chance. It seems like a Southern fried Haight Ashbury at the time, with interesting interviews of trippy photographer William Eggleston, Fry and others close to the band. It goes into details on both Chilton and Bell’s background, but often leaves you with more questions than answers. The band interviews are sparse and mainly audio (with photos) and include bassist Andy Hummel and drummer Jody Stephens. The bottom line for Big Star’s commercial failure at the time is clearly record distribution and promotion.

The second half of the film talks mainly about the influence the band’s songs had with the next generation of musicians. How the Posies (Ken Stringfellow and Jon Auer) reformed the band and got Chilton to play again till his death in 2010. Musicians Chris Stamey, Mike Mills (REM) and Paul Westerberg (The Replacements) are a few of the many interviews with fans who championed Big Star, a band that managed to find their audience decades later. The extra features on the disc include more details on Bell and Chilton’s childhood, as well as “Big Star in the Studio,” another interview with Fry about the band’s recording style. For the non-fan I would recommend listening to the band’s music first, but for the initiated this is a validation of the greatness that was Big Star.

Amazon

[youtube]RQVJA87S-1o[/youtube]

Read More

Good Ol’ Freda coming soon!

[youtube]OoAJLFk1CiI[/youtube]

Yeah, we’ve all seen movies about people who knew The Beatles, but what about the one person who spent life with the band day-to-day, from the early days till the end. That would be the Beatles personal secretary Freda Kelly. Director Ryan White gives us a documentary of Freda’s 11 years of service with The Fab Four.

The film will open in theaters and iTunes on September 6th.

Read More

Big Star: concert and film overview

[youtube]tfxJOBVbndg[/youtube]

Above, the concert prior to the premier of the movie Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me. A ton has been written about the film last week, so any attempt by me to regurgitate it seems pointless. Instead rent the film on itunesicon, if you are a fan it’ll tell you everything you ever wanted to know about Big Star.

Interview with Director Drew DiNicola  |  Q & A with Drew DiNicola and cast

Read More

Movie Review: “History Of The Eagles” DVD

Its hard to imagine how many bands were involved in the creation of the Eagles… it’s a who’s who of country-rock (JD Souther, Bob Seger, Kenny Rogers, Jackson Browne, Linda Ronstadt, etc.). And getting that first album out (with producer Glyn Johns) wasn’t easy, but effectively created the Eagles sound. “Take It Easy” was called the song of the times, a contrast to the turmoil of the era (Vietnam, Watergate, etc.). The Western California sound was new and fresh and the Eagles thrived in it.

The film gathers amazing rehearsal footage and interviews about the bands history. “It was the 70’s, drugs were everywhere…” Glen Frey mentions, yes – this documentary pulls no punches either, showing rare backstage footage of “the 3rd encore” where the groupies were willing and ready to party. Once the band hired Bill Szymczyk(producer) and Don Felder(guitarist) the band hit their stride. Adding Joe Walsh shifted the band’s sound to a full rock and roll sound, so by 1977 the Eagles were considered the most popular and successful band of the decade. Like The Beatles, you had four strong alpha musicians (Felder, Frey, Walsh, Henley) and something had to break. After the 1980 tour it all fell apart, but then we go through the 1994 reunion and the depth of each members post-Eagles catalog. Highly Recommended even if you aren’t a big Eagles fan.

Amazon

[youtube]OPdTn43dlaY[/youtube]

Read More