The Wrecking Crew Film, the Unsung Musical Heroes of the 60’s and 70’s

This past week Sonos Studio hosted a film screening and exhibition to bring back the past, honoring a group and a period of time in Los Angeles that most people may be unaware of. This super group deemed The Wrecking Crew consisted of musical talents behind some of the most memorable music of the 60’s and 70’s.

This talented posse played on hits for the Beach Boys, Frank Sinatra, Nancy Sinatra, Sonny and Cher, Jan & Dean, The Monkees, Gary Lewis and the Playboys, Mamas and Papas, Tijuana Brass, Ricky Nelson, Johnny Rivers and were Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound. The amount of work the Crew were involved with was tremendous. In the documentary you learn of their hard working schedules – Capitol Records from 8 to noon, heading to another studio for 1, playing at a gig at 4, then another til midnight or later, and this routine occurred five days a week for years.

The Wrecking Crew documentary showcases at Sonos Studio on La Brea in Hollywood followed by a Q&A with the director. (Photo credit: Melissa Curtin)
The Wrecking Crew documentary showcases at Sonos Studio on La Brea in Hollywood followed by a Q&A with the director. (Photo credit: Melissa Curtin)

Apparently in the mid 60’s recording started to happen more so in the west coast. The group interviewed seems to feel lucky to be making a living doing what they love. However, the members and breadth of the group is unclear. One member mentioned how he became so good playing at strip clubs in LA. He would have to learn how to read and play the music fast, and he credits those working nights to his success as a musician. I was fascinated by the one girl in the crew called Carol Kaye who was accepted in the group even though she was the only girl. She expresses in the film how she felt like a sister and was respected by all the men for her talents playing the bass. They show her in the film today strumming the chords still as nimble as could be.

Wrecking Crew members at work at a Los Angeles studio. (Photo credit: NYTimes.com)
Wrecking Crew members at work at a Los Angeles studio. (Photo credit: NYTimes.com)

Directed by Denny Tedesco, he narrates the documentary, which he started in 1995 when his father Wrecking Crew guitarist Tommy Tedesco was diagnosed with Terminal Cancer. It may have been his way of dealing with what was going on and at the same time wanting to let the world know about what impact his dad and his friends made in musical history.

The film includes wonderful interviews with Brian Wilson, Cher, Nancy Sinatra, Herb Alpert, Glen Campbell, Micky Dolenz, Roger McGuinn, Gary Lewis, as well as Crew members themselves.

Carol Kaye, the only female member of studios musicians deemed The Wrecking Crew. (Photo credit: www.therapadian.org)
Carol Kaye, the only female member of studio musicians deemed The Wrecking Crew. (Photo credit: http://www.therapadian.org)

Don’t miss this fascinating film of the unsung heroes of all the hit records of the 60’s and 70s – The Wrecking Crew

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