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"Standing in the Shadows of Motown" film release

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by rickbass, Nov 9, 2002.

  1. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    FYI -The movie about The Funk Brothers premiered at the Apollo on Thurs. and is due for release this coming week, 11/15....(original Funk Brother, Bob Babbitt - bass, is in it).

    From "Billboard" (partially);

    The Funk Brothers were the house band for Motown Records, and were responsible for making the Motown sound an international brand, yet most people don't know their names or their importance in music history.

    By the end of their phenomenal run, this unheralded group of musicians had played on more number ones hits than the Beach Boys, the Rolling Stones, Elvis and the Beatles combined - which makes them the greatest hit machine in the history of popular music. They called themselves the Funk Brothers.

    ....The remaining members of the Funk Brothers are reunited for an amazing all-star concert that is the true centerpiece of the film. While MTV has their "Icon" TV show in which fly-by-night acts like Train, Pink and Shakira cover tunes by their idols, "Standing in the Shadows of Motown" shows the crème de la crème of current soul singers sitting in with the Funk Brothers. People like Gerald Levert, Chaka Khan and Me'Shell NdegéOcello are amazing. Ben Harper does a quirky "Ain’t Too Proud to Beg" while the incredible Joan Osborne brings tears to one’s eyes with her rendition of "What Becomes of the Brokenhearted." She also flatly nails "Heat Wave." Even Bootsy Collins’ kitschy "Do You Love Me" comes off due to the amazing talents of The Funk Brothers.

    If you are a music fan, this is a great film to see…and hear. Then again, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who can say they hate Motown music and the film truly swims in the glory of the songs. I also feel this film makes a strong comment on the "forces that be" in film and music and how they pick and choose what happens to artists. "They" decide who works and who doesn’t. While it’s truly sad to see what becomes of the Funk Brothers, you leave this film feeling good knowing their music has moved us all.

  2. hujo


    Apr 18, 2001
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Nice! I hope that one reaches Swedish television!
  3. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    The heck if we're standing in the shadows of Motown. We got the goods on CD and Vinyl.

    We're basking in the Glow!
  4. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Richard Pryor used to ask-
    "What is the Motown sound? What?! What?! What?!"

    The Funk Brothers are...that's what!

    I will go on record-
    I will buy this on DVD the day it's released.
  5. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    In an after-thought I had after my initial start of this thread, I thought of JimK because he is a walking encylopedia of bass recordings, bass riffs, and recorded music in general. My respect for JimK's knowledge of recordings is unsurpassed;

    - I hope all the "young TB bass players" will see and hear this film.

    You young guys may not understand it at first. But, believe me and JimK - this film contains the "egg" from which electric bass was hatched.

    If you miss it, you will never know the heritage of your instrument.
  6. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Boplicity (Jason) - Your reaction is most desirable, too!!!
  7. I definitely plan on seeing it, although I'll be hard pressed to find a ride...unless my roommate and the rest of his jazz studies buddies are interested, too. :D
  8. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    If that film is just 10% as good as the story it's trying to tell, it'll still be the best film of the year. I'm there.
  9. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Fuzz - I'd just like to see Babbitt play, if nothing else. I don't recall ever seeing him actually play.

    When I was in my early teens, (around the time of the steam engine was invented), ABC did a special on Motown and all I got to see were Jamerson's fingers........... and I didn't even know who Jamerson was at the time. He was just taken for granted!
  10. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    FWIW - I foresee a possible throwback "fad," if you will, arising here.

    I saw this 16-yr. star of NBC's "Amercian Dreams" on a talk show describing how she thought all the old dances done to Motown music, like "The Duck" and the "The Dog" were so much fun and how sad it is that this form of expression isn't around any longer. You can't watch the show for more than 5 minutes without some old Motown tune being part of the soundtrack.

    If this "Standing in the Shadows of Motown" film gets wide distribution and great movie-going attendance, this TV show and film could be just two points of cultural convergence to be "the next big thing" (at least for 15 minutes).

    If so, I'm so glad I convinced my "bread n' butter" band to keep old soul hits in the set lists. After I started this thread, I got my latest issue of "Bass Player" and the film is the centerpiece article of the latest issue.
  11. I've got a place in my heart for Motown music. Having lived (like many of you) in the thick of it, the "Motown sound" was a big influence on me (not just musically). I recently watched the T.V. biography of the Temptations, over and over again. I'm just drawn to this stuff, and it has to do with the groove. The Funk Bros. defined that sound, and you can bet I will add that DVD to my collection.
  12. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    X - As fine a bassist as you are, and you are developing your son to be, I wonder if you, at some point, couldn't market yourself as an instructor in "Motown Bass Sound."

    Get an old Ampeg fliptop, a pre-CBS, some dirty-ass La Bella strings, and I'd be thinking about paying to get into your teaching studio!!!!.....(plus, I love Vancouver!)
  13. You're much too kind, and as much as I appreciate your comment, I have to say that if I were looking for someone to teach me some Motown bass, I think the TB member I would be looking at is jazzbo. He da man! (...da Motown man!)
  14. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999

    Don't tell me you missed him on American Bandstand back in the day?!
    Yep, Dennis Coffey, et al doin' "Scorpio" for Dick Clark & the kiddies.

    I'd bet they did Soul Train, too! ;)
  15. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Jim - please realize....I didn't know baby **** from apple butter in those days. I was a punker with a sparkle red pre-CBS Precis that I won in a "all-or-nothing" poker card game from Norville Dollar's bass player at 5am in the morning in a penthouse overlooking Forest Park in St. Louis when he ran out of cash (no ATM's in those days!") Believe me - it was set up totally "hoosier" with the foam mute.

    If it didn't offend people, we just thought it was a failure (we had a casette called "Banned in Kansas" on Zipper Records because we were kicked out of the state because of our lyrics.....many of which I wrote and and composed the songs).

    Only later did I really realize the treasures Motown gave we bassists. I ate them up like like a hound who hadn't been fed for two weeks.
  16. trainyourhuman


    Apr 12, 2000
    Alright, as far as I can tell the film is only opening in selected cities this weekend, and one of those selected cities IS NOT DETROIT! I do not want to wait for this movie. If anyone out there has any info where I can see this film in Michigan, please give me a heads up. Thank you so much.

    Also, I never would have picked up the bass if it were not for my folks spinning all kinds of Motown records. I am under the opinion that everyone in America, and not just musicians, owes a debt to the Motown sound. I mean, really, is there anything else that can make you feel so good?
  17. I did my "postgraduate studies" on this stuff - 5 nights a week, 6 hours a night in the French Quarter in Nawlins. The best musical year I ever spent, having to learn those lines, then getting deeper and deeper into them by playing them so much.

    I wouldn't miss this movie for the world.

    Words cannot begin to convey the debt we owe as bassists to this music and the (almost) nameless ones that made it.
  18. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    I love that one, Gard!.........that must be like "12 credit hours in one course."

    I was thinking - if this film does well, wouldn't it be great if "The Funk Machine" somehow reappeard???
  19. reel big bassist

    reel big bassist

    Mar 27, 2000
    I am so physked about this movie like all of you are, I think its gonna be great. The interesting thing is, I have not seen one commerical for it on TV. I hope the word gets out about this movie!
    Peace and Geese,
    -Greg P

    P.S. I live in Maryland. Maybe they didn't buy any air time here? I have no idea.
  20. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Good point, Greg.

    Living in the Midwest, now I don't feel so bad since you report it isn't getting media support on the East Coast.....(everything hits the Midwest last; that's a mixed blessing).

    - For one thing, it's a documentary. If you've ever had the misfortune to see the big film award shows, documentaries are treated like retarded relatives at a family reunion.
    They almost always are lower-budget and don't make the covers of "People" magazine and other "high brow" (smirk) publications. If the film's maker had the money to have Jennifer Lopez and Brad Pitt somehow be in the film, I'm sure all the idiots would turn out for it.
    Plenty of knuckle-draggers are paying to see the movie about that "musical genius" (more smirks), Eminem because it appeals to the LCD and because Universal Vivendi, one of the 7 mega-corporations who control popular media, is behind it.

    - Secondly, "Standing in the Shadows of Motown" is one of the first films to use new digital technology, so theaters are additionally apprehensive about it. Just in case the technology screws up, the movie is being distributed with 35MM copies as a "fail safe" back-up.
    The good news is that Microsoft is one of the companies pushing this technology, so there's some considerable clout.

    Here's one website that explains it - http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/business/95494_digital14.shtml

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