Michael J. Fox Learned How To Play Johnny B. Goode for Back To The Future Pinheads Cover

Back To The Future ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

By now who hasn’t seen this movie? If you haven’t, then rush to your watchlists and put this badboy on there. Thank us later. It’s like one of the most perfect comedies every made. And to think the story dabbles in one of the worst cliches ever: time travel — well, that’s another plus.

Talk about method acting. Michael J. Fox wanted the guitar playing of Johnny B. Goode to be authentic in Back To The Future, so he learned how to really play it on the guitar so the fingerings would be authentic.

Marty’s singing voice was that of Mark Campbell, member of the soul and R&B band Jack Mack and the Heart Attack. Campbell wasn’t credited as the production crew wanted to fully make the illusion that Fox was singing, but music supervisor Bones Howe made sure Campbell got a small percentage of the soundtrack revenue as compensation. As for Marty’s amazing guitar skills, they were achieved through two methods. First, Fox was taught how to play the song by Paul Hanson, and Fox shared with Empire that he told Zemeckis he could cut to his hands any time he wanted as he knew how to play. The second step was syncing Fox playing with the actual music, and so Tim May was brought in to record the guitar. Although it would have been somewhat logical to have Paul Hanson play the guitar as well, the crew went with May instead, though Hanson still took part in the movie as The Pinheads’ bass guitarist.

Who Really Sings (& Plays) Johnny B. Goode In Back To The Future

It cracks me up that Huey Lewis, who was big in the 80s, was one of the teachers judging the music talent. Spoiler alert: the Pinheads did not make the cut because they were just “too darn loud.”

Love it. Fellow guitarist readers will note that yes, Michael J. Fox is hitting the wammy bar at just the right time in this “Power of Love” jam too.

Alex Van Halen Reminds That Not Everybody Cares About Social Media

The rock guitar god Eddie may have fallen, but his spirit lives on

When perusing the news, I tend to avoid a lot of stories involving he said this, she said that, he did this, she did that — on social media — because at the end of the day, does it really matter? Just because something is trending on Twitter, does that mean it’s really the most important thing happening in the world?

That’s not to say trending topics aren’t important. Some are. Some are worth further exploration and discussion, but a lot of it is the kind of water cooler BS that in a day, week or month is forgotten. Why waste valuable time digging deeper into that bottomless pit?

Have mentioned before there is a circle jerk fascination with social media, in that many think these days that the world revolves around what happens with Twitter, Facebook. Insta and so on. If you’re not plugged in and active on these platforms, some think you’re just dead to the world.

I’m plugged into them, use them, but definitely limit my time on them. That’s the healthy approach for me. How much time do you spend on them?

Alex Van Halen conducted an interview in August 2020, ahead of his brother Eddie’s death and talked about why they don’t say more on the internet. You might find his point of view refreshing.

“All these people are writing books about the band and they know nothing about the inner workings of this band,” Alex explained in an interview with Modern Drummer, conducted in August 2020 and recently published as part of the Modern Drummer Legends Vol. 2 – Alex Van Halen book. “And Ed and I don’t say anything because we’re not in the business of bullshitting on the internet and books and all that kind of crap. We just want to play. It’s that simple.”

Alex Van Halen is ‘Not in the Business of Bulls—ting’ Online

Some have called Van Halen’s lack of information and communication through social media cause for alarm, but Alex puts it rather simply: they just didn’t care about talking online. They made their music privately and when it was ready to share with the world, they did.

Wolfgang, perhaps because he’s from a different generation, is much more active on social media than his uncle and late father. He’s likely to take a more conventional approach to his own solo music, Mammoth WVH (see: Wolfgang Van Halen Releases New Song “Distance” Dedicated to Father with Video)

This isn’t to criticize those who do spend a lot of time on social media. It’s your life, your time, spend it wherever you want. Just saying sometimes pulling away and looking at where you are spending most of your time and evaluating the return value is worthwhile.

This is why I always try and thank readers for whatever time you spend here. Even if it’s just passing by here and there or read every day. I’ll try, whenever possible, to cut through the BS online. Whatever time you are giving reading and spending on this website and/or watching our review videos is appreciated. Thank you.

Creating A Las Vegas Event and Activity Schedule – February 2021

In March 2020, when we last visited Las Vegas, we saw a Beatles imitation show — only limited shows will be playing in February 2021 — and social distancing in action, of course

When taking a vacation, we like to make a list of possible planned activities. In a city like Las Vegas, where we’ll be a few days, the list of potential activities is long.

NOTE #1: This post, unlike most, will continue to be updated with things we find to do. It’s been a work in progress for a couple weeks already.

(NOTE #2: Taking vacations during the pandemic could be a controversial topic for some considering the current times were living in. We have been working the entire time uninterrupted during the pandemic. Not that I feel like we need to make any excuses for taking vacation, it’s important to note this with sensitivity since many people are out of work. By us vacationing and spending money, we’re helping to keep at least some people employed. We’ll be responsible, wear masks, and follow safe travel guidelines. People need to spend in order for businesses to make money and employ others.

There’s multiple ways to look at things. Our position all along has been that if we can be in public working and putting ourselves at risk 40 hours a week, every week, then we can relax and put ourselves at risk (responsibly, of course) once in awhile on vacation. Luckily, neither of us has gotten sick yet. Maybe that’s pure luck, or evidence that we’ve worked safely this whole time or, who knows, but we’re not going to stay cocooned at home forever. We’re going to go out, live our lives, follow the safety guidelines, wash our hands, wear our masks, and so on.)

Just for reference, in March 2020, the first of two times that month we visited Vegas, here’s what our list looked like:

Event Schedule + Interest List – 3/4 – 3/6/2020

  • SWIPE CARDS AT RED ROCK BEFORE PLAYING ANYTHING — 50+ Senior Wednesday
  • WED 3/4/20 – 12pm,3pm,6pm or 9pm @ Regal Red Rock Casino – My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising 4DX + 2D MOVIE
  • WED 3/4/20 – 7pm @ Red Rock Casino – Rocks Lounge – THE FAB: Beatles tribute lounge act — NO COVER CHARGE (FREE)
  • THU 3/5/20 – 1:20pm or 4:20pm @ Galaxy – Sonic The Hedgehog D-BOX MOVIE
  • THU 3/5/20 – 9:30pm @ Regal Red Rock Casino – Onward 4DX + 3D MOVIE
  • FRI 3/6/20 – 9pm @ Palms Casino – Billy Idol – tickets at ticketmaster – start at $36 USD / each.

The second trip ended prematurely when all gaming in Las Vegas was shut down. All movie theaters, too (see: Regal Closes All US Theaters, Suspends Billing for Unlimited Pass Customers)

Tag: Cinebarre Palace Station (our tag is misspelled, argh!)

Now check out our list for 2021 …

Event Schedule + Interest List – 2/3 (Wed) – 2/4 (Thur)

We’ve greatly expanded on that list for this trip, although we don’t have as much time scheduled there this trip.

#1 “new” movie we want to see, highly rated by others

Movie Theater Showtimes in Las Vegas

We probably will only have time to take in 1 or 2 movies while we’re in town for this trip, because we have so many different things we want to do and are only down there a short time. These are the three movies we’d most like to see:

  1. Promising Young Woman
  2. The Mad Hatter
  3. The Marksman

Other movies we haven’t seen are listed with showtimes at various theaters in the greater Las Vegas area. We also want to catch a Snappy Burger drive-in movie, but we’ll have to text (see below) for the movies available there. Seems like they are probably showing older full length movies there.

#2 new movie for our
watchlist

Galaxy Theater Green Valley – (closest to where we’re staying)
4500 E. Sunset Rd. Ste 10
Henderson, NV

  1. The Mad Hatter
    WED: 4p, 6:25p, 8:50p
  2. The Marksman
    WED: 4p, 9:05p
  3. News Of The World
    WED: 5:05p

Sante Fe Station Casino – Century 16 Theater
4949 N Rancho Drive

  1. Promising Young Woman
    WED: 4:40p, 7:40p
    THURS: 4:40p, 7:40p
  2. The Marksman
    WED: 4:05p, 5p, 7:55p
    THURS: 4:05p, 5p, 7:55p
  3. News Of The World
    WED: 4:25p, 7:25p
    THURS: 4:25p, 7:25p
  4. Monster Hunter
    WED: 4:50p, 7:35p
    THURS: 4:50p, 7:35p
  5. Fatale
    WED: 7:20p
    THURS: 7:20p

AMC Rainbow Promenade 10
2321 N Rainbow Blvd

  1. Supernova
    WED: 5p, 7:15p
    THURS: 5p, 7:15p
  2. The Marksman
    WED: 5:15p, 7:45p
    THURS: 5:15p, 7:45p
  3. Fatale
    WED: 5:30p, 8p
    THURS: 5:30p, 8p

Other Theaters In Las Vegas We Might Want To Check Out

  • Maya Cinemas – D-Box, Dolby Atmos and more — DINNER & MOVIE theater
    2195 N. Las Vegas Blvd

CASINO Promotions and Other Activities

As in all prior casino-related visits, we’ll be looking for and playing movie-themed slot machines.

The Rocky slot machine pictured above was found in a California casino (yes, we won some $$ on it, too)
  • WED – STATION CASINOS Casino – SWIPE CARDS AT Red Rock, Green Valley Ranch, Palace, Boulder, Sunset or Santa Fe BEFORE PLAYING ANYTHING — 50+ Senior Wednesday
  • WED / THURS – 3am – 3am – SOUTH POINT CASINO – 9777 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV – $400,000 SPIN TO WIN, earn 500 points on any machine, play Spin To Win to win free play and free points
See: Spokane, WA Hobby Lobby May Not Be Singing In The Rain like Northern Quest Casino
  • WED / THURS – 10am – 5pm – MANDALAY BAY – strip – Shark Reef Aquarium – ($43/person for 6×9 picture and souvenir)
  • WED / THURS – 4pm – 10pm – EXCALIBUR CASINO – strip – 4D San Andreas Adventure ($9.99/person)
  • WED / THURS – 10am – 11pm – VENETIAN CASINO – strip – indoor or outdoor Gondola Rides ($29/person buy tickets at venue)
  • WED / THURS – 4pm – Midnight – LINQ CASINO – strip – High Roller Ferris Wheel ($32.75/person anytime ticket)
  • WED / THURS – 2pm – 10pm – PARIS CASINO – strip – Eiffel Tower Viewing Deck ($21/person price varies, best at night in dark)
  • WED / THURS – 11a-11pm – Snappy Burgers – 101 N Decatur Blvd, Las Vegas, NV – Snappy Burgers (drive-in movie, adult feature length movies are after 9pm, text SNAPPY 474747 for movie schedule)
  • THUR 11am – 6pm – Luxor Casino on the strip – Titanic BODIES Exhibit ($42 per person purchase at door — $84

Do you live in/near/around Las Vegas? Recommended movie-related events or activities?

As always, your feedback is welcome. Can you mention any movie-related events and activities in/near/around Las Vegas? We’re going to have a rental car, so we can travel. Think broadly, could be location shooting of movies, so places to possibly visit? We’re open to any/all suggestions, no matter how far out they might be. Don’t want to be too limiting.

See: Caesars Las Vegas offers Twilight Zone by Monster Mini Golf

Tried to get Kara interested in the Dinner In The Dark event, but she’s not that adventurous an eater. While that might be an activity that doesn’t seem movie-related, darkness, horror, yeah, it’s stretch, but hey!

The Partridge Family: Umbrella Man

Here’s a catchy song that I think about once in a great while. Long ago, I watched The Partridge Family. David Cassidy was talented.

From Season 1, Episode 20 “They Shoot Managers, Don’t They?” the entire song is performed. It’s a catchy, upbeat ballad with curious lyrics. Why would an Umbrella Man want to shower you with all his love?

When I was a young sprout in the 70s, we used to have a motorhome with an 8-track player inside. I distinctly remember my parents playing an 8-track of The Partridge Family and this song. It’s funny how music brings back memories. We used to go on family trips in that motorhome and the Umbrella Man was our guide.

This is yet another one of those TV series that isn’t available on any streaming channel as of this writing. The show originally aired on ABC, which makes me think maybe Disney+ has the licensing rights, but I didn’t dig around and figure that out.

What classic TV shows would you like to watch that aren’t available on streaming channels currently?

Quiet Riot Singer Jizzy Pearl Bashes Virtual Concerts, “Zoom sh*t is old”

Maybe in the minority on this one, but these virtual concerts are not my cup of tea. I’d rather watch live music played live than streamed live from some remote location. The Kiss Christmas concert with the gadzillion pyro sounded cool, but not for $20. I’d rather go see Kiss play live, not watch a concert of them playing live.

Jizzy Pearl, doesn’t care much for virtual concerts either.

On Wednesday (January 20), Jizzy took to his Facebook page to write: “A lot of people have given up on playing live. Its been a year and this Zoom shit is old and goofy at this point. Your Rock Star mystique is not enhanced by the visual of you sitting at your computer, I don’t care if you’re Brian May. Also the constant pandering for money…doesn’t look good. We as musicians all have bills for sure but Jesus…maybe that Mercedes SUV wasn’t a good idea.”

Quiet Riot Singer Jizzy Pearl Criticizes Virtual Concerts: ‘The Constant Pandering For Money Doesn’t Look Good’ – Blabbermouth.net

Am with Jizzy on this one. Is this really that guy’s name? Jizzy?! Lol, can’t be. Got to be stage name. It is, thanks Google. His real name is James Wilkinson.

Hey, if you like virtual concerts, more power to you. During the pandemic, whatever you want to spend your time doing is cool. Not bagging on your likes or dislikes. Just saying they aren’t something I’m going to be spend much money or time on. Ok, maybe if it’s the Beatles getting back together 😉

Anybody reading enjoy virtual concerts?

The Roth Project Online Comic Launched with Song Dedicated To Eddie Van Halen

David Lee Roth’s The Roth Project: weird, wonderful or …? https://therothproject.com/

Say what you want about the legendary frontman David Lee Roth. Many believe that he can’t sing any more, but he sure is a way out there guy and wants to remains creative. I’m holding hope that Wolfgang Van Halen and Eddie’s drummer brother Alex mine some musical gems out of Eddie’s 5150 studio (we know the music is there!) and at some respectful time in the future and, as the Doobie Brothers would say, let us “Listen to the music!”

In the meantime, we’ve got whatever Sammy Hagar is doing in his various band projects and the industrious, fiercely unusual David Lee Roth.

Roth’s newest creative project is — yes, totally serious — an online comic narrated by him, complete with music featuring music from John 5.

David Lee Roth has launched The Roth Project, a new online comic narrated by the legendary VAN HALEN singer, with music from John 5 on guitar and bass, Greg Bissonette on drums, Brett Tuggle on keyboards, and Luis Conte on percussion. The 17-chapter comic also includes five songs Roth co-wrote with John 5 and recorded several years ago at Henson Recording Studios in Hollywood, California: “Giddy Up”, “Somewhere Over The Rainbow Bar And Grill”, “Alligator Pants”, “Lo-Rez Sunset” and “Manda Bala”.

David Lee Roth Launches ‘The Roth Project’ Online Comic Featuring Five Songs Co Written With John 5 – Blabbermouth.net

Within this depth of music and story comes a track called “Somewhere Over The Rainbow Bar and Grill” dedicated to Eddie Van Halen. It’s a curious track that you can listen to via YouTube:

Hmm, singing is definitely Dave, and the music is … well, this song does kind of grow on me after a few plays. Like what if Judy Garland and David Lee Roth had some fantasy night together and produced this for fun.

I’d rather hear him get back with Steve Vai and do that rock thing, but this is acoustic distraction will have to suffice. Again, even if it’s not your cup of musical tea, it’s great to see creative people doing something creative. We haven’t seen DLR do anything new musically in a while.

There was once a time he was going to make a movie and that fell through. Perhaps this online comic will lead to something in the streaming world? I’d be interested in seeing DLR on some kind of screen — streaming, whatever. What do you think?

The Afterlife Just Picked Up An Amazing Guitarist: Eddie Van Halen Dead at 65

Sad rock and roll news, and not related to pandemic.

We could say it’s not related to movies and TV either, but I think there’s a Van Halen soundtrack for some movie coming someday in the future (hint, hint). Maybe it’s not been released yet, but it deserves to be someday (we can dream, anyway!). I know Van Halen did a song for the movie Twister, but I’m talking something like Motley Crue’s The Dirt or Rocketman.

A mighty axeman has fallen: Edward Van Halen will be playing his licks in the afterlife, and I bet those solos will be scorching.

The announcement was made by his son, Wolfgang.

“I can’t believe I’m having to write this,” the statement said, “but my father, Edward Lodewijk Van Halen, has lost his long and arduous battle with cancer this morning. He was the best father I could ever ask for. Every moment I’ve shared with him on and off stage was a gift.”

Eddie Van Halen Dies At 65 : NPR

Many condolences to the Van Halen family. I know Sammy Hagar kept trying to get the band back together for one final run, but it didn’t happen. I think Eddie was sicker than anybody was letting on.

Eddie had been laying low and we asked a year ago about his sickness: Is Eddie Sick? Don’t Want to “Hear About It Later” Van Halen Deserves An “Unchained” Music Movie “Right Now” This wasn’t meant as some personal invasion of privacy type post, I think he’s a public enough figure that a lot of fans cared about his well being. Let us know how he’s doing. I get some people just don’t want to tell you when they are sick. Too bad, because a lot of people could have sent their love and well wishes.

Van Halen will always be the party band of the 80s. These guys just knew how to play fun rock and roll. Great band that had a ton of great songs. Consider myself fortunate to have seen them on their tour with Wolf on bass. They rocked Seattle that night.

Eddie is rumored to have recorded a ton of music in his 5150 studio. Would love if they release some of that, perhaps as a soundtrack to a biopic about the band.

RIP Eddie Van Halen.

AC/DC guitarist Angus Young seems to have forgotten several ballads they’ve released

soundtrack by AC/DC

Maximum Overdrive ⭐️

Something seemed off when I read this AC/DC article with Angus Young saying, “it’s a little bit late for us to do a ballad.” Out of context, it was, when I read the entire interview, but it made for a good trip down musical memory lane.

They have a history of recording several ballads, some of which are very good, if you haven’t heard them before or don’t remember. This post will detail these unsung hero ballads — AC/DC-style!

Angus says: “People have said we’ve hung around long enough! But some bands fade when they try to adapt to what’s current. We play rock music. It’s a little bit late for us to do a ballad. Rock is what we do best. 

AC/DC’s Angus Young: It’s a little bit late for us to do a ballad… rock is what we do best | Louder

There is no arguing that AC/DC does straight up hard rock as good as any band. They are immortal in that regard, but they’ve done several ballads through the years. I mean, you only need to go back in time and listen.

Spotify subscribers, definitely put the original tunes in your AC/DC ballad rotation, but YouTubers can make a playlist of these “ballads” as well:

  1. “Love Song” originally on 1975 debut album, High Voltage (Australian release only), but not available in the version released elsewhere. – Bon Scott, vocals crooning: “Oh Jene!” (spelling from Wikipedia article) Given it’s been 45+ years, but Angus has to remember Bon Scott’s lyrics like: “when I think of you saying goodbye, oh the sky turns a deeper blue, that’s, that’s how I’d feel if I lost you” No idea who Jene is, but she’s the focus of this very much ballad AC/DC song.

2. “She’s Got Balls” from the front side of High Voltage. The rare soundboard version on YouTube of this performance may not sound like a ballad, but it’s one of the more “ballsy” blues ballads from their first album. Love the cooking bass and simple drum intro when Bon Scott comes in with, “she’s got style, that woman!” — what a terrible loss. I like this one better than their hit from Dirty Deeds, “Big Balls.”

3. “Little Lover” is another ballad-rocker song from High Voltage like “She’s Got Balls” I remember first hearing this album and being blown away by Angus and Malcolm trading relatively simple guitar riffs with a great feel and amazing signature tone.

4. “Big Balls” from Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap (1976), This is the most festive ballad rock song about balls ever created. “My balls are always bouncing, from the left to the right, it’s my belief that my big balls should be held every night.” LOL, I laughed at these lyrics which are, of course, littered with double entendres.

An AC/DC tribute band gives “Big Balls” an inspirational cover

5. “Ride On” also from Dirty Deeds and in the soundtrack for the movie Maximum Overdrive (top of post). This sure seems like a ballad to me. It’s not as lovey-dovey lyrics-wise as “Love Song” but it’s a slow blues ballad. The type that only AC/DC has done.

A fairly decent cover of “Ride On” live by a tribute band

7. “Gone Shootin” from Powerage. Ok, this one is not a ballad, per se, but the riff live captured below is played much faster tempo than the album version.

This is the real AC?DC live from 1978 … played in rocking up tempo

8. “Let Put My Love Into You” from Brian Johnson’s first album, the iconic Back In Black, is another AC/DC-style ballad. A rocker

Hell’s Belle’s, an all female tribute AC/DC band has the best tribute name of all AC/DC tribute acts

9. “Two’s Up” from Blow Up Your Video (1988). Another AC/DC rocker that has the hard groove, but feels a little like a ballad when it gets to the melodic chorus. This is pretty much the end of the line for mellow songs on any of their albums.

AC/DC is rumored to be working on another studio album featuring tracks composed by Angus and Malcolm, his brother that died during the Rock or Bust tour. They had already tapped nephew Stevie Young to replace Malcolm on the tour, because he was too sick to tour. Then Brian Johnson had hearing problems and had to leave the tour. Axl Rose from Guns N’ Roses stepped in to cover and did a great job. As if this wasn’t enough band drama, long time bassist Cliff Williams retired.

Will there be another AC/DC album? Dee Snider says yes. It probably will not have any ballads, based on Angus’s quotes, and be more in line with the material on their last album, Rock or Bust. We’ll be happy to welcome any new AC/DC music, ballads or not. I mean, who doesn’t like AC/DC?

Awesome that John Carpenter is still making new music in 2020

Halloween (1978) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Despite a lack of interest in making new music from many artists, primarily because the money these days is in touring not selling new albums, I’m always excited to hear when artists do create new music.

Including those who have done famous movie music.

Although John Carpenter will be mostly remembered as the horror director for Halloween (1978) and The Thing and other cinematic cult gems like Escape From New York, his musical work should also be highlighted. Recently, I shared a post on a Carpenter-like theme inspired mashup (see: Halloween meets Ozzy Osbourne’s Crazy Train cover)

Carpenter is still writing and composing music. Two new tracks, “Skeleton” and “Unclean Spirit” are not part of any movie, just Carpenter and his son Cody freewheel burning.

John Carpenter is releasing a new album in the fall and has dropped two new tracks today. The horror icon has a 12-inch vinyl single containing the two tracks as well. Many variants of it are being released, and are available for preorder right now. These are a collaboration with his Halloween 2018 co-composers, his son Cody Carpenter and godson Daniel Davies, who seem to have reignited Carpenter’s passion for music these last couple years. He is pumping out great stuff,

John Carpenter Releases Two New Tracks, Hear Them Now
New John Carpenter song called “Skeleton”
John Carpenter’s “Unclean Spiit”

What do you think? Eerie? I dig Carpenter’s style.

Street Survivors: The True Story of The Lynyrd Skynyrd Plane Crash – The Noticeably Missing Soundtrack

Street Survivors: The True Story of The Lynyrd Skynyrd Plane Crash ⭐️⭐️⭐️

After watching this movie, I’ve been listening to more Skynyrd. Throughout this critique, I’ve picked out songs that would have fit in with the movie — but with only one exception — don’t exist. It’s my way of saying, the music is what should have made it into this movie. It would be something like Elton John’s biopic Rocket Man not having the title song.

That’s my fundamental criticism of the movie: the missing Skynyrd music. The elephant in the room. The rest of the movie, lower budget aside, is done pretty well.

Only one Skynyrd song is actually in this movie, and that’s “Call Me The Breeze.”

Rock and roll drummers, unless you’re John “Bonzo” Bonham of Zeppelin, Keith Moon of The Who, Tommy Lee / Motley Crue, Neil Peart of Rush and others, we typically don’t get to know skin bashers very well. It’s always the lead vocalists or guitarists that get the majority of the limelight. The timekeepers are very important to the overall band, but they are so often obscured behind their kits.

I’d heard of Artimus Pyle before, he’s the second drummer for the band Lynyrd Skynyrd. Don’t ask me how many other drummers they’ve had, but they only had two with Ronnie Van Zant. Bob Burns played on Skynyrd’s first two albums where the bulk of their hits (like almost their entire first album were hits). Why did Burns leave the band? According to Wikipedia, he suffered a mental breakdown after a European tour. Burns is deceased, after a car crash in 2015.

From here, it’s spoiler territory.

… you’ve been warned, SPOILERS ahead …

So, this film is Artimus Pyle’s account of what happened. How he joined the band (very briefly), followed by what happened during and after the plane crash.

The film should have opened with “Tuesdays Gone” — this is concert footage from 3/7/1976 live concert

The crash happened on Thursday, October 20, 1971. Ironically, Skynyrd has two famous songs with days of the week in the title: “Tuesdays Gone” from their debut album and “Saturday Nigh Special” — which are exactly one day apart between the day of the crash.

It would have been cool if the movie opened the movie with “Tuesday’s Gone” and then at some point before the end of the movie — but not the ending — played “Saturday Night Special” The first song would have fit the title sequence and Artimus Pyle’s initial story because Bob Burns, the original Skynyrd drummer left the band (no idea if that was on a Tuesday, but wouldn’t that be really coincidental?).

Pyle’s present day band was on the label Cleopatra, which put him in connection with the film’s director, Jared Cohn.

There has been a multi-year legal battle between current members of Lynyrd Skynyrd and family members of the deceased over Artimus Pyle telling his story of what happened. Some allege that Pyle was a coward and ran away, while Pyle was a Marine and his account is that he went to seek help.

On the opening of the movie, Pyle explains his frustration that they couldn’t have a bigger budget and Gary Rossington and Judy Van Zant, the lead vocalist’s widow, tried to block the movie from ever being released. They blocked any Skynyrd songs from being included in the movie except for “Call Me The Breeze” which wasn’t originally a Skynyrd song.

Artimus Pyle interviewed at the opening of the movie

In an interview with Street Survivors director, Cohn explains if he believes Pyle’s account of the crash.

I took everything else into consideration and I put pieces of that to fill out the story, when I was creating the world. But in terms of how things went down when that plane started to crash, it’s Artimus’ point of view. I sat with him, he was crying, thought it was emotional and there were tears; it’s impossible not to believe him, so I 100% believe everything that he said.

Interview: Director Jared Cohn Talks STREET SURVIVORS: THE TRUE STORY OF THE LYNYRD SKYNYRD PLANE CRASH

Pyle’s first album with Skynyrd was Nuthin’ Fancy in 1975. The biggest hit song from that album was “Saturday Night Special” — I think it would have been better to place this song toward the end of the movie, but in this post, I’m putting it here.

The movie highlights the album “Street Survivors” Pyle worked on with the band, but again, none of the music is licensed, but it would have been cool if they played during all the naked breasts, drinking and drugs, the song “That Smell”

Approximately three months before the plane crash, “That Smell” live 7/13/1977

The song “Simple Man” would make a good song to include after Pyle was established joining the band. The song makes me think of Pyle, even though he wasn’t in the band at the time of the debut album.

It seemed like a lot of the people in the band, maybe save for Ronnie Van Zant just cared about playing great rock and roll and were simple in that regard, but the music they played wasn’t very simple. A three guitarist attack was being formed in the mid 70s that one can only dream what would happen had they been able to continue.

During the plane crash would have been too much to play any music, but the song before the danger is detected happens, perhaps on the radio they could work in “What’s Your Name”

After the crash, the stock music they used is good as it is. That’s the only place I didn’t want to hear any Skynyrd music. Somewhere before the end, working in, “Sweet Home Alabama” seems like a necessity.

Of course the movie and end credits should have had “Free Bird” — here, again a live performance playing alongside all the people involved, living and dead from this band could have rolled in the credits.

It seems Artimus Pyle wanted a movie with this music to be included, but licensing just wasn’t going to happen with the movie being under constant legal barrage. We’ll have to settle for this accompanying blog post to put the music where it belongs in the story.

Reviews by Others

This film doesn’t have a lot of reviews out there, probably because it’s VOD and more narrow-focused, but I’ve seen a couple Street Survivors: The True Story of The Lynyrd Skynyrd Plane Crash reviews to share.

Recommended

  1. The Ballad of Curis Loew: “There is no doubt Skynyrd fans will be divided on the merits of this movie. The families of those that perished in the plane crash will, I am certain, consider it an intrusion on their grief. It will touch many raw nerves. For me, as the titles rolled at the end, the abiding emotion that I am left with is one of profound sadness. At times, especially the band’s final moments, I wanted to stop watching. Heart breaking.”
  2. World Film Geek: “…despite the low budget, this is actually a pretty decent indie biopic that starts with Pyle, played with excellence by newcomer Ian Shultis, auditioning for the band and his eventual bond with the late Van Zant, played by Taylor Clift. One thing is for sure, yes, there is Lynyrd Skynyrd in the film, but the focus is without a doubt more on Pyle and his bonding with Van Zant”

Not Recommended

  1. In my reading list, haven’t see any reviews that weren’t recommended as of this writing. It’s possible there will be more reviews when it leaves VOD and hits one or more streaming services.

Did I miss your review? Use the comments to tell me about your movie-related/review blog and I’ll follow. I like following movie-related blogs and pull quoting from my reading list as well as other new blogs shared, liked and discovered.

Other films about Lynyrd Skynyrd

As mentioned at the beginning of this post, I went into a Skynyrd sidetrack mode watching and reviewing movies about the band. Here are some other related reviews: