May Pang

The Wrecking Crew: I Simply Had To Go Get "Wrecked" A Second Time!

By Anne M. Raso

Denny Tedesco, son of legendary “Wrecking Crew” axeman Tommy Tedesco, has been holding screenings of his wonderful documentary for two or three years now in the hopes of raising the money to cover the soundtrack for this film that features dozens of the greatest 60s hits (and classic “non-hits”). The tab is something like 180 grand, and in the back of my head, I often wonder how someone of the more successful artists interviewed for the documentary can’t just pitch in the entire amount. (Certainly Cher has spent more than that on plastic surgery, LOL!) Nancy Sinatra could probably throw in a few bucks as well.

There are always surprises at the screenings of the film–the one I went to in Brooklyn last year included an impromptu performance of “Be My Baby” by Ronnie Spector (who, of course, is featured in the film since her ex Phil Spector worked with the ace musicians of the Wrecking Crew on an almost weekly basis). Last week’s screening at the Cutting Room in midtown Manhattan included two after-show bonuses: Tedesco interviewing Tommy Lipuma who was one of the great record producers of the 60s and 70sand a special performance of The Sixties Show, a great tribute band featuring the legendary Liberty DeVitto on the skins. Spotted in the crowd were some other legendary skinpounders, the most notable being Carmine Appice, as well as author May Pang.  To say DeVitto’s group is a tribute band is kind of not totally correct–while they cover many of the great hits of the Kinks and even the Moody Blues (doing a killer rendition of “Tuesday Afternoon”), they are truly all A List musicians.
Legendary sticksman Liberty DeVitto wows The Wrecking Crew post-screening crowd with his  60s cover band The Sixties Show–they perform many unexpected and complex Golden Age Of Rock tracks! (Photo: Anne Raso)

If you have not caught The Wrecking Crew, well, take a look at the schedule at http://www.thewreckingcrew.tv. The film makes the rounds cross-country and is often shown at music festivals and conventions. I would also suggest following The Wrecking Crew on Twitter (@WreckCrewFilm) and liking it on Facebook (www.facebook.com/WreckingCrewFilm).
Wrecking Crew top-tier guitarist Tommy Tedesco at a late 60s West Coast session.
And in case you’re curious, Denny Tedesco never got to meet any of the stars his dad worked with (and he worked with hundreds–everyone from The Beach Boys to Frank Sinatra and back again). I am still trying to wrap my head around that, but I guess Tommy Tedesco was the type of guy who liked to keep his work and private lives separate. Tedesco told me a little about his personal favorite cuts that his dad played on: “The fun ones are (the themes from) Batman, Green Acres and Bonanza…and then (I love) his work with The 5th Dimension, especially ‘Up, Up And Away.’  I also love (his work on) Elvis’s comeback special and (the Elvis song) ‘Memories.’”  
One thing’s for sure–TT certainly was a versatile player (especially gifted in the Spanish style even more so than rock ‘n roll), and the footage of him later in life (especially in drag on The Gong Show) is something I won’t soon forget!
 (Photos Courtesy Denny Tedesco.)
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Ron Wood & Kenney Jones Take Over NYC To Promote The Faces’ Luxury Coffeetable Book!

By Anne M. Raso

The MAC Wire was lucky enough to catch up with Ron Wood and Kenney Jones the same week they are headed into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in Cleveland. First, they did a press conference at the Broome Street Gallery where not only pics of the Faces glory days were on hand, but there was plenty of Woody’s artwork to be viewed, including some never-before-shown pieces. Afterwards, there was a no-media-invited party held in the gallery that was attended by the illuminati of New York rock and roll.

We were on hand for the guys’ John Varvatos store book signing of the STUNNING coffee table book THE FACES: 1969-1975 from the superclassy British Publishing House Genesis Publications last night. For $500, it better be stunning, but this is one of the best “rock doc” books we have ever come across and it comes in it own red drawstring bag.

As usually the case, Kenney Jones was right on time for the start of the event and Ron Wood was about 80 minutes late. Fans were not allowed to shoot Kenney–he actually said yes but the security said no when we went up to him…he actually seemed like a friendly sort. Sadly, fellow original Small Faces member Ian MacLachan was not on hand due to scheduling conflicts but hopefully will be at the Rock Hall induction this weekend.

Before Woody and Kenney started signing, the legendary Faces and Stones axeman gave some shout outs when he got to the start of the book signing, including thanks to John V himself (who was on hand) and Bill German, famous for the Beggars Banquet newsletter he singlehandedly produced for so many years and his excellent autobiography Under Their Thumbs, about his years spent inside the Stones camp. It’s considered one of the best books ever written on the band.

Guests on hand included New York Doll guitarist Steve Conte, legendary rock photogs Bob Gruen and Mick Rock, and authoress May Pang. We have to say that the guys were gracious enough to sign memorabilia and special Faces stationary made up for the promotion of the Faces coffee table book since obviously a lot of people could not spring for the book. Unusually at these kinds of events, you have to buy the merchandise the artist or author is promoting at the time. So a tip of the hat to them for that…or in Kenney Jones’ case, a tip of the HI HAT!

(If you want more info on THE FACES: 1969-1975 or would like to order a copy, go to http://www.genesis-publications.com/faces/–we hear that signed copies of this limited edition book are still available.)

(Photo of Ron Wood and Kenney Jones at John Varvatos store by Anne Raso, book cover shot courtesy Genesis Publications and Ron Wood b/w shot with his Muhammad Ali painting at Broome Street Gallery courtesy Workhouse PR.)