Nancy Sinatra

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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The Monkees Pay Tribute To Davy Jones

The Monkees drummer Micky Dolenz says he had a premonition that Wednesday would be a terrible day after suffering bad dreams “all night long.”

The group’s British-born frontman Davy Jones died early on Wednesday after suffering a massive heart attack at the age of 66, and a heartbroken Dolenz reveals he had a feeling something was wrong hours before he learned of Jones’ passing.

In a statement, the singer/drummer says, “Can’t believe it… Still in shock… had bad dreams all night long.

“My love and prayers go out to Davy’s girls and family right now.”

Bassist Peter Tork has also issued his sentiments about Jones’ unexpected death, stating: “It is with great sadness that I reflect on the sudden passing of my long-time friend and fellow-adventurer, David Jones.

“His talent will be much missed; his gifts will be with us always. My deepest sympathy to (Jones’ widow) Jessica and the rest of his family. Adios, to the Manchester Cowboy.”

And former Monkee Mike Nesmith has also bid a fond farewell to his old pal.

In a lengthy post on Facebook.com, the guitarist writes, “That David has stepped beyond my view causes me the sadness that it does many of you. I will miss him, but I won’t abandon him to mortality. I will think of him as existing within the animating life that insures existence. I will think of him and his family with that gentle regard in spite of all the contrary appearances on the mortal plane.

“David’s spirit and soul live well in my heart, among all the lovely people, who remember with me the good times, and the healing times, that were created for so many, including us. I have fond memories. I wish him safe travels.”

Meanwhile, Star Trek icon William Shatner, singer Nancy Sinatra and veteran crooner Neil Diamond are among those who have also paid tribute to the late star via Twitter.com.

Diamond writes, “I’m sad to hear about Davy Jones. The Monkees were such a sensation that it was a thrill for me to have them record some of my early songs.”

The Monkees’ most famous tune, I’m a Believer, was written by Diamond.