About this project
UPDATE: WE ARE THRILLED TO HAVE REACHED OUR INITIAL GOAL!!! We are so grateful for the support. There is, however, far more work to be done than the $18,500 will cover. Our next stretch goal is $28,500. This extra money will help us pay for upcoming shoots in NYC, San Francisco, London, and Tucson. We are also hoping to raise enough money to allow us to follow the Groovies to Japan and hopefully to Europe as well. We are going to make a great film thanks to all of you.
From award-winning filmmakers, William Tyler Smith and Kurt Feldhun, comes a feature length rock 'n' roll documentary about the Flamin' Groovies, a colorful and highly influential rock band that had some big hits in the 70's, but met with an untimely and difficult break up in the early 80's.
Although the Flamin' Groovies had all the makings for a successful career, life seemed to conspire against them and they never quite made it. Since then, however, their songs Slow Death, Shake Some Action and Teenage Head, have been heard on motion picture soundtracks such as Clueless and numerous CD compilations. They have been called the "Godfathers of Punk Rock" and many bands such as The Dictators have done Groovies' covers. Legend has it that the Groovies' album, Teenage Head (1971), was Mick Jagger and Keith Richard's favorite album at the time, and Jagger is purported to have said that the Groovies "did the R&B thing" better than the Rolling Stones did. They are often referred to as "the biggest band you've never heard of." Recently VH1 placed Shake Some Action on their "20 Essential Power Pop Tracks of All Time" at #7.
Despite being highly regarded and respected in the music industry, and having die-hard fans all over the world, most people have never even heard their music…until now.
Now 30 years later, they are embarking on a comeback tour and this time they are determined to get the notoriety that seemed to have eluded them. They're full of life, full of stories, and full of sh*t…
...and we're capturing it all on film.
Our film will take the viewer on a wild journey through the world of the Flamin' Groovies with a behind the scenes and backstage portrayal of their comeback, the new recording sessions and each band member's personal lives. We will capture all of their antics, stories, and general madness. We'll cover the ins and outs, the ups and the downs of life with the Flamin' Groovies. And of course, we'll cover the Groovies' colorful history leading up to their difficult break up.
Cyril, Chris and George are fascinating and intelligent characters. They are unpredictable and still think they are in their early twenties. Who knows what's bound to happen?
If you liked Anvil, Searching for Sugarman, and Spinal Tap you're gonna love this one!
Our first and second rounds of production have now been completed, and it’s going so much better than we ever could have imagined. Here’s what we’ve accomplished so far:
ROUND 1: We spent two weeks shooting with the Groovies on tour in Hoboken, Cleveland, Washington D.C., Oakland, Boston, and Brooklyn. We also filmed them recording their upcoming EP in San Francisco. This version of the Groovies are no doubt beginning exactly where they had left off 30 years ago. We captured life on the road and behind the scenes, some revealing and emotional interviews, compelling stories, die-hard fans and of course the Flamin' Groovies madness.
ROUND 2: We just returned from filming with the Groovies on their recent tour in New Orleans, Austin, Houston, Dallas and Memphis. The footage is so many things: entertaining, insightful, absurd, hysterical, surreal, intelligent and enlightening. We know that we’re going to have a great film. We've also learned that there’s a lot of people out there that want this film to be made.
We now have strong distributor and broadcaster interest and we've gotten some great international press including The Chicago Tribune, BLURT Magazine, UW Daily, IMDB News and Screen Daily/Screen International. See links below:
Screen Daily/Screen International: http://www.screendaily.com/news/flamin-groovies-film-launches-kickstarter/5069938.article
IMDB News: http://www.imdb.com/news/ni56970670/
Urban Milwaukee Dial: http://urbanmilwaukeedial.com/2014/04/music-finally-the-flamin-groovies/
American Standard Time: http://www.americanstandardtime.com/2014/04/10/the-flaming-groovies-are-back/
My Spilt Milk: http://myspiltmilk.com/flamin-groovies-cant-stop-shakin
Filmmakers William Tyler Smith and Kurt Feldhun met at New York University and have known each other for over 20 years. Having recently collaborated on a documentary about Ray Manzarek of the Doors and Delta Blues slide-guitarist Roy Rogers, Smith and Feldhun decided to team up once again to tell the incredible story of the Flamin' Groovies, a band that they both knew from their youth. (Please see our full bios above right for more information.)
"I had one of their albums in high school and I really liked it. I was thrilled to hear that they were making a comeback 30 years later." Kurt Feldhun
"I went to see one of their recent shows in New York City and I was introduced to them backstage. As soon as I met them and heard their stories, I knew we had to make this movie." William Tyler Smith
HOW WE WILL USE YOUR FUNDS
For this campaign, our goal is to raise $18,500. This would include production expenses such as equipment rentals, crew costs, transportation, fuel, expendables, food and lodging. We are keeping costs very low throughout our production, but are by no means compromising production value. Needless to say, it's still a lot of money and we appreciate your support.
If we hit our goal of $18,500, the funds will be used as follows:
- Cover the costs of Rounds 1 and 2 of production last July/November and May.
- Begin initial stages of post-production and editing.
If we hit $28,500, the funds will be used as follows:
- Interviews and footage at band member's homes in London, San Francisco and Arizona.
- Rough cut editing and expenses.
If we hit $40,000, the funds will be used as follows:
- European tour (Spain, France, Italy, United Kingdom)
- Interviews with international music industry insiders.
- Rough cut editing and expenses.
If we hit $55,000, the funds will be used as follows:
- Tour to Japan.
- Interviews with die-hard and celebrity Groovies fans.
- Completion of all other principal photography.
- Rough cut editing and expenses.
If we hit $69,500, the funds will be used as follows:
- Completion of first rough cut edit with some audio sweetening and a pre-mix for screening and critique purposes.
- Rough cut screening expenses.
- Legal fees.
- Licensing fees.
If we hit $85,000, the funds will be used as follows:
- Final cut.
- Sound design.
- Sound mixing.
- Color correction.
- Promotion and marketing.
The more money we raise, the faster we can get the film finished. This money will ensure that we can continue to move forward in making a great film. Please share the trailer and Kickstarter link with your friends on Facebook, Twitter and other social media.
We thank you kindly for your support. Your funds will help us preserve the legend of the incredible Flamin' Groovies for generations to come and hopefully give them the opportunity to become members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio.
For further news and updates, like us on Facebook at The Incredible Flamin' Groovies Movie page.
If you have any questions and/or comments, please feel free to contact Kurt and Billy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Flamin' Groovies story goes all the way back to 1965 when the band began in their hometown of San Francisco, California. Their first self-released 10-inch album called Sneakers sold well and caught the attention of Columbia Records, which signed them and released their first real album, Supersnazz, on the Epic label.
"Bill Graham hated our name. He thought we were gay or something. He said, ‘you gotta change your name.' That’s like telling Van Gogh that color don’t work.” Cyril Jordan
The band had its first brush with success in 1971 with the song and album entitled Teenage Head, which is listed in the 2006 book, 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. In 1972, Chris Wilson joined the band as lead singer and they released the song Slow Death. The gritty sound of this recording was infectious and the band was invited to play television shows around the world.
Slow Death on live television…
The Groovies continued to tour hard and record an impressive number of albums during the 1970's. In 1976, they released their biggest hit to date, Shake Some Action. The song hit 142 on Billboard's top 200 and years later was featured in the film Clueless.
In July of 1976, the Ramones opened for the Groovies in London at the Roundhouse. This show is considered a galvanizing event for the UK punk scene. In 1981, after over a decade of hard work and dedication the band experienced a difficult and painful break up.
"We were all, you know, basically just too stoned to continue. We needed to take a break. Everybody had cocaine-itis." Cyril Jordan
"It seemed like life was thwarting us at every turn and after ten years of living out of each others suitcases we just couldn't take it anymore and we cracked." Chris Wilson
The band went their separate ways and rarely spoke over the next 30 years. George worked for the United States Postal Service for 25 years, Cyril often held 3 jobs at once, and Chris jumped from one construction job to the other. The clock was ticking, the years were passing when Cyril, Chris and George finally decided that it was time to let bygones be bygones and to continue exactly where they had left off that day in 1981 when they broke up.
"We were just so happy when we first saw each other. We just grabbed each other and gave each other a big hug and a kiss." Chris Wilson
"I'm getting a little too old to be doing this rock 'n' roll thing." Cyril Jordan
"I made a promise with Cyril...that we would see this out together to the end. Now that we’re back together again, it’s almost as if we get a second chance to fulfill that promise." George Alexander
New drummer Victor Penalosa faithfully recreates the style heard on the classic recordings, while at the same time adding his own flavor. The foursome has gone into the studio to record brand new material as well as finish up some long lost recordings. They have begun playing shows again to enthusiastic fans both old and new. Fans have been delighted with what is being called "a dream set list," including original songs the band has never performed before onstage.
"This time around, it happened mostly because of the fans." Cyril Jordan
"I thought one day we might get the kudos and attention that we all had craved. I hope that’s what’s happening now.” Chris Wilson
"I hadn't played the bass for twenty-five years. I had no reason to play." George Alexander
"Time and space don't affect us for some reason when we're together. It's like the day after we broke up in 1980." Cyril Jordan
We are pleased and honored to have music veteran, Joel Jaffe, on board who will supervise the audio recording and mixing, and will engineer and produce The Groovies latest album at Studio D in Sausalito, California.
Joel has worked with such artists as Ray Manzarek, Roy Rogers, Carlos Santana, Ringo Starr, John Entwhistle, Indigo Girls, Huey Lewis & The News, Todd Rundren and The Call to name a few. Joel was also the engineer/sound mixer for the cult classic films Light Sleeper and Wave Twisters.
FLAMIN' GROOVIES ON THE WEB:
Facebook Page For The Movie https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Incredible-Flamin-Groovies-Movie/660957357273508
Shake Some Action: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2XXLQozrq1g
Slow Death: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EL3pP29N-Wc
You Tore Me Down: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXfsHztgH84
Tallahassee Lassie: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6hvNHazbwGI
Little Queenie: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6hvNHazbwGI
Roll Over Beethoven: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_PAr445CwM
Groovies Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Flamin-Groovies/85760453541
Shake Some Action Drink Shaker
Cyril WEIRD SCIENCE cover, oil on canvas, 24" x 18"
Cyril MAD MAGAZINE cover, oil on canvas, 24" x 18"
Cyril STRANGE TALES cover, oil on canvas, 24" x 18"
Cyril MAGIC CHRISTIAN, oil on canvas, 24" x 24"
Cyril's THE PIRATE, oil on canvas, 28" x 22"
Limited Edition Groovies T-Shirt
YOU TORE ME DOWN Acetate
Groovies Signed Tour Poster 1
Groovies Signed Tour Poster 2
Magic Christian Vinyl LP signed by Cyril Jordan
Risks and challenges
Documentary filmmaking is always a risky endeavour as you are dealing with human lives, which often times, can be highly unpredictable and volatile.
Smith and Feldhun have been producing, directing, shooting and editing documentary and fiction films for over twenty-five years. Both have always successfully completed all of their films. To date, all three of Smith's feature films have been sold around the world. His fourth, Translucent Blues, edited by Feldhun, about the musical collaboration between Doors keyboardist, Ray Manzarek and slide-guitarist, Roy Rogers, is nearing completion and already has distributor interest. Feldhun's television show, Fishin' Impossible, which he produced, directed and edited, is currently being broadcast on ESPN International.
Smith and Feldhun are the perfect music documentary partners and collaborators for this project, and many future projects to come.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
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