Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
Duke & The King's video poster
Play

There’s danger in meeting your heroes ... especially when your hero becomes your boss, and your boss is the King of Rock & Roll. Read more

Atlanta, GA Documentary
Share this project
90
backers
$16,287
pledged of $15,000 goal
0
seconds to go

Funded!

This project was successfully funded on October 7, 2011.

There’s danger in meeting your heroes ... especially when your hero becomes your boss, and your boss is the King of Rock & Roll.

Atlanta, GA Documentary
Share this project

About this project

ATTENTION! We've added some exciting new reward levels! 

You can find out more about those below, but first, check out these excerpts from the film. First up, we got Duke and his old friend Kenny Loggins together for the first time in decades. Here they reminisce and talk about the art of songwriting:

Next up, here's just a little glimpse into Duke's interaction with Elvis: 

The newest reward is a specially-framed and VERY RARE copy of the Cold Gritz & The Black-Eyed Peas single, "Bayou Country," co-written by Duke. It will be mounted along with a press photo of Gritz, autographed by Duke. Check out the mock-up:

Hurry! As of now, there's only one available.

The "Royal Touch," features an iPad 2! There's only 1 available, so it's first come, first served! 

Then there's the "Royalty-Free" level that offers your band, ad agency or business more than a $5,000 discount on production services from Self-Proclaimed Entertainment. (That's us!)

You can check out some of our other work here:

This is your chance to be a member of our Royal Family! Read on to learn more about how together we'll introduce the world to Duke Bardwell, one of the great, unheralded voices in American music, and the "forgotten" member of Elvis Presley's legendary TCB band.

The Story

As a child, Duke Bardwell heard one song by Elvis Presley and knew he wanted to be a musician. He was moved by the raw emotion and unabashed sentimentality of the ballad “Old Shep.” As Duke puts it, “That song about that old dog made me cry.” From that moment on, his destiny was set. But sometimes, Destiny has a cruel sense of humor.

Duke Bardwell is one of the greatest unheralded voices in the history of American music. A naturally gifted singer, Duke became the front man for The Greek Fountains, an R&B horn band that quickly evolved into the mold of the bands coming across the pond as part of the British Invasion.

He developed his songwriting skills playing bass for folk pioneer Tom Rush. In that world, Duke rubbed elbows with legendary singer-songwriters like Jackson Browne, Joni Mitchell and James Taylor.

His greatest shot at fame was lost with the collapse of what should have been one of the seminal bands of the ‘70s: Cold Gritz and The Black-Eyed Peas. An interracial Louisiana supergroup, Gritz scored an unprecedented recording contract with Lou Adler, then the hottest producer in the business. But it wasn’t to be.

Duke moved to Los Angeles. There he teamed up with former Greek Fountain and Tom Rush bandmate Casey Kelly to open for Loggins and Messina. Duke shared a duplex with Loggins, and he and Kenny challenged and influenced each other as writers and musicians. Loggins, of course, went on to be one of the biggest names in pop music of the ’80’s. Duke didn’t.

Duke soon found himself standing in the presence of The King. He landed a gig as bass player for Elvis’ TCB Band. But there’s danger in meeting one’s heroes.

Two men: one who should’ve been famous, the other more famous than any who came before or since — this is the story of Duke & The King.

The Status & The Needs

As of now, we’d say the film is about 95% shot. To really flesh out the story of Duke’s time with Elvis and be fair in our portrayal of that time, we need to shoot at least a few more interviews. This will offset the cost of shooting additional footage in Memphis during Elvis Week and in other iconic locations pertinent to the story like Tupelo, Baton Rouge and possibly Las Vegas and Lake Tahoe.

We have edited portions of this story, but will need to spend more time in the edit suite to really flesh them out and allow this story to breathe. Beyond that, we’ll also need to create additional custom graphics, fully color grade the film to create an overall look and edit and mix the sound.

We have amassed quite a library of archival photos and footage, but we will need to license even more to make this film compelling and do the story justice. We will also need to do high-quality scans and telecine transfer of some of the materials we already have.

Your Role

Join Duke and The King to become a member of Rock Royalty as we take this last big step toward completing the film. We think the story of Duke’s time with Elvis is a compelling one and an important piece of Rock & Roll history. Further, we think the world deserves to hear one of the great, unheralded voices in American music: Duke Bardwell. You can be a part of taking Duke’s story and Duke’s music to the world. Plus, you can get some pretty sweet swag to boot!

How it works

•We set a crowdfunding goal (funding by a crowd, ergo crowdfunding) and a deadline by which we hope to reach that goal. 

•If you wish to become a part of Team Duke, choose your Rock Royalty rank from the list at the right.

•Like Duke & The King on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

•Tell your friends about this Kickstarter campaign and invite them to be Rock Royalty, too!

•If we don’t reach our goal, you aren’t charged a thing.

•Anything above our goal only makes the film that much better.

•Once we reach our goal, we will start sending out rewards to all of our Rock Royalty. (DVDs, downloads of the film and screening opportunities will of course have to wait until the film is complete and released.)

•All members of Rock Royalty will receive regular email updates on the status of the film.

•A small percentage of your contribution will go to Kickstarter and Amazon Payments for hosting and handling the crowdfunding campaign.

Thank you for you time and consideration … and whatever support you can offer. Until we meet at the finish line, keep Taking Care of Business!

Check out the limited-edition "Duke & The King" T-shirts! ... emblazoned with the text: "A new film! ... brought to you by Me!" ... a fun way to literally show your support for helping to make Duke's film possible!

The “Royal Tour” reward is a must-have addition for any serious collector of Elvis memorabilia. Here’s what you get: A copy of the actual “Elvis Presley Tour Schedule” for June, 1974. This schedule was for TCB band and show members only — NOT for the public. This is a scan of Duke’s personal copy that he carried on the June, ’74 tour. The schedule is complete with an itinerary, listing arrival/departure dates, luggage call, hotels, destinations, rehearsal times, show times, concert locations, etc. … You can even see where Duke made hand-written notes in the margins about which outfits to wear at the various shows! In addition to the six-page tour schedule, you’ll also receive a print, featuring “Page 1” of the tour schedule next to a photograph of Duke & Elvis on tour in ’74 — both will include personal messages and autographs from Duke! No other collector of Elvis memorabilia will have anything like this ... guaranteed!

FAQ

  • We want nothing more than to share this film (and its sister project, Bayou Country) with the world. We just need these completion funds to take it to the finish line. As far as accountability goes, you'll be able to keep up with our progress through the email newsletter and our various social media accounts.

    Last updated:
  • Good question. The funds from this campaign are specifically for completing the film. However, the sooner the film is complete and in the marketplace, the sooner Duke can benefit from it. Duke is an active participant in this process, and we couldn't do any of it without his blessing and involvement.

    Last updated:
  • Our goal is to complete it this fall and then take it to a few film festivals in the Spring festival season before releasing it. If we do not get distribution through traditional channels, we will self-distribute the film as soon as next spring or summer.

    Last updated:
  • If you contribute at least $20, you won't have to worry your pretty little head about that. It'll come to you.

    Last updated:
  • Dread is an acoustic/Americana band mentored by Duke. In fact, Duke was once a member of the band. They've been described as being the next big thing in the tradition of Avett Bros. and Mumford & Sons. To get a sense of who they are, check out the link to our film about the band: Back From the Dread. (It's labeled classicdread.com down to the right.)

    Last updated:

Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $1 or more

    1 backer

    GENTLEMAN — Virtual handshakes and hugs, project updates via email newsletter ... and, of course, our eternal gratitude!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $5 or more

    0 backers

    ROYAL FAMILY MEMBER — Special thanks on the Duke & The King website, updates on the project via email newsletter, digital download of THREE singles from the soundtrack album and our undying gratitude!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $10 or more

    6 backers

    Squire — Everything listed above plus a digital download of the entire soundtrack album.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $20 or more

    5 backers

    Lord — Everything listed above plus a digital download of the entire film (when released).

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $30 or more

    23 backers

    Knight — Everything listed above plus a CD of the soundtrack album and a DVD of the completed film (when released).

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $30 or more

    2 backers

    Knight (alternate) — Same as Knight, but instead of receiving a DVD of the completed film, you’ll receive a DVD of the documentary Back from the Dread – about the band Dread Clampitt and featuring performances and interviews with Duke.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $30 or more

    5 backers

    Knight of Chivalry — Limited edition "Duke & The King" T-shirts! Emblazoned with the text: "A new film! ... brought to you by me!" A fun way to literally show your support for helping to make Duke's film possible. (Be sure to check out the t-shirt design at the bottom of this page.) Also at this level, you'll receive a digital download of the film (once it's released) as well as a digital download of the soundtrack album. Now that's a deal! (T-shirt also included with all levels $100 and above).

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $50 or more

    14 backers

    Prince — Everything listed above (including DVDs of both Duke & The King and Back from the Dread), plus a copy of Duke’s CD Angel’s Wings.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $75 or more

    3 backers

    The Royal Tour — This reward is a must-have addition for any serious collector of Elvis memorabilia. Here’s what you get: A copy of the actual “Elvis Presley Tour Schedule” for June, 1974. This schedule was for TCB band and show members only — NOT for the public. This is a scan of Duke’s personal copy that he carried on the June, ’74 tour. The schedule is complete with an itinerary, listing arrival/departure dates, luggage call, hotels, destinations, rehearsal times, show times, concert locations, etc. … You can even see where Duke made hand-written notes in the margins about which outfits to wear at the various shows! In addition to the six-page tour schedule, you’ll also receive a print, featuring “Page 1” of the tour schedule next to a photograph of Duke & Elvis on tour in ’74 — both will include personal messages and autographs from Duke! (SEE THE SAMPLE PRINT BELOW) No other collector of Elvis memorabilia has anything like this ... guaranteed!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    19 backers

    Baron — Everything listed above plus autographs from Duke on your CDs, an autographed contemporary photo of Duke, one bottle of Unca Duke’s Geaux Jus (Duke’s signature pepper sauce, available online and in select locations) and special thanks in the film’s credits.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $250 or more

    2 backers

    Earl — Everything listed above plus autographs from Duke and Dread Clampitt on your DVDs, a print of a vintage photo of Duke and Elvis, complete with Duke’s autograph and a personal letter of thanks from Duke and the filmmakers.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $275 or more

    1 backer Limited (3 left of 4)

    Viscount — Everything listed above plus a pair of cowboy boots autographed by Duke (from his own collection).

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $350 or more

    1 backer All gone!

    KINGS OF SWAMP FUNK - All the rewards of Viscount, except instead of the boots, you'll get a VERY RARE, specially framed copy of the Cold Gritz & The Black-Eyed Peas single, "Bayou Country," co-written by Duke. Also includes a press photo of Gritz, and it's all autographed by Duke. (See the mock-up above.)

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $1,000 or more

    1 backer

    Count — Everything listed above (except the boots) plus a limited edition movie print/poster and a 20-minute phone or Skype call with Duke.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $1,250 or more

    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    The Royal Touch — Everything listed above (except the boots) plus a limited edition movie print/poster and a 20-minute phone or Skype call with Duke, AND a new iPad. PLEASE NOTE: WE'RE ONLY OFFERING ONE OF THESE ... IT'S FIRST COME, FIRST SERVED!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $2,500 or more

    0 backers

    MONARCH — Everything listed above (except the boots) plus an Associate Producer credit on the film and two tickets to a screening of the film (travel and accommodations not included).

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $3,500 or more

    0 backers

    DUKE — All the rewards of the Count, plus a private concert by Duke (travel and accommodations not included).

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $3,500 or more

    1 backer Limited (1 left of 2)

    ROYAL Showcase -- At this level, you'll get the benefits of the EARL level, PLUS the production services of Self-Proclaimed Entertainment, makers of Duke & The King! Those include two 10-hour days of either production* with a two-person crew or post-production including editing, graphics and/or color grade ... or a combo of production and post services. This package is worth more than $7,000! PLUS a co-producer credit for one person or a logo credit for your company. (*Productions occurring more than 100 miles from Birmingham, Atlanta, Santa Rosa Beach, FL or Daytona, FL will incur additional charges for travel expenses. Productions within 100 miles of Santa Rosa Beach and Daytona will incur gas charges. A larger crew or equipment beyond a basic interview package will also incur additional charges. Client travel and expenses not included.)

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $5,000 or more

    1 backer Limited (2 left of 3)

    High Council — All the rewards of the Count, plus a private concert by Duke and Dread Clampitt (travel and accommodations not included).

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $5,000 or more

    0 backers

    King — All the rewards of the DUKE level, including the private show by Duke, PLUS a step up from Associate Producer to a Co-Producer credit on the film, an autographed Fender blacktop bass similar to the one Duke played with Elvis and a dinner with Duke and the filmmakers (travel and accommodations not included).

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $5,000 or more

    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    King (alternate - 1 available) — All the rewards of the Duke level, plus an appearance in the film (must be an Elvis historian or blogger), an autographed Fender blacktop bass similar to the one Duke played with Elvis and a dinner with Duke and the filmmakers (travel and accommodations not included).

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $5,000 or more

    0 backers

    $5,000 - ROYALTY-FREE - At this level, you'll get the benefits of the EARL level, PLUS the production services of Self-Proclaimed Entertainment, makers of Duke & The King! Those include four 10-hour days of either production* with a two-person crew or post-production including editing, graphics and/or color grade ... or a combo of production and post services. This package is worth more than $10,000! PLUS a co-producer credit for one person or a logo credit for your company.  (*Productions occurring more than 100 miles from Birmingham, Atlanta, Santa Rosa Beach, FL or Daytona, FL will incur additional charges for travel expenses. Productions within 100 miles of Santa Rosa Beach and Daytona will incur gas charges. A larger crew or equipment beyond a basic interview package will also incur additional charges. Client travel and expenses not included.)

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $7,500 or more

    0 backers Limited (2 left of 2)

    Emperor — All the rewards of the KING level, PLUS an upgrade of the live performance to include Dread Clampitt, an Executive Producer credit on the film (upgrade from Assoc. or Co-Producer), an acoustic Blueridge guitar (like the one Duke plays in the film) signed by Duke and a private screening with Duke and the filmmakers (travel and accommodations not included).

    Estimated delivery:

Funding period

- (45 days)