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.
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.
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.
•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!
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