The success of ‘Straight Outta Compton‘ proves if you tell a good story they will come. HBO had success with ‘Bessie’. There is the promise of the Marvin Gaye movie that has been sitting in the cooler forever.
Here are movies that if handled well, will tell the stories that need to be told.
#6 The story of the Warner Music Family should be told. The intrigue of the label’s life can be recorded for all generations to see. The glory days of the labels are over, but boy was it a ride while it lasted!It can shed light on the names that young music fans don’t know but should know.Elektra was formed in 1950 by Jac Holzman and Paul Rickolt in Holzman’s St. John’s College dorm room. Ahmet Ertegun convinced the family dentist, Dr Vahdi Sabit, to invest $10,000 and recruited Herb Abramson, a dentistry student. Finally, they can tell the story of Mo Ostin. It would be a fun just to watch some of the legendary stories come alive. This film would be the musical ‘Good Fellas’ of its time.
#5 Rick Springfield. His bio is an adventure from page to page. The story of his major American success. The early days of labels teaming up to make stars is incredible. Springfield published his autobiography, Late, Late at Night: A Memoir. It is a cautionary tale that reveals what happens when fame comes through and depression takes grip. Rick’s story begins at the age of 13 when he takes a gig and plays his first played guitar, and he joined various bands in England. The rest of his story is a ride of excess, success and surprises.
#4 Motley Crue The movie for The Dirt has been in development hell for years. There are pages out of the book that belong on the screen. The house on Sunset is just enough to make you squeamish. Hopefully someone takes the handles on this project and gets it made. Founding member Nikki Sixx’s journey out of Seattle to Los Angeles is a great place to start. It would be interesting to see how Nikki, Tommy and Vince develop into the men they would become.
#3 The Story of Motown needs to be told from the prospectives of those who lived and created it. Berry Gordy and Smokey Robinson deserve a movie. We have seen a movie about the Temptations and a movie that alludes to their life in Dreamgirls. Both men have written wonderful books about their lives. They are the originators of the sound that changed America. Berry dropped out of high school in the eleventh grade to become a professional boxer in hopes of becoming rich quick. Ironically, Berry was drafted for the Korean War. Most if not all of the acts that came out of the Motown family had links back to Gordy. Berry’s story alone is worthy of a tale. Gordy’s gift for identifying and bringing together musical talent, along with the careful management of his artists’ public image, made Motown initially a major national and then international success.
#2 Duran Duran The band’s controversial videos, which included partial nudity and suggestions of sexuality, became popular in the early 1980s on the then-new music video channel, MTV. Duran Duran were among the first bands to have their videos shot by professional directors with 35 mm film movie cameras, which gave their videos a much more polished look than was standard at the time. In 1984, the band were early innovators with video technology in their live stadium shows; they were the first major act to provide video screens above the stage to bring the action closer to the audience in the rear. They should start with the Live-Aid concert and work backwards.
The #1 story is Soul Music’s Heroes. They can do a wrap and weave of Jackie Wilson, Otis Redding and Sam Cooke. These three men were far wiser and more talented than people know. Otis Redding helped bring to life the legendary label of Stax. They could call it Souled Out.
These films would bring it all together in one place. Once upon a time we told good tales on the silver screen.Hollywood could get back some of its sparkle if it would venture into telling the stories of these artists.