Cameron Crowe’s first film since his Academy Award®-nominated hit “Jerry Maguire” captures a pivotal time in the history of rock and roll. Set in 1973, it chronicles the funny and often poignant coming of age of 15-year-old William (Patrick Fugit), an unabashed music fan who is inspired by the seminal bands of the time.
When his love of music lands him an assignment from Rolling Stone magazine to interview the up-and-coming band Stillwater-fronted by lead guitar Russell Hammond (Billy Crudup) and lead singer Jeff Bebe (Jason Lee)William embarks on an eye-opening journey with the band’s tour, despite the objections of his protective mother (Frances McDormand). With the help of the lovely “band aid” Penny Lane (Kate Hudson), William finds himself drawn into the band’s inner circle. But as he becomes less an observer and more a participant in the band’s dynamics, the fledgling reporter loses the objectivity to tell his story honestly, and learns a lifechanging lesson about the importance of family-the ones we inherit, and the ones we create.
DreamWorks Pictures presents a Vinyl Films Production, “Almost Famous,” starring Billy Crudup (“Without Limits”), Academy Award® winner Frances McDormand (“Fargo”), Kate Hudson (“200 Cigarettes”), Jason Lee (“Chasing Amy”), newcomer Patrick Fugit, Oscar winner Anna Paquin (“The Piano”), Fairuza Balk (“The Waterboy”), Noah Taylor (“Shine”) and Philip Seymour Hoffman (“The Talented Mr. Ripley”).
Written and directed by double Academy Award® nominee Cameron Crowe (“Jerry Maguire”), the film is produced by Crowe and Oscar nominee Ian Bryce (“Saving Private Ryan”). Lisa Stewart is the co-producer.
ABOUT THE PRODUCTION
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN…
He’s only 15 years old and backstage at a rock concert, welcomed into the inner sanctum of the bands he idolizes. It would be a heady experience for any teenager, but it was especially so for one whose ambitions and ideals had been formed by the music of the day. And it was the experience that would shape his life for many years to come.
The above could be referring to William Miller, the boy whose coming of age is at the heart of “Almost Famous,” or it could be a page out of the life of the film’s creator Cameron Crowe. Like his young protagonist, Crowe had gotten his start as a rock journalist at the age of 15. In 1973, when he was just 16, he joined the staff of Rolling Stone magazine, where he eventually became an associate editor. While still in his teens, the young writer and avid music fan profiled many of the era’s most influential artists. The experience had a profound effect on Crowe, and over the years, as he turned from journalism to filmmaking, he attempted to bring the essence of that story to the screen.
“I wanted to find a way to tell a story that captured the people I’ll never forget, and the feelings I had meeting the bands, doing interviews, going to see shows…,” Crowe offers. “I didn’t want it to be like some of those semi-autobiographical stories that glorify the writer because the truth is I never felt like the center of any room I was in at that time. I was an observer. That’s what the character of William Miller is – he’s an observer.”
Crowe continues, “William gets a front row seat at the circus’ and ultimately has to go home and write about it and betray some of the confidences and secrets he’s learned about people he idolizes. But he has a chance to see what happens behind the curtain, and I know I felt enormously privileged to have been given that opportunity. That’s how I decided to tell the story. It wasn’t until it became personal that it became a movie worth making. When I took that jump, it was very scary, but then stuff started to pour out of me, and the story became larger than just about rock in 1973. It became about music and how it affected me and my family, and how it still affects me today.”
Producer Ian Bryce adds, “Obviously, this is a very personal movie to Cameron, but I think it is a story with which we can all empathize. The music and the period will appeal to anyone, whether you were there or not; these are legendary rock titles that people are still listening to today. And we all have personal memories about being 15. The coming-of-age story of this kid, his relationship with the band, his first journey away from home, his first love … these are timeless elements.”
“Almost Famous” is told almost entirely through the eyes of William Miller, whose ardent appreciation of rock music completely changes his life, as well as the lives of the band and those in their circle. Crowe says, “That’s the framework of the movie: a novice journalist trying to serve his desire to write a great story while staying friends with the guys in the band who are cooler than anyone he knows. He wants them to like him, and that’s the test. It’s about finding your place in the world … and what that world would have been like if you were swept along in the circus of rock in 1973.”
Casting director Gail Levin launched a nationwide search for a teenage actor who not only embodied what they were looking for in William, but could carry so much of the weight of the film on his young shoulders. “We needed to find somebody not just to speak the dialogue but also be an observer of the world-wide-eyed and open-an actor who could capture the character’s idealism,” Crowe explains. “We held a nationwide casting search, though I still thought we’d probably end up with a Hollywood actor. Then, thanks to Gail’s tireless searching, the answer to our prayers walked into the room.”
The answer to which Crowe is referring came in the form of an unknown talent from Utah named Patrick Fugit, whose audition tape was among the hundreds sent in from all over the country for the coveted role. After months of face-to-face and taped auditions, the filmmakers caught something special in Fugit’s performance. “We put this tape in and there was William Miller,” Crowe attests. “Patrick was funny and kind of awkward and not jaded in the slightest. He was just a raw talent.”
The filmmakers flew Fugit out from Utah to meet with Crowe, who recalls, “Patrick had never even been to L.A. before and you could see he was taking it all in. He conveyed that feeling of being a fan, and I immediately felt we were close to something. I think I really knew we could make this movie when I met Patrick.”
As it turned out, Fugit’s ability to appear the awestruck fan required no acting on his part. “I was terrified and nervous and excited all at the same time,” he confesses, “which really helped me relate to this character. This was a new world for me, so there are a lot of comparisons to William’s experiences. It was my first movie, my first sex scene, my first onscreen kiss, and on and on… I could put all that into what William was feeling. It wasn’t exactly the same, but I could apply similar feelings and it worked.
“William’s probably never been outside of San Diego, and he doesn’t really have any friends, but he’s a true fan, so it’s hard for him to not want to be friends with the rock stars he idolizes. He wants to fit in and have them think he’s cool, but, in fact, he acts as a kind of mirror for them; they get to see how cool they are through his eyes. Then there’s Lester Bangs, his mentor, telling him to be merciless and not to make friends with the rock stars, so William is caught in the middle,” Fugit expounds.
There were obvious parallels between William’s experiences and those of Cameron Crowe at the same age. In researching his role, Fugit went back and read many of Crowe’s articles from his days as a rock journalist, though the actor also worked hard to make William his own person and not an imitation of the director. Nevertheless, Fugit could not help but be inspired by Crowe’s passion for the music-nor would Crowe have accepted anything less.
Not even born in 1973, Fugit had no personal recollection of the seminal music of the decade, except perhaps for an occasional song heard on classic rock radio. Crowe remedied that with a vast cross-section of musical “homework.” Fugit explains, “He gave me all these albums from Led Zeppelin, The Who, Neil Young, David Bowie, Peter Frampton… He told me, ‘I want this stuff coming out of your pores.’ I started out listening to the albums for the character, but now I listen to it religiously. The music and those bands have become a big part of my life away from the film.”
The band that became a big part of Fugit’s life in the film is Stillwater, whose charismatic lead guitarist, Russell Hammond, befriends the fledgling reporter even as he stalls William’s efforts to get the story he needs. Starring as Russell is Billy Crudup, who believes his character accepts William into the band’s inner circle because Russell sees something in him with which he identifies.
“Russell has a strong appreciation for the music and the value it’s had in his life, and he never takes that for granted. He recognizes that same appreciation in the kid, so there’s nothing strange about them responding to each other on the level of the music. Russell finds William a refreshing reprieve from the complications that are starting to come from the band’s newfound success,” Crudup observes.
“Essentially, I think he doing what he loves to do, but as he becomes more famous, he suddenly finds himself in the position of being a hero to his fans. It was intriguing to play a musician who suddenly finds himself in a position of responsibility – to those fans, to his band – and to see how he reacts to that,” Crudup notes, adding, “That’s one of the things that drew me to the story: it offers an inside perspective of the people who make the music, as well as those who are their fans, and shows how important those fans are to musicians, inspiring them to be better. It’s also about fame and success and how that affects friendship and love, all of which interested me. I’m also a huge fan of Cameron Crowe’s. I admire his ability to get at emotional truths through humor.”
Crowe, in turn, admired that Crudup found the emotional truth of the person beneath the rock star. “Billy portrayed Russell as an articulate, intelligent guy who loves music, but is a conflicted man-someone who has values but also lapses. Billy created a real, believable character who happens to be a musician, as opposed to a guy who just wanted to bash a guitar around. He played him from the inside out, to the point where I think he passed into a phase where he didn’t even have to think about it anymore. He just became Russell Hammond.”
Crudup was teamed with actor Jason Lee, playing lead singer Jeff Bebe, and real-life musicians Mark Kozelek and John Fedevich, to form the band Stillwater. Together they began to hone the dynamics that would define and divide the group, primarily the conflict between Hammond and Bebe that arises from the band’s growing popularity. Lee says, “As the band becomes more successful, it becomes more and more of a dilemma for Jeff because Russell seems to be getting all of the attention. It upsets him because the band means so much to him, as does his friendship with Russell. I loved that when they are on stage it’s all forgotten, but when the lights go up, the problems are still there. I thought it would be interesting to explore all that.”
The friction between the two bandmates is not the only problematic relationship in Russell’s life. He is also ambivalently involved with the luminously alluring young woman cryptically named Penny Lane, the leader of the group’s devoted “band aids.” Further complicating matters is William, who can’t help but fall in love with the captivating beauty who is the life of every party.
Kate Hudson had originally read for another role in the film, but the director later recognized that the role of Penny Lane was made for her. “Kate was a revelation,” Crowe states. “She possesses this great combination of sexiness, charm, great confidence, and even greater vulnerability, which could just as easily describe Penny Lane. And just like Penny, Kate lights up a room just by entering it. As a director, you put the camera on her and you never want to cut away. You just want to watch her.”
At the same time, the director notes that Hudson also captured the quiet longing of a girl in love with the up-and-coming rock star Russell Hammond, who, for all his charisma, could also be extremely selfish.
For Kate Hudson those conflicting emotions made her character all the more fascinating. “There’s an innocence to Penny even though she’s seen and done a lot,” Hudson comments. “I think she does have a sense that she’s got something special, that she can make it a party just by walking into a room. But then there’s the part of her that is trying to latch onto something that really isn’t there for her. The problem is that Penny found her home and family in the music world. Her downfall comes when it’s not about the music anymore.”
That feeling of family is echoed by Fairuza Balk and Anna Paquin, who play Sapphire and Polexia, two of Penny Lane’s fellow “band aids.” “Every band had their set of fans who were truly devoted to them, but Cameron wanted to make sure we got across that these girls really cared about each other as much as the band. It was very much a family feeling,” Balk says.
However, Paquin points out, “There is a big difference between a groupie and a ‘band aid.’ A ‘band aid’ is there because they’re passionate about the music and want to support the band. They’re more like muses. I’m not sure that the guys understand the subtle difference,” she smiles, “but it’s very real to the girls.”
Despite being drawn into the family dynamics of the Stillwater tour, William does have a real family of his own. His sister Anita, played by Zooey Deschanel, provides the catalyst for William’s passion for music in the form of her record collection. But it is his mother, Elaine, who remains an inescapable presence in his life, even in her absence.
Elaine has serious misgivings about her teenage son being on the road with a rock band and makes no secret of her suspicions about the corrupting cliche of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. As the generation gap between Elaine and William widens, the results are often comic and poignant, a difficult balance to achieve and one that required an exceptionally accomplished and astute actress. Crowe found the perfect combination in Frances McDormand.
“I was so thrilled to have an actress of Frances’ caliber in this part because in many ways this movie is a tribute to my mom, too. My mother was and is a warrior for knowledge and Frances created a character who is very much like that for William. Elaine discovers that while sex, drugs and rock’n’roll is a cliche that is often true, it is also possible to pass through that world as an observer, having learned from it but not having been consumed by it. Likewise, my mom saw the pitfalls of rock and roll, but later saw the value in it, and now she’s a big rock fan,” Crowe reveals.
If McDormand lent Elaine a certain veracity, it was because the actress viewed her quirks as something beyond eccentric. “I didn’t think of Elaine as eccentric. Maybe it’s because I’m eccentric, or at least people think I am. Rather, I think she is an original. Other people might think of her as a little too rigid or too preoccupied with her children, but my take on her is that she is a woman who is raising her kids on her own the only way she knows how,” McDormand comments.
She continues that, like her son, Elaine also “comes of age” and makes some crucial discoveries about herself and her family. “She is a smart woman who has taught her kids to learn from their mistakes, but she realizes through the course of the film that she also has a lot to learn from her own mistakes.”
For McDormand, however, the most challenging thing about her role was portraying Elaine’s reservations about rock and roll. This was even true between takes when Crowe would play a song from the 1970s in advance of the scene to set the tone for the actors. Ironically, for McDormand – who had been in high school in the ’70s and loves hard rock – it made it that much harder for her to stay in character. In fact, on one particular day Crowe chose Black Sabbath’s “Iron Man,” and she stood up and started playing air guitar and rocking to the music to the amusement of the entire cast and crew.
Crowe admits that there were times when directing McDormand in the role of Elaine Miller took on a certain surreal quality. “It was very hard having my mom on the set while directing Frances,” he notes. “There’s no way to escape the oddity of it. In front of me was a woman playing a version of my mother and behind me was my mother. There was no place to hide.”
There was one other very influential person in Crowe’s life whose presence he often felt looking over his shoulder on the set: the brilliant, irrepressible and uncompromising rock writer Lester Bangs. It is Lester whom William comes to trust and confide in, just as a young Cameron Crowe had once done.
“Lester is no longer with us, but I’ll never forget him. He was larger than life. His raging voice has always stayed with me, and that passion is hard to come by. I heard his voice often while making this movie,” Crowe reflects.
Philip Seymour Hoffman was honored to be entrusted with portraying this person who was so important to the director. “Cameron talked to me about who Lester was and what he had meant to him, and then I read the script. It was one of those times when I knew the part was something I had to do. One of the things that excited me the most about playing Lester was Cameron’s love for the man, but it also challenged me to be really true to him. I had to do right by Lester, not only for me, but for Cameron because he was his friend. When I showed up on that set I wanted to capture Lester’s essence and passion, because I knew Cameron would know the difference.”
Apparently, Hoffman hit the mark because Crowe states, “Philip never met Lester-just read his stuff and listened to tapes-but he found Lester. It was a beautiful thing.”
ROCK AND ROLL
There was no character in the film – individually or as a group – for which veracity was more important than the band Stillwater. To that end, Crowe enrolled actors Billy Crudup and Jason Lee and musicians Mark Kozelek and John Fedevich in what affectionately became known as Rock and Roll School. The “headmaster” of this unique tutorial was none other than Peter Frampton, who had more than a passing knowledge of the rock and roll milieu of the 1970s, having been one of its icons. His album Frampton Comes Alive! had been the best-selling live album of all time … and just happened to feature liner notes written by a young journalist named Cameron Crowe.
Frampton recalls, “When we recorded Frampton Comes Alive! in 1975, my management told me about this whiz kid who was 16 and already working at Rolling Stone. They suggested I play him the album, and if he liked it, he might do the liner notes. I remember sitting with Cameron in the studio – just like William with his notepad in the film – and we were fast friends from then on. And now I’m working for him,” he adds laughing.
“I wanted Peter to be a part of this movie,” Crowe says. “I’d always loved the guy, and what he did on this picture was very selfless. His joy of music infected everyone on the set. Peter helped these guys become a real band, not just go through the motions. He gave them practical lessons on playing and singing, but more importantly, he taught them the heart of a musician.”
While Kozelek and Fedevich were real musicians who played bass and drums respectively in their own bands, Crudup and Lee immersed themselves in a crash course in music basics, as well as rock and roll stage attitude.
Frampton offers, “Coming into the film, Billy knew how to hold a guitar, play a few chords and do some fingering … very basic stuff. We didn’t have a lot of time before shooting, so I wasn’t able to teach him the ABCDEs of guitar, all the way through to Z; we sort of went A-D-K. But he was such a willing pupil, it became almost an intuitive thing. He was jamming with the band incredibly fast. It was absolutely amazing. What thrills me the most is that Billy picked up the guitar for the role, but hasn’t put it down, and has permanently joined the ranks of rock and roll guitarists.”
After weeks of rehearsal, the new band took to the stage of the San Diego Sports Arena for their first concert scene. The backstage area, stripped of its contemporary advertising and decoration, became a hallway of memories of the arena where Black Sabbath, The Allman Brothers and, of course, Peter Frampton, were among those who played to sell-out crowds in the 1970s. Colorful rock and roll lights hung on trusses above the stage, which was loaded with vintage Marshall amplifiers. Classic Gibson and Fender guitars waited in the wings. It all made for a thrilling, nerve-jangling setting for the actors-cum-musicians to make their debut as Stillwater.
Lee says, “The lights went down, Noah Taylor, who plays Dick, our road manager, announced the band, and 200 extras started screaming. It felt like an actual show and my adrenaline pumped with every take. I think I felt what Peter or any other musician must have felt – or feels now – on that stage.”
Crudup was equally blown away by the experience. Though he had performed for live audiences in the theatre, he agrees that the experience of playing music for screaming fans evokes an entirely different feeling. “The way people look at you when you play music is like nothing I’ve experienced in plays. When you’re doing a play, it is the character who is out front and even if you get a standing ovation at the end, it’s not the same immediate gratification. The first time we actually played in front of people and I saw the looks on their faces, it was startling. I suddenly understood the behavior of many musicians, because they have so much license from the fans who have given them that kind of power.”
One of those fans was Kate Hudson, who was surprised to find herself as caught up in the show as Penny Lane would have been. “When the guys hit the stage, I couldn’t believe it. I mean, this was a full-on rock and roll concert. It was incredible.”
But no one was more thrilled and gratified than the director himself. “It was a miracle to me that the band found their voice so quickly,” Crowe affirms. “Going into the film, my biggest fear was that they would look like a movie band, but I think they captured the feeling of a real band in that era. They looked and sounded like a genuine journeyman American band trying to make it to the next level. I was actually sorry that these guys would go in four different directions when our movie wrapped. I want to see them play again.”
A similar scene unfolded later in the shooting schedule at Los Angeles’ Hollywood Palladium, which doubled for the arena in Cleveland. Crowe watched the concert on the video monitor with rapt enthusiasm as four cameras captured the action.
Collaborating for the first time with two-time Oscar -winning cinematographer John Toll, Crowe employed a variety of camera techniques in the course of filming. The two utilized swiftly moving Steadicam shots to project William’s point of view as the neophyte reporter is whisked into the commotion backstage at a Stillwater concert.
Crowe and Toll also made use of a dolly track to move with the characters through the shots. More often than not, however, the camera team relied on a static camera, which allowed the actors to drive the scene.
“John Toll is a genius,” Crowe says. “Before we began filming, I talked to him about how I remembered the 70s and the feeling I wanted to capture. He took it all in and worked on that look. What he ended up achieving was pretty amazing. The movie doesn’t feel like somebody’s golden hazed memory; it feels like it’s happening right now.”
EVERYTHING OLD IS NEW AGAIN
Making 1973 feel like the present extended from camera and lighting techniques to the more tangible aspects of costumes and sets. It fell to art directors Clay A. Griffith and Clayton R. Hartley and costume designer Betsy Heimann to bring back the decor and fashion of the early ’70s – not in the retro sense of today’s styles, but as they were back then.
Crowe’s own collection of memorabilia and mementos were invaluable references. They also studied old periodicals and teen magazines, and sat through an assortment of 1970s films. Griffith offers, “Every night, we would watch two or three films to recall the feel of the decade, as well as to get the popular culture right. We also watched ‘rockumentaries’ like ‘Mad Dogs & Englishmen,’ which follows Joe Cocker on tour on a bus, which was perfect.”
Neutral colors and earth tones were extremely trendy fashion choices in 1973, so Heimann designed many of the costumes in browns, olives and golds, with pops of orange and scarlet. At the same time, there was a contrasting trend of red, white and blue, which is also seen in the wardrobe.
The costume designer had fun with the bold combinations of fabrics, patterns and shapes that were prevalent in the eclectic fashions of 70s rock and roll. Lace, gauze, velvet, fringe, bell-bottoms, florals, cowboy hats, pattern on pattern, and texture on texture all appear in varying degrees in Heimann’s wardrobe designs. In addition, all of the t-shirts were custom-made to reflect sayings and images of the period.
Heimann worked closely with the principal cast to establish each character’s individual style. “I tried to mesh the costumes not only with the character but with the actors playing them,” she explains. “For instance, less was more with Kate Hudson, who has such an angelic look and whose character is both innocent and sensual. She wears mostly diaphanous shirts, eyelet lace tank tops, brown velvet pants and, of course, that long faux fur-collared coat that was so popular in its day.”
As for the band, Heimann describes the look as “rock stars as cowboy outlaws.” She adds that there was a subtle but key difference between lead singer Jeff Bebe and lead guitar Russell Hammond. “Jeff is more showy than Russell, so we dressed Jason Lee in more outrageous colors and more velvets, and the jeans he wears on stage are studded. Billy Crudup, as Russell, had a more all-American look, with basic jeans, boots, and t-shirts. His look is effortless and unstudied. The irony is that the harder Jeff Bebe tries to be noticed, the more everyone turns to Russell,” Heimann observes.
Of all the cast, it is Patrick Fugit whose wardrobe undergoes the greatest transformation, corresponding to the evolution of his character. Heimann notes, “When we first meet William living at home in San Diego, he wears t-shirts and jeans. As he travels with the band, he begins to dress more like them, and his appearance is less put together.”
The art directors applied a similarly contrasting style to the settings to reflect the changes in William’s world as he steps out into what Crowe calls “the circus of rock and roll.” Griffith and Hartley incorporated three separate color palettes: one for William’s life in San Diego; another for the exteriors as the band traveled on the road; and a third for the interiors of the various motels and hotels in which they stay. The first was designed using softer color combinations so that when William hits the road, there was a distinct color contrast, though not an explosion of color. Like Heimann, Griffith and Hartley incorporated the popular earth tones of the ’70s, so we see subtle hues of browns, greens and yellows juxtaposed with a lot of orange in the decor. The famed New York hangout Max’s Kansas City added contrasts of its own with its deep reds and black, which would have been the antithesis of anything in William’s San Diego home.
Throughout the filming of “Almost Famous” alternate locations often doubled for the actual settings of the story. One major exception was the lobby of the infamous Hyatt House Hotel-nicknamed the “Riot House” – on Los Angeles’ Sunset Strip. The current incarnation of the hotel is much more staid than it had been in the 70s when it was the hub of the Los Angeles rock scene. Resurrecting its raucous past was no easy task.
The lobby had been completely remodeled, so the art directors and their team gutted the main floor to bring it back to 1973. They discovered the original carpet design in a video of Rob Reiner’s mockumentary “This Is Spinal Tap” and dutifully recreated yards and yards of the colorful pattern. They brought in the appropriate 1970s fixtures, all faux brass and mottled glass. The biggest coup, however, was discovering the original staircase, hidden behind a bulwark of dry wall.
Griffith recalls, “On our initial scout, Cameron said, ‘I remember this lobby being bigger.’ So, we asked the hotel for the original floor plans, and discovered that in 1973 there was a big staircase in the corner of the lobby where a big wall now stood. We convinced the hotel owners to let us to knock it down, and lo and behold, there was the original marble terrazzo staircase.”
Visual cues notwithstanding, Crowe states, “The true inspiration of the movie is music. It’s about that feeling you have when you’ve just discovered a song, and you listen to it ten times in a row. You might eventually get sick of the song, but for that moment, you’re ageless, you’re timeless, you’re in your own private universe. That’s a feeling I think only music can give you. I wanted to do a movie that tapped you on the shoulder and said, ‘I’ve felt that way too.’ But if you’re going to declare so openly that you love music, you should show why you love it so much, so the goal was to write a love letter back to music.”
Collaborating with composer Nancy Wilson and music supervisor Danny Bramson, Crowe incorporated both score and songs to evoke the period as well as the emotions of “Almost Famous.” Fans of 1970s music will recognize the music of some of the most influential artists of the day, including Led Zeppelin, The Who, Elton John, Black Sabbath, Joni Mitchell, Yes, Simon & Garfunkel, The Allman Brothers, and more.
In addition, Crowe and Wilson collaborated pseudonymously to write several of the original songs performed by Stillwater in the movie, including “Fever Dog,” and “Love Thing,” while Wilson’s sister, Ann, joined the songwriting team on “Chance Upon You.” Peter Frampton also contributed to Stillwater’s “discography,” co-writing the songs “Hour of Need” and “You Had to Be There.”
Wilson offers, “Music has the power to transport you. The songs from that era can bring you back to that time and can even make you remember what you were feeling when you first heard them. Creating an original score to complement and work around the songs in the film was a delicate balance.”
“The songs are a souvenir of that time for me,” Crowe reflects. “And the artists-some of them are still in the spotlight, some have been forgotten-but these were people who were mythic to me, and I wanted to say, I remember them, support them, love them’; they were great to me. I think the lesson is that the music is to be treasured along with the memories, and I’m very proud that so many of those artists supported us and valued what we were doing by letting us use their songs in the movie.”
He concludes, “In some ways, doing this movie was my way of saying thank you to the people who spoke to me and reached me and changed my life: my mom, my favorite bands, my sister, Lester Bangs, and the girls that taught me a little bit about love along the way. Those times and places and people are unforgettable to me. It was a time that in some people’s eyes is ancient history … but it was just around the last corner and hopefully we caught a whiff of it with this movie.”
Courtesy of DreamWorks SKG