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Published and Online Reviews
Latest Features/Reviews
• The Advocate - Baton Rouge
• GT Weekly - Santa Cruz
• Shreveport Times, Louisiana

• Live for Films
• NY Post
"I love this film and didn’t want it to end. Whether you’re a music lover in general or a baby boomer harboring affection for the tunes of your time, make a beeline for any theater showing The Wrecking Crew.  It’s a gem"    Read the entire article...

- Leonard Maltin
"Their story has taken 19 years to reach the screen. IT HAS BEEN WORTH THE WAIT. An invaluable record of a kind of rock golden age"    Read the entire article...

- Kenneth Turan - , Los Angeles Times
"The Wrecking Crew - Best Movie Documentary You've Never Seen"    Read the entire article...

- Rock Cellar Magazine
"You're not likely to have a better time at the movies all year. A staggering lesson in uncharted music history."    Read the entire article...

Scott Marks - San Diego Reader
A treasure trove of witness-at-creation anecdotes and enduringly potent '60s pop classics, "The Wrecking Crew" is a well-nigh irresistible treat for aficionados of music from the era when acts like the Beach Boys, the Association and the Monkees were topping the charts. Pic celebrates a loose-knit group of largely unknown (except by industry insiders) session musicians, many of whom supplied the defining licks and backbeats -- and in some cases, actually played instruments for band members -- on legendary recordings. Nostalgia-drenched rockumentary should score impressively as cable fare, homevid product and public television fund-raiser. read more...
- Joe Leydon, Variety
Mr. Tedesco's plight underlies the difficulties that the makers of music documentaries increasingly face. As the recording industry has seen its sales tumble by more than half since 2000, labels are intent on squeezing every bit of profit out of songs in their catalogs. Licensing that music to films -- whether big Hollywood productions or modestly budgeted documentaries -- is an attractive source of revenue.

"It's harder now, because the music industry needs those licensing fees," said Eddie Schmidt, who has just finished a three-year term as president of the International Documentary Association. "If you're making a film about a singer-songwriter, that person might have some influence over what gets licensed. But here the people who are your subjects aren't necessarily the names on the records, so you have to go to third parties and say, 'What's your price?' "    Read the entire article...

- Larry Rohter, New York Times
A new documentary tells the story of the Wrecking Crew, a collective of Los Angeles musicians who played on hits by the Righteous Brothers, the Beach Boys, the Byrds and many others. Directed by Denny Tedesco, son of the late guitarist Tommy Tedesco, The Wrecking Crew features interviews with Brian Wilson, Cher, Roger McGuinn, and famed Crew members like Bassist Carol Kaye and drummer Hal Blaine. "These guys were chameleons," Tedesco says. "They went from Phil Spector to Nancy Sinatra to the Beach Boys. They always had to sound like somebody else." The film is currently playing festivals and is seeking theatrical distribution.
- Rolling Stone
They're the L.A. studio musicians who played on Glen Campbell's early hits, including "Gentle on My Mind" and "By the Time I Get to Phoenix," and countless other songs that became part of America's soundtrack during the '60s and '70s. One of their biggest admirers, Denny Tedesco, remains on a mission to tell their story in the film documentary, The Wrecking Crew.   Read the entire article...

- Calvin Gilbert, CMT News
One of the movie's most interesting clips is from an interview with Frank Zappa, originally part of a 30-minute profile about his father that Denny made in college, previously only aired on local PBS. The senior Tedesco was the class clown of the Wrecking Crew. As is fairly well known (even legendary) in the guitar community, he won TV's "Gong Show" by playing guitar and singing a song about being a washed up studio has-been -- dressed like a 300-pound ballerina. "This is where it got interesting for me," Denny says. "We showed Frank Zappa a clip of my father on 'The Gong Show' and expected some funnycomment from him. Instead, he came back with a very serious commentary about how the recording business works in L.A. At the time I was disappointed, but only years later did I understand the impact of his comments. It's as if he said, 'Hey, you might want to take a look at this in 25 years.'   Read the entire article...

- Dan Forte, Vintage Guitar
"Growing up in the San Fernando Valley in the '60s, Denny Tedesco didn't think his dad was different from anybody else's father in the neighborhood. He'd walk through the door each evening after work, kiss his wife and greet the kids. Then he'd ask the same question: "Any calls?"

Instead of working in an office, however, Tommy Tedesco filled his days reeling off twangy riffs that became the musical signatures of TV shows such as "Bonanza" and "Batman" along with the atmospheric acoustic guitar intro for the Mamas & the Papas' "California Dreamin'" and colorful leads and fills on hits for Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, the Beach Boys, the Monkees and countless others. "    Read the entire article...

- Randy Lewis, Los Angeles Times
Tedesco captures their tumultuous, raucous world in interviews (with participants such as Brian Wilson, Herb Alpert, Campbell and other surviving sidemen), a staggering soundtrack of 130 recordings featuring the musicians and Blaine's voluminous collection of session snapshots. read more...
- San Francisco Chronicle, SF Gate (pink section)
You'll gawk open-mouthed at the first hour of Denny Tedesco's documentary tribute to his father, guitarist Tommy Tedesco, and the astonishing group of Los Angeles studio musicians who were his friends, and so much more.

When Tedesco left Niagara Falls for L.A. there was absolutely no way he could know that he and the musician friends he'd make — who'd come to be called The Wrecking Crew - would become the musicians in America's national soundtrack for an entire generation - plus...

...This is a man's heartfelt tribute to an extraordinary father and his equally extraordinary friends and what they managed to accomplish in the world. If you have ever loved a record — any record — between 1960 and 1980, you've probably loved their work. And you'll find this movie deeply touching, very funny and a revelation.
- Jeff Simon
(out of 4)

I give it four stars out of four -- and it deserves an extra one.
- Honolulu Star
(out of 4)

Selected as one of the Top Ten Classic Rock Documentaries

The Wrecking Crew is everything good about independent film. There is a feeling of intimacy with the picture and the audience is connected and brought back to a time long past. The story gets right to the point and does not use any of the glamour or hype tactics that more commercial films often do.

These men and one woman are the unsung heroes of sixties style rock and roll, and while the movie could have been "in your face" about how the events transpired the story is told with humility, and firmly gives credit where credit is due.
- Nathan Seaward

Much like Standing In the Shadows Of Motown, The Wrecking Crew tells the inside story of the studio musicians who played on the many hit records recorded in Los Angeles in the 1960s, including songs by The Byrds, The Beach Boys, Sonny & Cher, numerous Phil Spector productions and countless, countless others. Basically examining the music that became "the soundtrack to our lives," this is a nostalgia trip well worth taking.
- Mitch Myers

This movie is a loving and revealing look at the gang of LA studio musicians who shaped the west coast pop sound of the '60s. Among the talking heads are Brian Wilson, Jimmy Webb, Herb Alpert & Lou Adler, Micky Dolenz, Cher, and a roundtable of players including the inimitable Hal Blaine and Carol Kaye. Worth the price of admission to hear Kaye discuss how she came up with the bass lines for "These Boots Are Made For Walking" and "Wichita Lineman."
- emscee

As a music reviewer who goes to lots of shows and listens to lots of records, it's hard not to notice that there's often a huge discrepancy in what you hear live and what comes through your radio or headphones. There are, of course, numerous reasons for this (more time in the studio to get the sound right, use of highly-paid studio professionals, etc…) but often it's because you could be hearing two separate groups of musicians. The studio players are often the more-skilled but rarely get the credit, so a film like The Wrecking Crew exists to retroactively ensure those musicians get recognized for their contributions.

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Recent Netflix reviews- 5 out of 5 stars
  • I saw this film at the Nashville Film Festival a year ago and it is an outstanding piece of work in every way. I thought by now it would be available on DVD. If you have any interest in the creation of popular music during this era (70's & 80's) this film is a MUST SEE.
  • I saw this movie at the 2011 NAMM Convention in Anaheim, it is absolutely spectacular and must be seen by anyone who thinks they know music! Denny and his crew have done a fantastic job of capturing a moment in time when his Dad, Tommy, was a major part of the best band that ever was. I hope they can secure the licensing for the music so this can get released soon for all of us...go to his website and buy a shirt or something, every little bit counts! wreckingcrewfilm "dot" com
  • One of the best music documentaries I have ever seen. It is about time that the musicians that played on all of those great 60's & 70's songs are finally getting their credit.
  • My expectations for this film were off the charts (no joke intended). I had read the book and heard Denny Tedesco on Marc Maron's show and simply couldn't wait to see it. Did it meet my expectations? No, it exceeded them by a HUGE measure. It's such a wonderful portrait of a magical time. And the musicians, holy cow, they were truly wizards. Now, I grew up in that time and am also a musician so, sure, it's going to appeal to me. The real surprise was how much my wife (who is not a musician and did not grow up in the 60's) loved it. If that doesn't tell you how great it was then nothing will. Kudos to Denny Tedesco for putting together a wonderful tribute to the time, the music, and, of course, his father.
  • A truly priceless history of an extraordinary wrinkle in time, people and culture. An absolute must-see for anyone who listened to popular music from the late 50s and beyond, either as an aficionado or simply by turning on the car radio from time-to-time. A fitting tribute to these extraordinary individuals, and a fantastic piece of documentary film making.
  • Loved every second of this documentary!! I had no idea the session musicians were literally the backbone to making such wonderful music in the sixties. From the Beach Boys, Mamas and Papas, to Herb Albert and the Tijuana Brass, these guys and one guitar lady "The Wrecking Crew" gave these groups a fantastical sound. The unsung musical heroes. Loved the interviews with Glen Campbell...but oh...The Wichita Lineman still makes me cry when I hear it.
  • FANTASTIC! This is one of the best rock-u-mentries that I've see yet. There is a ton of information about the music behind the stars that you did not know about. There are some great photos of some of the stars and groups you remember from the 60, 70's and early 80's. Also some great stories about them too. The special features are just super with stories behind the individual songs. All in all this is over three hours of well spent time. 5.0 stars. A must see for anyone who grew up in the 60's, and 70's rock era.
  • Finally saw this at the 2013 NAMM show. Heard about it for years. It has exceeded all my expectations. This is a must see for anyone who listened to radio in the 60's, heard any music from the 60's or has listened to music anytime from any era. This laid the groundwork for all we are hearing today. Hopefully it will be released soon.
  • Terrific movie - yes, it's a documentary - BUT it grabs you right away. Great songs and great stories about the musicians who played on most of the sessions in LA. I saw a screening in Phoenix with a friend. I hope that they get the clearances to release it soon.
  • One of the best music documentaries I have ever seen. It is about time that the musicians that played on all of those great 60's & 70's songs are finally getting their credit.
  • A spectacular, entertaining documentary of the group of LA studio musicians who provided the instrumental talent behind virtually everyone's favorite hits of the 1960's and beyond. I recently (May 2011) was allowed to review the film in Big Sur, CA. Producer Denny Tedesco is trying to raise funding to pay music royalties for the non-stop hit music in his film. This film needs to be released - it is American musical history - The History Channel, or someone with means needs to line-up behind it. It is a fascinating untold story - As others stated, go to the film's website for snipits and learn how you can help Denny Tedesco let the world hear this story
  • I saw this movie here in Portland at the film festival in 2008. I loved everything about it, especially the interviews. My favorite is Carol Kaye, the Crews ONLY female member and terrific bassist. My eyes really opened up when I discovered that the Crew played all of the instruments for groups like The Beach Boys, Gary Lewis and the Playboys, The Monkees and even the Byrds (Mr. Tambourine Man). Carol Kayes most memorable works to me were the bass lines to Good Vibrations, Sloop John B and California Girls. I had no idea that they were the studio band for Pet Sounds. Also in the mix were Hal Blaine, Glen Campbell, Dr. John, Leon Russel, Jim Gordon, Larry Knechtel, Tommy Tedesco, Joe Osborne and many other famous musicians. This is a MUST SEE documentary.
  • I saw this movie at the 2011 NAMM Convention in Anaheim, it is absolutely spectacular and must be seen by anyone who thinks they know music! Denny and his crew have done a fantastic job of capturing a moment in time when his Dad, Tommy, was a major part of the best band that ever was. I hope they can secure the licensing for the music so this can get released soon for all of us...go to his website and buy a shirt or something, every little bit counts! wreckingcrewfilm "dot" com
  • This movie is a must see for ANYONE that is a pop music lover. So much insight into the people behind the music. I was shocked!
  • Anyone who loves music and/or grew up in the sixties and seventies absolutely must see this film. It will amaze you!!!
  • I was born in the 50's and grew to love the music of the 60's-80's. I watch a lot of documentaries; though most are about nature, I don't recall enjoying one as much as I did Wrecking Crew. I didn't know the stories behind the music (few did I suppose), so I'm sure glad I watched this film. I enjoyed every minute of it ...... HIGHLY RECOMMENDED !!
  • NEVER A SPOILER...So bittersweet. It just keeps going as you remember the first time you heard this song and where you were and how you couldn't wait to hear it again. Then you discover why it's burned into your psyche. If you don't like it, you're too young or don't appreciate near perfection.
  • This was a fabulous film! I waited for a long time to see it. I bought it and watched it on here! So informative, and fun....and all the memories!! I can't say enough...I just keep thinking about it!
  • If you were born in the 40s or 50s and ever had a radio, you must watch this film! Every band you ever liked used this group of highly talented yet underappreciated studio musicians to reach their peak. These guys worked hard, sacrificed time with their families and followed the pop/rock/R&B trends of the day. You didn't know it at the time but they were the soundtrack of your youth. A great tale of a an incredible time in American history. There are many parallels with the explosion of the high tech internet boom a generation later. I was transfixed. A must watch in my humble opinion.
  • OK, boys and girls, this is the way it is. I knew about all of this back in the mid 70's. I had the privilege of attending a master class with Tommy Tedesco in 1988. What you have here is required material if you want to be a professional musician. I stopped it after about 12 minutes to write this. You keep seeing pictures of a young Glen Cambell over and over. This isn't just a memorial to the most important guitarist in modern American music, it is a college-level course. I am a professional musician. You HAVE to know this stuff if you want to eat. It's the best music documentary-instructional video there is. If you don't know about Carol Kaye, you are going to starve. She's the one that did all of that stuff. This film puts faces and voices to people I knew about since I was a kid, but never got to see. Some, like Glen Campbell and Leon Russell, went on to successful careers of their own. ALL are critical components the the American Soundtrack. Tommy told me "it's just notes on paper", and this concept is critical to becoming an artist. WOW. 10 stars.
  • A great film! I have been in the music biz as a professional musician for 42 years as well as music educator for 30. I never knew this was going on in Hollywood! Amazing. I love this flick. If you are a fan of pop, rock, country, jazz and even classical have got to see this movie!
  • I really love this film. It is at once a personal film about the life and legacy of a dad by his loving family, while at the same time it is a glimpse behind the scenes into an amazing era in American popular culture. How it juxtaposes the personal and the big-picture, and the life of one man and the many people and characters that literally MADE a huge part of 1960s music history, is a fascinating story that is very well told. No, it's not objective. It's a love letter to a dad and to an era (and the people who made it). And it's a joy to watch. I saw it on the big screen. I rented it online. I bought the DVD, and I'm delighted to see it streaming here so more folks can discover it. Also - brilliant editing & sound mixing of material that's as much as 50 years apart! Huge thanks to everyone involved in making this film.
  • I've seen several cuts of this movie as it progressed over the last few years. It's just a real jaw-dropper if you didn't know (or maybe even if you did) about the musicians who were behind pretty much everything for a couple of decades. It's also a toe-tapper. Highly recommended.
  • A stellar rock doc, chock full of interviews with music legends and great archival footage. Like Twenty Feet From Stardom it gives the unsung guitar heroes who birthed rock and roll a chance to dispel myths and get the credit they so richly deserved.
  • Anyone who was alive during or near the 50's or 60's has to see this movie. I was interested in the session musician scene but was blown away at the volume of hits that these guys played on. And the songs where they played all the instruments of 'groups' who we thought played. You can tell that these guys, (and girl), were great players to start with. Then they must have become other-worldly talented since they played every day all day under the pressure of recording with top artists. Great to see that guys who I liked to listen to were part of the group such as Leon Russell and Glen Campbell. Amazing to see them work with the genius Brian Wilson and hear how some of the classics like Pet Sounds came about. Have to watch the extra pieces on the CD as there is almost a complete other movie there with fantastic stories from each of them. Such as great stories of working with Frank Sinatra.
  • One of the best music documentaries available. Up there with Muscle Shoals. Both highly recommended.
  • Unbelievably good! This is great story lovingly told. If you think you know (love) rock and roll you need to see this movie. This behind the scenes look at how the sound we love was created is amazing. Just about every important rock hit for twenty years was played by literally a handful of musicians!!

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