This was a trip worth remembering, that's affirmative!
One of the events heavily weighing on our hearts and minds as we kicked off the trip was the Olympic mens hockey final. Hockey is our lifestyle, our game, Canada's game! It was imperative that we would screen the game somewhere along the way, the place happened to be an empty sports bar in Albany, New York. Third period rolled in quickly... As the final period began to wind down, people began to finally fill out the bar. We held on for dear life with our one goal advantage, then the great Americans produced a tie goal with 25 seconds remaining and the place EXPLODED! We were the only 3 Canadian guys in the place and naturally, we were consumed with the American energy around us, so we hid behind our overcoats.
The ice was cleared and the bar had settled down, all three of us had now generated severe butterflies in our stomachs, we began watching the overtime period with our eyes glued to the projector screen... So we ALL know what happens next, Sid the kid rounds the face off circle and makes Canadian history. Kelly, Jason and I burst out and made a very modest scene of excitement, awkwardly everyone was staring at us and in the background someone yelled, 'your in the wrong country'... Indeed we were, but there's something to be said about that feeling of pride we had for our country. Wish we could had a chance to be around or friends and family in the height of Canada's success at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.
But we were on the road once again, pursuing another passion we began over three years ago. With another story of love, music and soul. A story of a sensitive musician from Canada.
Day one in Woodstock began with a trip to see Richard's son, Joshua. Warning us he might look a little 'gimpy' since he had dislocated his shoulder after a shoveling frenzy earlier that week. Side note: in and around the Catskills was declared a state of emergency due to the five and a half feet of snow they received during the storm last week. Despite not knowing his father all that well, Josh gave a great little interview. Josh is a great guy, he had a really distinct laugh, and so we've been told, Richard did too! We will have to take him up on the paintball challenge when we return.
Later that day, we went to great little studio in the thick of the sticks, run by sound guy extraordinaire, Jimmy Goodman, The owner and operator of Leopard Studio. We have been anticipating an interview with the legendary Band member, Garth Hudson for a while now, so we were quite excited. Finally around midnight Mr. Hudson arrived with the Chinese food order, we sat down and enjoyed some eats before the interview, thanks Garth and Maud!! Was a pleasure.
Day Two, we had the honor of meeting and interviewing the legendary photographer, Barry Feinstein. Barry is best known for his work with his iconic photography of Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Janis Joplin and Miles Davis. His work has appeared in Time, Life, Look and Esquire magazines. I think buying that pellet gun for Richard's birthday was a great idea!
Afterward we quickly caught up with our buddy, Jimmy Weider who was working out of studio near Saugerties, NY. Man, it was good to see him again. We have been working with Jim on a number of projects in including a live show in New Jersey, a music video in Bearsville and most recently an EPK video for his newest album PULSE. The material can be seen at www.jimweider.com
On the third day we were able to take a little break to enjoy the big old city of New York. The Museum of Modern Art was in our radar, we were on our way. I'd go see it if I were you! They had a really neat Tim Burton exhibit as a limited time installment and as always the popular paintings by Warhol, Dali and Picasso on one of the six floors. Hey, the shopping proved to be good too! Greenich village is the place to go.
Day four happened to be the anniversary of a darker day in history, March the 4th 2010, marked the 24th year that Richard Manuel sadly passed away in Winter Park, Florida. The film will be released by coincidence on the 25th anniversary.
Having said that, this was also the start to a good day in Manhattan, we were off to visit the legendary horn player, Tom 'Bones' Malone from the CBS orchestra, best known for his work with The Blues Brothers, Frank Zappa and The Band. We were there, on time, hehe, and after a little confusion over union laws in the studio, we were rushed up to an office filled with memorabilia and a mini grand. Oddly all or most of the photo's had Paul Shaffer in it... haha, so, sure enough we are here in Paul Shaffer's office conducting the interview, not bad! Tom also handed us over a quick and funny interview, it was a pleasure to meet him, Tom could not have been any nicer!
Day four ended with a fancy little pizza dinner in Brooklyn, apparently rated number one in NYC, or at least by Mr. Al Roker, who has a personalized dish. Damn, this place was tasty! You know a slice of za is A-1, when you get to the crust and it's the BEST damn part!
Day Five, back to Woodstock we go for the final two interview's, I will say legendary once more to describe both musicians who fit in that rank (but completely over used in my article...) Legends, Happy Traum and John Sebastian. At this point we all were getting a feel for life on the road, long hours, long drives, fast foods, to much clutch (java) and not to mention the 7 hour drive we had to take after filming. We were beat and the only thing keeping us motivated was the fact we were meeting some exceptional people! We met with Happy, who was very good in front of the camera, The creator of Home Spun Tapes, the largest and most successful instrumental instructional DVD's. Happy was able to share some really interesting stories and shed some insight into the life and personality of Richard.
Then we hit the road, now to the other side of Woodstock to meet John Sebastian, who had the coolest dog, a veteran pup. Although lacking most of his vision and sight, he was fearless, not having a care in the world, and the most easy going dog you could ever meet. John shared a really great interview, the 'junk monster'story was priceless, about Richard playing a part of the junk monster in the Nelvana cartoon, Rome-0 and Juli-8.
I really can't wait until Jason and I get this film spliced together to share all these great stories about Richard, it's a day and time I look forward to very much. But until then, keep your fingers crossed! When the day comes to premiere the film on TV and release it on DVD, I will let everyone know how to see it.
Thanks for reading, take care!
Producer of 'Tears of Rage: The Story of Richard Manuel'