- Credit where it's due 6/14/2015 12:00:00 AM by ferguson-6
Greetings again from the darkness. Tying in nicely with the repertory showing of Rock 'n Roll High School (1979) at the Oak Cliff Film Festival, this documentary from Brendan Toller aims to give credit to one of the unsung (and mostly unknown) influencers of cultural and music changes in the 1960's and 1970's. Danny Fields was the behind-the-scenes "mover and shaker" who helped shine the light on bands such as The Doors, Velvet Underground, The Stooges, MC5 and The Ramones.
Fields is described as having his pulse on the underground music scene, and this is meant to be a compliment ? he knew what the "cool" people were listening to. More than just a keen social observer, Fields finished 6th in his class at Penn – as the youngest graduate - and went on to drop out of Harvard Law School in order to be on the front line of the cultural changes occurring in the 60's.
Director Toller's respect and admiration for Fields is on full display, and we are treated to interviews from the likes of Alice Cooper and Iggy Pop, to multiple sit downs with Fields himself ? the highlights of the film. The stories about "16" Magazine, Jim Morrison, Nico and Edie Sedgwick are all interesting, but it's watching as Fields personally recalls his involvement that offer us something we've never before seen.
Fields' time at Elektra Records is chronicled, as is his fallout with The Ramones ? whose song provides the title of the movie (also covered by Tom Waits and Foo Fighters). It's also noted that Fields decision to take The Ramones on a UK tour, helped drive the popularity of The Sex Pistols and The Clash ? the foundation of the new Punk era. It's always refreshing when accolades and credit find the proper target – even when delayed by a few decades.
- A documentary about a hidden force who helped change people's lives 2/13/2018 12:00:00 AM by meathookcinema
A documentary about Danny Fields, the record industry A&R man/artist liaison/cultural barometer who was the friend of so many great bands and artists and more importantly, had a hand in making sure they could get record deals and record their music so that their genius could be shared with the world.
This documentary gets it just right- there are moments of animation to illustrate the narrative but these don't overpower the film, there are many musicians and personalities who are either interviewed or spoken about but it doesn't feel like some kind of bragging rollcall. There are also perceptive and very interesting insights into being gay in a small town and also when Danny had left home and was carving his adult life.
As for the artists, all of the groups and singers who changed my life are here. From hanging out with The Velvet Underground to working and socialising with The Doors, The Ramones, Jonathan Richman, The Stooges, Nico, MC5...This is a life spent in the thick an alternative American musical history and you feel privileged to be a part of this. There are also hidden gems that are priceless- a taped phone call with Nico, a recording of the first time Lou Reed is played The Ramones and how elated he is by it.
I bought Raw Power by Iggy and the Stooges at the age of 14 and it changed my life. And Danny Fields is partly responsible for this. This documentary helps to shed light on a hidden force who made this possible.
- Very punk rock in its delivery. 2/10/2017 12:00:00 AM by subxerogravity
Not the best documentary format wise but it's very fitting for the subject matter of Danny Fields who talked about his run ins with great people.
Danny Fields' life is not all that fantastic but he just seemed to get lucky enough that there were enough photos and documentation of him hanging out with some really famous people that someone could put together an hour and forty five minutes worth of his life into a featured doc, that includes an interview with Iggy Pop about his run in with Danny Fields.
It always helps that you have a pic of yourself with The Beatles so you can say you were right their when rock and roll started and that you have pictures of yourself with Andy Warhol so you can say you're too cool for school.
Danny Fields worked as A&R for Electra while the Stooges were there and managed the Ramones at one point, so he's not a nobody, but I do feel his life does not seem worthy of a documentary, but that's what makes Danny Says so great, and so punk rock. It has an attitude about it that states that your life is good enough to produce a documentary and that's what I like most about it.