A few weeks back, my wife surprised me with tickets to a film festival. This was not just any film festival, mind you; it was a music film festival at the University of Pennysylvania featuring a documentary that I had been waiting to see for a handful of years: The Wrecking Crew.
So, on that sunny Sunday afternoon, we made the road trip to UPenn and were treated to a terrific and poignant film, full of some of the most glorious pop music of the 20th century. Of course, that glorious music was played in large part by a virtually faceless group of musicians that came to be known as “The Wrecking Crew”.
Since it was uncommon at the time (and for marketing purposes, often unwise) to give credit to studio musicians on the record jacket, the Wrecking Crew was unknown to the general public. But in the heyday of the Los Angeles session scene – the 1960s through the ’70s – they dominated the recording studios, churning out hit after hit.
By then, the rock and roll sound had taken on a much greater role in pop music, and those who could play it well started to infiltrate the studio scene, eventually replacing the veteran session players of previous generations. Apparently the older players thought that the young cats would “wreck” the music business, hence the nickname.
Little did they know that The Wrecking Crew would go on to become one of the most important groups of musicians in American music history. Continue reading “The Wrecking Crew” »