On the last day of NAMM 2013, the Guitar Storage staff had the pleasure of attending a screening of “The Wrecking Crew” documentary film by Danny Tedesco about his father Tommy Tedesco and the rest of the musicians who made up the hottest and hardest working studio musician group in LA in the 60s. They played on just about everything that was anything. The Wrecking Crew provided instrumentation to some of the biggest hits of the day like: Stoned Soul Picnic, Mr. Tambourine Man, California Dreamin, Good Vibrations, I Got You Babe, Unchained Melody, California Girls and on and on. In most cases they replaced the actual bands, meaning there were no Beach Boys playing on Good Vibrations and no Byrds playing on Mr. Tambourine Man.
Danny Tedseco hosted a panel after the screening along with session guitar player Don Peake and bass player extraordinaire Leland Sklar, who were both part of the Wrecking Crew. They offered so many great stories about these amazing musicians. We were very lucky to attend.
Don Peake told a great story about how Tommy Tedesco walked into a recording session with a single beat up stomp box that apparently did nothing. The producer was looking for a particular sound and after some rookies who went through every effect on their massive pedal boards and were rejected. So it was Tommy’s turn. He apparently stepped on his non-functioning switch, fiddled with a few tone controls on his guitar and voilà; just what the producer was looking for. Lee Sklar said he made it a point to put a dummy switch on his bass after that for just the same purpose. Tommy’s Telecaster was actually on display in the screening room.
Even Albert Lee, who was sitting in the audience, got up and shared a story about Tommy. Albert must have had stomp boxes on his mind as he was spotted looking at pedals at the TC Electronics booth afterwards.
Danny is having tough time getting all the royalties paid off so this movie can be released. Unlike the “Standing in the Shadows of Motown” which was about the Funk Brothers, the studio musicians made all that great music behind these different groups. So the producers have to pay royalties to a whole slew of record companies, not just one. So please help spread the word about this film by visiting their Facebook page and give them a “Like”.