“MELODY MAKERS”– Behind the Scenes


Behind the Scenes

Amos Lassen

“Melody Makers” is “a riot of musical appreciation and wild tales from a beloved bygone era for fans of rock ‘n’ roll.” This is a stunning, award winning film takes us behind the scenes to explode the myths, honor the legends, and reveal the incredible stories and never-before-seen photographs of rock giants like Mick Jagger, David Bowie, Elton John, Bob Dylan, Jimmy Page, Jimmy Hendrix, Ray Davies, Frank Zappa, Patti Smith and so many others. We get anecdotes and unpublished photos from the world’s most influential music publication, “Melody Maker”, the magazine with intimate access to legendary rock bands including The Rolling Stones and the Beatles, Pink Floyd, Queen, The Who, Led Zeppelin, The Animals and more. At the heart of this film is the magazine’s  head photographer, Barrie Wentzell who takes us on an intimate journey with his colleagues into the world of rock icons.

 These journalists and their cameras had free rein and were creatively involved with the artists. They capture this unique period telling the story behind the magazine’s rise and fall, showing how the artists, the record companies and journalists came to change and move a generation. At its time the magazine was a must read just as this the is a must see for musicians, music fans and photo buffs alike.

The documentary covers the rise and fall of Melody Maker Magazine, which ran for ten years and featured exclusive music coverage as well as stellar photography from Barrie Wentzell. Directed by Leslie Ann Coles, the film gives us an idea of how significant the publication was.

Leslie Ann Coles met Barrie Wentzell in 1996 Toronto and he shared the stories abouthis photography archive and she fell in love with his career. Coles’ documentary is a simple one made over the course of 8 years. Wentzell is the heart of the film and the staff and writers of the articles attached to these photographs becoming mere secondary players. This is an honest and exciting story of a small magazine that was at the forefront of the swinging sixties music scene. Music legends opened their doors for a casual chat and this is a far cry from the music industry today with bodyguards, managers and press officers to get through first.

We see “Bob Dylan having a smoke, Jimi Hendrix tired after a flight, Roger Waters and three cats staring out a window, Pete Townshend having a tea party with stuffed toys, a serious Eric Clapton, a debonair Davie Bowie, a somber Johnny Cash and an embrace between John Lennon and Yoko Ono.” The photos are legendary, capturing these men and women at their most relaxed, always enjoying the company of the camera.

The film is a love letter to a time and culture of music that does not exist today. Here are the talented individuals from across the world who could never guess the pervasive influence their music would have for years to come. “Melody Makers” was at the center of it all, a publication originally intended for music professionals, with the latest updates in musical instruments, advertisements for musicians and instruments alike and a weekly schedule for the clubs and their acts.

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