Movie review: "The Wrecking Crew" documents amazing session musicians

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

In the sometimes awful collision of art and commerce that is the music industry, we’ve seen stories like the one told in the new documentary “The Wrecking Crew” before.

The 2002 film “Standing in the Shadows of Motown” documented the unheralded session musicians The Funk Brothers, who fueled two decades of Motown hits. Backup singers got their due in 2013’s “20 Feet from Stardom.” “The Wrecking Crew” is another amazing tale of the work of musicians who aren’t in the spotlight.

The Wrecking Crew was a group of West Coast studio musicians who recorded a mind-boggling amount of iconic music — everything from Pet Sounds to virtually every catchy TV theme song from the ’60s.

“The Wrecking Crew” is certainly a loving portrait of these musicians —it’s directed by Denny Tedesco, son of late Wrecking Crew guitarist Tommy Tedesco — and it boasts a kind of warm nostalgia as a result.

The story of these ruthlessly professional and efficient musicians is told through a lot of great archival footage, including decades’ old interviews with the famous musicians who were the faces of the music, from Cher to Nancy Sinatra to Micky Dolenz of the TV-show created Monkees.

But the movie really shines in interviews with the Crew themselves, taking on the feeling of an old reunion. These oldies are indeed golden.

"The Wrecking Crew"

Opens Friday at the Gateway Film Center

3 stars out of 4