The Wrecking Crew is a must see music documentary, directed by Denny Tedesco. Denny is the son of the late Tommy Tedesco, who was a notable member of an elite group of musicians. This documentary tells the compelling story of a group of studio musicians, located in Los Angeles, who were used in the 1960s and 1970s. These were the unsung musicians behind some of the biggest hits of that era. Who used them? Almost everyone used them: The Beach Boys, The Righteous Brothers, Nancy and Frank Sinatra, The Byrds, Herb Alpert, Sonny and Cher, Mamas and The Papas, The Carpenters and The Monkees. They were also used for television them songs, film scores and advertising jingles. As a young girl, I watched every episode of TV show The Monkees. As I grew older, I heard that The Monkees were hired for their acting ability and not their talent as musicians. I did not know that The Wrecking Crew played the instruments on their albums. I am sorry that The Wrecking Crew did not get recognition for their work on the recordings they were involved in.
How surprising it was to see that Glen Campbell and Leon Russell were a part of The Wrecking Crew and that there was a woman guitarist, Carol Kaye.
I am elated that Denny Tedesco had the vision and determination to make The Wrecking Crew. Just to get the licensing for over 100 hit songs used in the movie had to be a daunting task. Denny raised $312,000 through a Kickstarter campaign to create the movie. I could watch this movie over and over. The interviews will totally captivate you. On The Wrecking Crew website, Denny gives credit to his mother, “If my father hadn’t had my mother, he wouldn’t have been as successful as he became. She really kept it together.” As you listen to the interviews in the movie, it becomes apparent that these studio musicians spent most of their time working. If they had families, it would have taken an incredibly supportive spouse to keep up with all the family obligations by themselves. They are also the unsung heroes in this story.