Movie review: 20 Feet From Stardom

Merry Clayton sings on Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama”; juxtapose that with her cover of Neil Young’s “Southern Man.”

It pretty much starts off with Lou Reed’s “Walk on the Wild Side”: “And the colored girls go do doo doo, do doo …”. The movie 20 Feet From Stardom is an exceptional documentary about the generally ignored, unknown, but tremendous backup singers, often black women, who perform on some the biggest hit songs and albums of all time.

Meet Darlene Love, Lisa Fischer, Merry Clayton, Tata Vega, Claudia Lennear, and Judith Hill, most of whom are or were figuring out whether they had the egos necessary to be solo artists, or Continue reading “Movie review: 20 Feet From Stardom”

Rock Hall QUESTION

I saw the film Afterglow on Presidents Day weekend of 1998, and Somewhere by Tom Waits was particularly affecting.


“Neil Diamond and Alice Cooper are among the musicians who will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011. Tom Waits, Darlene Love, and Dr. John will also join the class of 2011… Other honorees will include Jac Holzman, Leon Russell and Art Rupe.”

Those nominees who were not chosen for induction this year were Bon Jovi, the Beastie Boys, LL Cool J. Laura Nyro, Joe Tex, Chic, Donovan, J. Geils Band, Donna Summer, and Chuck Willis.

And I remember in the early days of the Rock Hall, which I visited in May of 1998 – they had tributes to recently deceased Carls, Wilson and Perkins – that I was actually excited who got in. Continue reading “Rock Hall QUESTION”