There’s some huge news coming out of the rock ‘n’ roll community.
On Jan. 18, Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl’s documentary, “Sound City,” premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. The film’s debut was accompanied by more than three hours of performances from an entourage of rock stars, who, along with Grohl, have recorded at the famous Los Angeles rock studio from which the film gets its name.
The slew of rock legends — which includes Creedence Clearwater Revival’s John Fogerty, Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks, Rick Springfield, Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielson, Rage Against the Machine’s Brad Wilk, Queens of the Stone Age’s Alain Johannes and former Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic — will play another concert at Los Angeles’ Hollywood Palladium on Jan. 31. The film will premiere that night in select cities across the country, including Los Angeles and San Francisco.
In addition to a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see so many legends perform in one setting, rock ‘n’ roll fans should be particularly excited for the documentary’s soundtrack, “Real to Reel.” The album’s release date is March 12 under Grohl’s Roswell Records label, and will feature collaborated tracks by some of the aforementioned artists, plus more.
One track receiving lots of hype is “Cut Me Some Slack,” which was performed at the Dec. 12 Hurricane Sandy relief concert by the three surviving members of Nirvana (Grohl, Novoselic and Pat Smear) and Beatle legend Paul McCartney.
These music icons were brought together by Grohl, who directed the “Sound City” documentary as a tribute to the famously shabby rock studio that facilitated some of the most famous rock albums of all time: Nirvana’s “Nevermind” (1991), Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumours” (1977), Neil Young’s “After the Gold Rush” (1970), Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “One Hot Minute” (1995) and Rage Against the Machine’s self-titled album (1992). The studio was shut down commercially in May 2011.
In a letter to those who pre-ordered the film, Grohl explained how making the film “was the most incredible moment of (his) life.” “Sound City” documents the history of the studio, but Grohl also interviewed Fogerty, Nicks, Young and other musicians about their experiences with music and the studio, resulting in a film that captures “the human connection” — or the indescribable sensations of creating and experiencing great music.
“I’m telling the story of human beings making music — showing Paul McCartney writing a song or Stevie Nicks and Neil Young talking about the human element of music and how important it is that human beings do it with other human beings,” Grohl said in an interview with the Huffington Post.
This highly anticipated film and album (not to mention the concert, if you can afford the $90 ticket) combination should prove to be a historic and momentous occasion for a genre getting less attention in a music community drowning in electronic, hip-hop and popular music. I eagerly look forward to their release dates, and I suggest that all rock ‘n’ roll fans keep an eye out for “Sound City” and its soundtrack, “Real to Reel.”