The Spinal Tap of the 1970s San Fernando Valley Country Scene
Not only was this funny along the lines of "Spinal Tap", but really was the most true-to-life mockumentary I've seen. I had never heard of it, but rented it on an impulse because Kris Kristofferson and Merle Haggard were in on the joke. This film takes place in the early 1970s. I was just dating my husband (guitar player) at this time and we were entrenched in the music scene of L.A. at a certain level that included hanging at The Corral in Topanga Canyon, going to the Topanga Canyon Banjo & Fiddle Contest every year, and our good friend Artie was in the house band at The Palomino in the San Fernando Valley. Clarence White and Gram Parsons had just left the Byrds and were playing around town. We went to the Troubador to see Waylon Jennings, where we got a great show, culminating in Waylon falling over backwards off of his stool at the end of a tune. The Eagles, who were just Linda Rondstadt's back-up band then, used to hang out at the bar at the Troubador. I have to say that this film is the most real film I've seen of those days, mostly because of the set designer and the clothing designer. Everything in this film is so on-the-money as to be almost real...unlike "Spinal Tap" which was much more tongue-in-cheek and over-the-top. I recommend this film highly for anyone who wants to know what it was really like in those days. Our friend Bob went to the Troubador one night a little early for the show to see Kris Kristofferson and went upstairs and saw Kris there. Bob kept going on about this new songwriter, knowing that Kris had everything to do with bringing him to the limelight, and couldn't say enough about John Prine. He ended up singing "The Late John Garfield Blues" with Kris Kristofferson upstairs at the Troubador before the show. When it was over and he was heading downstairs he heard Kris say to someone..."Who was that big guy in the tennis shoes?" Ah yes, those were the days. This is a brilliant film, in my humble opinion. It captured everything about those days. Well done!
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