7.6/10
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All You Need Is Klaus (2009)

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Himself
Sally Parks ...
Herself (voice)
Grant Geissman ...
Himself, guitarist
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Himself
...
Himself
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Astrid Kirchherr ...
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Jürgen Vollmer ...
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7 May 2009 (Germany)  »

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Klaus on the side...
30 June 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

As a big Beatles fan and being aware of Klaus Voormann's intertwining history with the band going back to their beginnings and beyond into their solo recordings I was intrigued to catch this German-made documentary loosely based around recording sessions for his first solo album and taking in his active life in music.

Much of the Beatles related stuff I already knew but it was still interesting to get his insider view of the band. By all accounts an underrated talent on bass guitar, he went on to play in sessions by such artists as the late Harry Nilsson, Carly Simon and Randy Newman as well as his performing role in Manfred Mann in the 60's. Amongst the little nuggets of information which came forth was that it was his bass-run which opened Carly Simon's "You're So Vain" (prompting her well-known "Son of a gun" whisper).

A likable, modest, self-effacing man, he was especially close to George Harrison, with whom he shared a calm, spiritual demeanour. The film takes Voormann back to the significant locations in his life, starting from his (very plush) family home in Germany and taking in Hamburg where he first encountered the Beatles, Swinging London in the 60's where he's reunited with Twiggy with whom he did some photographic sessions and eventually his session work which saw him resident in New York and L.A., although I was surprised that Yoko Ono didn't make an appearance especially when he was stood outside the Dakota Building where she lives.

I was particularly impressed with his artwork, besides his famous cover artwork for the Beatles "Revolver" and "Anthology" albums, his various paintings and impromptu sketches are very fine indeed. Not unnaturally the documentary is big on guest interviews and their anecdotes, including reunions with Ringo, Carly and even the Manfred-less Manns. Things stop around 1979, at least musically and not much light is shed on his personal life for the period from then to the present, although he appears to have been happily married all that time.

The recording of the album itself is secondary to Voormann's reminiscences which was fine by me. At the end, I was pleased I'd learned a little more about this side-man's story, who appears to have had a rich and varied life.


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