The first thing you should know about “The Perfect Age of Rock ‘n’ Roll” is that it’s not really about rock ‘n’ roll.
Selected as the opening feature of the 2010 BendFilm festival, the movie explores the boundaries of friendship within the context of the music industry.
Although the soundtrack is heavy on blues and classic rock music, from Canned Heat and Bob Dylan to Nirvana and Alice in Chains, “It’s more about people and relationships,” said director Scott Rosenbaum.
Rosenbaum and his co-writer, Jasin Cadic, were still dealing with jet lag when we sat down this morning over stiff cups of java at the Lone Pine Coffee House on Tin Pan Alley.
“Our biggest challenge was not to write a cliche,” Scott said. “But we could’ve written this story about two guys who are accountants. It’s a story of betrayal, abandonment, loyalty, freedom … and ultimately, passion and friendship.”
“The Perfect Age of Rock ‘n’ Roll” shows tonight at 8:30 at the Tower Theatre, and again Saturday at 8 p.m. at the Sisters Movie House. Tickets are $10, available at the door (arrive early!) or online at http://www.bendfilm.org.
The story goes something like this: Spyder (Kevin Zegers, of Transamerica and Normal) is a hard-rock musician who had huge success with his first album. When his second release flops, he returns to his Long Island hometown to reconnect with his old friend and collaborator Eric (Jason Ritter, TV’s The Event and Joan of Arcadia), whom he hasn’t seen in seven years.
An accomplished guitarist and songwriter in his own right, Eric convinces Spyder to join him on a cross-country road trip to Los Angeles, with famed music impresario August West (the almost-legendary Peter Fonda, Easy Rider, Yulee’s Gold) driving the bus down Route 66.
The movie also stars Taryn Manning (8 Mile, Sons of Anarchy) as Spyder’s manager, and features such actors as Ruby Dee, Lucas Haas, Lauren Holley, Kelly Lynch, Aimee Teagarden and Billy Dee Williams.
Some of the last surviving members of the great blues bands of Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf — keyboardist Pinetop Perkins, now 97; guitarist Hubert Sumlin, 78; and harpist Sugar Blue, 60 — play key roles. “Rock ‘n’ roll’s the bastard son of the blues, man!” says Spyder.
Cadic, who co-stars in the film as Bixx, Spyder’s bass player, is a real-life rock musician. His new band, Star Killer, will make its debut on Halloween night at the House of Blues in New Orleans. He is also a painter of mixed-media abstract canvases, featured in New York galleries. And he designs sets for such Big Apple fashionistas as Gucci.
“I just go with the flow and don’t say no to anything,” Jasin said. “The daytime stuff helps me do stuff at night. The music is my hub. Everything else spins off that.”
Rosenbaum spent 10 years as a Wall Street trader, then turned his focus to film making. In 2006, he was given “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” to join director Spike Lee as a set production assistant during the making of “Miracle at St. Ann” in Italy. “It was a great learning experience,” he said, that helped to launch him into his own career.
Check out the trailer at this site: http://www.theperfectageofrocknroll.com/