Hola Dannie aqui!
Today I am reviewing the groovy super advance screener of "40 years in the Making: The Magic Music Movie" and I have to say it is an amazing documentary that takes you back to the 1970's Boulder Colorado music scene.
At first glance, I knew I did not recognize the name of the band (MAGIC MUSIC) the documentary is about, and immediately upon the tie-died opening I got an "oh no this isn't some wannabe Grateful Dead band is it ?!?" and it is not...
They are there own band... Magic Music, an organic reflection of specifically 1970's Boulder Colorado and the myriad of influences therein, and the magnetic draw of musicians and like-minded individuals to just, well fucking create.
Next "OH NO!" moment was when it said before the film began... that the soundtrack was almost exclusively "studio, demo, and live performance tracks from 1970-76'... None of which were ever released"...."Eeeeeek! I thought to myself, this is going to be a hate-watch, cannot find ANYTHING about the band, the music and recordings must be terrible"...
Then the music began, very quickly I was enraptured, in a beautiful time trip back to a time I did not exist in but my Mom and Dad lived, thrived and loved through operating Austin Texas' The Minds I Lightshow I heard many tales of performances with many bands of the day like....
(Frank Lee Beard... ZZ Top's Drummer the one without an epic beard, had a thing for my Mom while her and my dad had their light show and antique memorabilia shop after their lucrative light show business, and tried to steal her away from my Dad! To no avail! )
My Mom bragged about saying
Steve Miller Band
" The Joker", "Take the Money and Run", "Rockin' Me" and "Abracadabra!"
"Under the Boardwalk", "There Goes My Baby" "This Magic Moment", and "Up on the Roof" (according to my dad a true doo-wop band! )
Grand Funk Railroad
(was a band opening for fraternities and sororities in between club gigs, their first club show in Austin my parents (Minds I) were scheduled to do light performance art for as well as many others and the band lamented that the light show artists were making more money than the musicians, my Father has said this was something that always bothered him.) Some of their songs are " I'm your Captain" " Some Kind of Wonderful" and their cover of "Locomotion"
Just to name a few of the bands my parents traveled and performed with, and illustrate the environment I came from, was one of a creative standard heavily hippy influenced, and this film shows the beautiful complexity and financial struggles of truly living this philosophy. It is by no means easy to do and balance.
Thier music is very hippy chill inspirational, political, philosophical and of course drugs references are mentioned.
The band began with "Tode" (George Cahill) who arrived at a commune named the Pygmy Farm in 1970. His first day there someone gave him a flute, he told the guy he didn't play and the strangers' response was "I dunno maybe you'll need it" the stranger awoken a true Flutist and singer. Then Tode met "Flatbush" (Lynn Poyer) a Guitarist-singer and songwriter at the Pygmy Farm that same year. Then came "Wilbur" (Will Luckey) their second guitarist and singer-songwriter, "Poonah" (Rob Galloway) the bassist and singer followed and was the first to leave Magic Music. The first four bandmates lived in buses in the Colorado mountains, roughing it to put it very lightly. Poonah was replaced by introverted bassist "Das" (Bill Makepeace) a Martha's Vineyard native. Next "Spoons" (Chris Daniels) joined and yes he played spoons, guitar and sang! Then there was the controversial "C.W." (Kevin Milburn) a very talented vocalist. Many many years later Tim Goodman joined and produced their first album. In total there were 8 band mates but at different points in time.
The emotional roller coaster this film takes us on is very enlightening. The battle of egos, the fight against conformity, and back to the land perspectives are illustrated with love and care by the film's director and narrator Lee Aronsohn. It is made immediately clear that this bands music helped mold him while he was a student in Boulder. Magic Music performed on campus regularly in the seventies and had a huge local following then in 1976 seemed to drop off the planet. Years past, Lee had kids, sung to them Magic Music songs, and realized he had to find Magic Music, discover where life had led them and pursue the almost impossible feat of reuniting the band...
By the end of the film, I was singing along and crying over experiencing the intensely emotional climax of the film. Since seeing the film the first time, I have rewatched it four times, mainly playing in the background for the sake of the music, which I can not find anywhere else, and am now addicted to. Hopefully, this film gets some attention and a soundtrack may be available, I am looking at you Lee Aronsohn!
So overall I absolutely adore this 1970's love letter of a music documentary, if you get a chance when it comes out in 2018 it is worth more than just the price of admission, it illustrates a place in time that was pivotal in many ways, and I wish nothing but the best for all involved! Thank you Lee Aronsohn, for the ear candy share and being a truly beautiful human that shared as well as brought this rocking story to the world. I do not want to list any spoilers... Just thanx Lee! Uplifting and truly a realistic look at what can happen to the closest of individuals overtimes heavy hands.
Stay Strong, Live Good, Love Movies!
Dannie aka Pekosa Peligrosa