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January 18, 2008

Not Even "Almost Famous"

I watched Cameron Crowe's "Almost Famous" for the first time last night since seeing it in the movie theatre. On the big screen I thought it was a really cool movie, mainly because of my fascination with 70's blues/rock bands opon which the movie is based.

I still enjoyed the movie on the small screen, but I didn't feel the immediate connection with it that I did, oh, 8 years ago. My issue wasn't with the movie per se, but my perceived displacement of the characters.

Allow me to explain...

"Almost Famous" is an amalgamation of writer/director Crowe's experiences as a young staff writer for Rolling Stone. As I understand it, the storyline is based on the time he spent touring with the Allman Brothers in the 70's. There are many, many references to the Allmans in terms of characterisation, background props (such as a prominent re-created posters based on the Fillmore East live album) and even the brief inclusion of a character called Red Dog, perhaps the most famous of the Brothers' roadies.

The mixing of characters and events is actually what's unsettling to me. While the band is based on the Allmans (and possibly Led Zep with a dash of Lynyrd Skynyrd), the lead guitarist, Russel, is predominantly Glenn Frey (Eagles) but the actor (Billy Crudup) also bears more than a passing resemblence to Dickey Betts (Allmans)...


I think the problem is that between seeing the movie at the cinema and watching it again I've read too many music biographies, including: Midnight Riders: The Story Of The Allman Brothers Band (Scott Freeman) and Skydog - The Duane Allman Story (Randy Poe).

And it didn't help that the lead singer blokie was played by the guy from "My Name Is Earl"...

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