Monday, November 29, 2010

Garcia: Somebody Has To Do It; Pathetic That It Has To Be Us

At 4:20 PM this Wednesday (December 1), acclaimed Grateful Dead filmmaker and Everything Must Go director Len Dell’Amico will be releasing a rare clip of Jerry Garcia in 1988 concerning the future state of our environment.

Dell-Amico was nice enough to let Reality Catcher readers have an advance peek at the clip (see above).

"I became friends with Garcia in 1980 and 1981 during the production and especially the editing of Dead Ahead, the classic concert film shot at Radio City in New York," Dell'Amico said.

"He sent me a board tape in the summer of '84, and this is when I first heard the Weir-Barlow tune 'Throwing Stones.' What a great and original song, and how amazing was it that a big popular band like the Dead would take on such a serious subject as the destruction of the environment.

"A live version of the song was included in the next full-length video I produced for the Dead, which came out in 1987 and was called So Far. A little-known factoid: Garcia actually co-directed So Far with me," Dell'Amico said.

"So Far went on to become the best-selling concert video of 1988 and it won the American Film Institute's award for best full-length music film of that year.

"Also in 1988, Grateful Dead decided to give a benefit concert at Madison Square Garden in NYC to help save the rainforest. They asked me to create visuals that would directly address rainforest destruction, to show on the live reinforcement screens hanging above the stage while they played Drums/Space/Throwing Stones," Dell'Amico said.

"While prepping for that, I met Randy Hayes of Rainforest Action Network and other eggheads and activists who would be the beneficiaries of the concert, and this is how I first learned about climate change in a serious way," Dell'Amico said.

"It blew my mind.

"Members of the Dead gave a press conference at the U.N. to announce the benefit and to talk about the trouble ahead and raise awareness of ecological issues.

"Ever since then, I have been very focused on the issue of climate change, and I've been able to stay involved through my work with a private family foundation that was started by my father-in-law in the 1990," Dell'Amico said.

"Meanwhile, I had been dreaming about making my own 'story' film since I can remember -- I went to NYU film school -- and when I finally had the time and the means to do it, it was clear to me that my film should be about climate change," Dell'Amico said. "But far from being serious, the movie is darkly comic and the story is entertaining because I felt that would be the best way to get the message across.

"The film is called Everything Must Go," Dell'Amico said.

"Garcia's insightful statement at the U.N. press conference never left my mind over all those years -- he was a very smart guy, on top of all his other accomplishments. Of all the problems we face, climate change is such a huge and unknowable threat that it must be seen as a priority. If the earth becomes unlivable for us humans, we certainly can't work on any of our other problems.

I hope you enjoy the film, and I'd love to hear your comments," Dell'Amico said.

1 comment:

Rhett's Opinion said...

I love the Grateful Dead