It’s a fun movie that didn’t generate much interest in the theatres and just came out in video. David Chase of The Sopranos fame directed and wrote Not Fade Away and I’m sure it would have garnered more attention had HBO put in on their network, like the intriguing Behind The Candelabra.
I like the premise because it doesn’t tell the story of a band on its way to riches after watching The Beatles. Instead it’s the story of a band that formed because of The Beatles and, more importantly to the characters, The Rolling Stones but just didn’t have the luck and/or ambition to get the chance to get signed to a record label.
This is a great scene where the band thinks they may be getting a record contract but the A&R man tells them they need to play more.
The best scene for me is the opening where David Chase re-creates the day when Mick met Keith. It sets the tone for the movie but unfortunately the story doesn’t rise to the thrill of that meeting and characters are clichéd (strident father figure/drug-addled relative/girlfriend to distract the protaganist, etc.).
Of course there is the music and for such a small film, David Chase and music supervisor and E Street Band member Steve Van Zandt must have used all their clout to secure songs from the Stones, Van Morrison, James Brown and more. Much like Tom Hanks “That Thing You Do!”, they even created their own vintage 60’s era song. “St. Valentine’s Day Massacre” written and produced by Van Zandt.