The SONICS – ” Boom ” Documentary

Posted: May 9, 2021 in MUSIC

A new documentary on legendary band The Sonics by Jordan Albertsen opens a window on the rich and influential legacy of garage rock in the Pacific Northwest, and the role of visionary label owner and manager Buck Ormsby in shaping that sound. A sound which had such an influence on local musicians like Jimi Hendrix, Nancy Wilson, Mark Arm, and many others.

In 1963, before The Stooges and even the MC5, five teenage proto-punks from Tacoma, Washington (Gerry Roselie, Andy Parypa, Larry Parypa, Rob Lind, Bob Bennett) who called themselves The Sonics scored a No#2 hit on the Seattle music chart with their hard-driving debut single, “The Witch”. With its menacing keyboard line and tongue-in-cheek lyrics about a heartbreaker with “long black hair and a big black car,” “The Witch” was too hot to handle for Seattle area radio stations who would only play the single after 3 PM so as not to upset the housewives with what they initially perceived as “devil music”.

Seattle area teens caught on immediately, however, and the single sold 10,000 copies in its first two weeks debuting at #24.

By the time they released their debut LP “Here Are The Sonics”the band became local legends, opening for The Beach Boys, the Mamas & The Papas, Jay & the Americans and The Shangri-Las. It would take forty years, however, for The Sonics to achieve nationwide fame in the U.S.

So, what exactly happened in those intervening years between The Sonics’ split in 1968 and their cover of Richard Berry’s “Have Love, Will Travel” becoming a ubiquitous hit featured in BMW ads and such feature films as RocknRolla and John Wick? Who are these guys who had such an impact on bands like Mudhoney, The Cramps, and even The Fall? when did their music make it over to the UK?

For the answers to these questions and many more, filmmaker Jordan Albertsen takes us on “a ten-year journey of discovery” from “south of Seattle, in the city of Tacoma, Washington” to London in his documentary feature, “Boom: A Film About The Sonics”. In Boomwe hear the story of The Sonics’ brief but ground breaking history and unlikely reunion from all five original members and from the late Buck Ormsby, a Pacific Northwest rock ’n’ roll legend in his own right who signed the band to his label, Etiquette Records in 1963 and also managed them. Boom also boasts a galaxy of rock ’n’ roll stars, including Nancy Wilson, Mark Arm and Mike McCready who all share a passion for The Sonics, and even the Sex Pistols’ Glen Matlock weighs in. What really drives this film, however, are the personal stories of The Sonics and their triumphant return and that of Buck Ormsby’s profound belief in the band’s music as well as that of filmmaker Jordan Albertsen, whose own passion for The Sonics has helped him to better connect with his dad. In fact, it’s almost hard to imagine Boom having the same impact on audiences as the bigger, more cinematic affair that Jordan had initially set out to make.

Since making its world premiere at London’s Raindance Film Festival, “Boom” has won awards for Best Documentary Feature this past year at the Lone Star Film Festival and at the Silk Road Film Festival in Dublin, Ireland, earlier this year, as well as the Audience Award at both the Tacoma and Olympia film festivals. Boom has also just been announced as an Official Selection at this year’s Newport Beach Film Festival as well as the upcoming Phoenix Film Festival on April 5th and also this past March at the Manchester Film Festival.

thanks pleasekillme

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