Director Denny Tedesco scored with his 2008 film “The Wrecking Crew,” his critically praised documentary on the legendary session musicians of the ‘60s who performed with everyone from the Beach Boys and Phil Spector to Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley — so it makes perfect sense that he’s begun work on a film about legendary 1970s session musicians called “Immediate Family.”
This crew, which backed Linda Ronstadt, James Taylor, Jackson Browne, Warren Zevon and countless others, includes guitarists Danny Kortchmar and Waddy Wachtel, bassist Leland Sklar, drummer Russ Kunkel and others.
Kortchmar, Sklar and Kunkel made up three-quarters of The Section, known for their studio and live work in support of some of the top selling singer/songwriters and solo singers of the era, as well as their own instrumental albums. (They were later joined by Wachtel.) Individually or together, in addition to the artists listed above, the musicians worked with Carole King, Keith Richards, Neil Young, David Crosby, Graham Nash, Don Henley, Phil Collins, Bonnie Raitt, Stevie Nicks, Bryan Ferry, Lyle Lovett and Jimmy Buffett, and producers Lou Adler and Peter Asher — many of whom have already been interviewed for “Immediate Family.” In the documentary, many of these artists talk about their history with these musicians and what they brought to their songs.
And while the doc does look back, all of these musicians remain active, five decades into their careers — in fact, Kortchmar, Sklar, Kunkel and Wachtel have again teamed up, joined by guitarist Steve Postell, to perform live and record as The Immediate Family.
Kortchmar quips, “we’re like a cover band that plays all originals,” referring to the band’s repertoire of hits they either wrote or co-wrote for artists like Browne (“Tender is the Night” and “Somebody’s Baby”), Taylor (“Honey Don’t Leave L.A.”), Henley (“Dirty Laundry” and “All She Wants to Do is Dance”), Zevon (“Werewolves of London” and “Things to Do in Denver When You’re Dead”) and others.
The Immediate Family documentary is produced by Greg Richling and Jonathan Sheldon of Pfonetic, producer Jack Piatt and co-executive producer Elmo Lovano, both of Jammcard, executive producer Cliff Burnstein, co-executive producer Caroline Hoste, and executive producers Matthew Helderman and Luke Taylor of BondIt Media Capital. Sales agents/EPs Dan Braun, Josh Braun and Ben Braun of Submarine are representing the film globally.