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Marshall Crenshaw’s “Tom Wilson Movie” Update


From an update via Kickstarter

I’ve done some serious work on the project lately: we’re up to 9 interviews now and are awaiting confirmed dates from a couple of Rock Stars; I’ll wait on naming them until after the interviews have been filmed, but watch this space..

Last week I talked to the brilliant record producer (and Wilson enthusiast) Hal Willner. Hal, also, was a friend and confidant of (and radio show co-host with) Lou Reed. Hal had lots of illuminating things to say; I was expecting to learn a lot from him, and did.. Then later in the week cinematographer Devin Pickering and I spoke to two sharp and articulate people, Dean Gitter, and the great bassist, composer, and educator Chuck Israels; they both knew and were close to Tom Wilson (and his family) in Boston in the ’50s during all of their college and post-college days, and both did work for Wilson’s Transition Records label. They had lots of vivid memories to share, and talking to them felt like a real breakthrough to me. Also in attendance when we spoke to Chuck Israels were the great music writer and scholar Jim Macnie, and author/playwright Calvin Ramsey (

On the same day that we interviewed Chuck we also visited our friend Harry Weinger at Universal Music, had a meeting with him about Wilson’s 1967 radio show, “Music Factory”, sponsored by Verve Records. We looked through the tape boxes, determined that there were 25 episodes hosted by Tom Wilson (starting with episode 26 Bob and Ray took over as series hosts, which puts something else on our list of questions). We did a bit of listening and had our minds blown immediately. It’s one thing to hear other people talk about Tom Wilson, but on these shows we’re hearing the person himself, and as reported, he’s an utterly engaging and magnetic character, very droll and sharp-witted, cool as f#ck, etc.. Now, thanks to Irwin Chusid, and Harry, we have all 25 episodes at our disposal, so during a lot of this week I’ve been going through the 1-hour shows one at a time, grabbing soundbites, etc. Time will tell, but we very well might have the spine of the movie here in these radio shows. In any case, the stuff is gold..

Right now I’m working on trying to put together a West Coast trip, hopefully in June or July. A lot of the story is in LA; the time frame of the trip depends on some of those “Yeses” that I mentioned above, but I’m hoping to get there much sooner rather than later.

Anyway, altogether it’s been very interesting, and we’ve barely gotten started. The further I get the more I feel that we’re dealing with something vital..

I’ve said it before, but again, thanks!!!!!! for your interest and support,


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