Melody Makers Image

Melody Makers

By Hunter Lanier | December 17, 2019

That was just one of the changes that led to Melody Maker’s slip into irrelevance, which—uncoincidentally—coincided with the music industry’s own. Many of the old guard, including Wentzell, began to leave the magazine and music journalism became inundated with “English graduates,” to quote Christopher Charlesworth, Melody Maker’s news editor from ’70 to ‘73. As a result, the tone shifted from one of familiarity to one of superiority. It’s probably better that Melody Maker is no longer with us. Just look at the current state of Rolling Stone. It makes you want to cry and blow your nose in this month’s issue.

“…a must-see for any fan of rock ‘n’ roll.”

As with many of these independently made music documentaries, there is a slight problem. With all of this talk about the likes John Lennon, Van Morrison, and The Who, none of the music is present, which I assume is because it’s expensive to use. It doesn’t kill the movie, but it’s a big bummer. The fact that the music used is meant to vaguely resemble the music that can’t be used makes it even worse. You’re constantly being reminded of what the movie is lacking. It’s like your dog died, and your dad bought you another dog that looks sort of like the old one, but it only reminds you of how much you miss the old one.

Anything tied to music’s mid-20th century boom is worth closer inspection, and Melody Maker had front row seats for much of it. The behind-the-scenes stories of musicians, the amazing photographs—of which there seem to be an infinite amount—and the story of the magazine itself make Melody Makers a must-see for any fan of rock ‘n’ roll. For everyone else, it’s a should-see.




Melody Makers (2019)

Directed and Written: Leslie Ann Coles

Starring: Barrie Wentzell, Christopher Welch, Chris Charlesworth, Alan Lewis, Richard Williams, Allan Jones, Chris Tsangarides, Ian Grant, Jill Furmanovsky, Peter Whitehead, Keith Altham, Glen Colson, Roger Dean, Ian Anderson, Eric Burdon, Sonja Kristina, Steve Abbott, Judy Dyble, Dave Cousins, Chris Squire, Pete Agnew, Dan McCafferty, Steve Nardelli, Steve Howe, Rick Buckler , etc.

Movie score: 8/10

Melody Makers Image

"…...from Keith Moon dressed as Hitler to Jimmy Page playing the guitar with a violin bow to Mick Jagger dancing on dead butterflies."

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