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Dom in Dorset

Musicians depicted in films

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Last night I watched Telstar the Joe Meek Story which I very much enjoyed.  One thing I noticed was that most of the actors seemed to have some idea how to play the instruments they were handed by the props department. There were a couple of people that you only saw momentarily holding a guitar but even then it didn't look too uncomfortable. So often a music biopic is spoiled by the fact that the actors look like they have never even held a guitar/bass before.
My two pet hates so far are:
Bohemian Rhapsody - While the Brian May is quite convincing (apparently he lad lessons with the real BM) the John Deacon looked like he's spent his entire life trying to avoid going near a bass guitar. Even the way he held it when not playing looked awkward. I did enjoy the film but that performance made me wince.
Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll - looked like they only cast people who'd never seen a musical instrument being played. Once again I quite enjoyed it but could hardly bare to look during band scenes.

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Yes, pretty annoying. Same in photograph shoots too. If you're an actor, surely you could somehow imitate? I mean hold down something that at least looks like a chord for example!!

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The guy who played Johnny Thunders in Room 37: The Mysterious Death of Johnny Thunders was uncanny. The film divided fans but I enjoyed it. That actor was the most convincing piece of casting I have ever seen.

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At a Bass Show, I asked Peter Hook, how he felt about being portrayed in films. He said he was surprised how wrong Ralph Little got it, bearing in mind he knew his ex-wife 😆

 

 

 

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Just now, MacDaddy said:

At a Bass Show, I asked Peter Hook, how he felt about being portrayed in films. He said he was surprised how wrong Ralph Little got it, bearing in mind he knew his ex-wife 😆

 

 

 

Oddly enough Ralf Little was one of the more convincing ones in Telstar!

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I heard an interview with David Cassidy, and he was expressing the same thoughts as the OP.... about his fellow cast members in the Partridge Family.

He lost count of how many times he had to say to Danny Bonaduce: "Danny the bass guitar is plucked, not strummed!" 

 

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Posted (edited)

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1 hour ago, Dom in Dorset said:

the John Deacon looked like he's spent his entire life trying to avoid going near a bass guitar.

To be fair, John Deacon spent the last 20 24 years trying to avoid going near a bass guitar.

Edited by Stub Mandrel
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6 hours ago, Dom in Dorset said:

Last night I watched Telstar the Joe Meek Story which I very much enjoyed.  One thing I noticed was that most of the actors seemed to have some idea how to play the instruments they were handed by the props department. There were a couple of people that you only saw momentarily holding a guitar but even then it didn't look too uncomfortable. So often a music biopic is spoiled by the fact that the actors look like they have never even held a guitar/bass before.
My two pet hates so far are:
Bohemian Rhapsody - While the Brian May is quite convincing (apparently he lad lessons with the real BM) the John Deacon looked like he's spent his entire life trying to avoid going near a bass guitar. Even the way he held it when not playing looked awkward. I did enjoy the film but that performance made me wince.
Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll - looked like they only cast people who'd never seen a musical instrument being played. Once again I quite enjoyed it but could hardly bare to look during band scenes.

The guy who played John Deacon is Joseph Mazzello, otherwise known as Timmy from Jurassic Park. Funny that you say that regarding him as he plays Bass in real life!

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21 minutes ago, Cosmo Valdemar said:

Eric Idle's stiff waggling fingers make my teeth itch.

Wasn't he the only one who couldn't play?

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I recall that Ralph Macchio  had very extensive training from Ry Cooder in order to be able to look convincing when filming Crossroads (the film, not the soap.)

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9 hours ago, MacDaddy said:

At a Bass Show, I asked Peter Hook, how he felt about being portrayed in films. He said he was surprised how wrong Ralph Little got it, bearing in mind he knew his ex-wife 😆

 

Hold the front page. Hooky in 'not entirely happy about something' shock.

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4 hours ago, Cosmo Valdemar said:

Eric Idle's stiff waggling fingers make my teeth itch.

 

No one speaks ill of the Rutles on my watch :)

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30 minutes ago, Beedster said:

No one speaks ill of the Rutles on my watch :)

They wouldn’t fit on your watch, not even if it was one of those stupidly huge Rolex ones 

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Cosmo Valdemar said:

Eric Idle's stiff waggling fingers make my teeth itch.

 

Eric Idle is a pretty useful guitarist, but the reason that he may not be 100% convincing as a Bassist here, is the fact that he’s a right handed musician, playing the role of someone who’s left handed. Here’s a little test- flip your bass around the other way and try and play something that sounds like music and look convincing while you do it. 

Edited by rushbo
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Posted (edited)

Watch a film with a nurse and they will criticise any scenes involving medical procedures, watch a film with a rugby player and they will criticise any scenes involving rugby being played, watch a film with a soldier and they will criticise any scenes involving using weapons correctly. Every moment of a film could be broken down into parts that displease some specialist or other in that particular field, if the story isn’t good enough to forgive such details then watch something else. Monty Python & The Holy Grail - they aren’t really on horses, they are just banging coconuts together.

Edited by Frank Blank
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While I really enjoyed The Two Ronnies’, they were classic examples of finger wavers when it came to ‘playing’ instruments in their sketches, particularly Ronnie Corbett.

But a brilliant sketch was Eric Sykes ‘duetting’ guitar with John Williams......

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The actors in "Control" apparently had to learn to play instruments for the film... I thought they didn't do a bad job myself

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Favourite actor 'musician' in a movie trick- see them sit down at the piano then cutaway to a front shot as they bob around looking pained and emotional.

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14 hours ago, Bassfinger said:

I recall that Ralph Macchio  had very extensive training from Ry Cooder in order to be able to look convincing when filming Crossroads (the film, not the soap.)

I think it was actually Arlen Roth who tutored Macchio.

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I watched an old movie a few weeks ago starring some guy called Elvis something-or-other. 

He had an acoustic guitar slung around his neck for half the film but he hardly played it, and when he did he was obviously miming. 9_9

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I think I saw that film too, Jack. Poor fella seemed to have something wrong with his knees.

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1 hour ago, rasher80 said:

The actors in "Control" apparently had to learn to play instruments for the film... I thought they didn't do a bad job myself

The actors were fine, but they had Ian Curtis playing an Eastwood! Never mind musicians in movies, let's talk about instruments 😉

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