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Farmington Resident Helps Bring Music Documentary to Detroit

Jeff Wenzel is part of a team behind the premiere of 'The Wrecking Crew' in Royal Oak on Aug. 21.

Farmington resident Jeff Wenzel is a partner in Detroit-based Groovebox Studios. Photo credit: Groovebox Studios
Farmington resident Jeff Wenzel is a partner in Detroit-based Groovebox Studios. Photo credit: Groovebox Studios
A Farmington resident whose business helps independent musicians build their audiences is part of a team bringing “The Wrecking Crew,” a documentary about a group of musicians of the same name, to the Main Art Theatre in Royal Oak on August 21. 

Jeff Wenzel, a partner in Detroit-based Groovebox Studios said “The Wrecking Crew”, shines a light on the little-known Los Angeles musicians that were behind some of America’s biggest hits, is a movie every musician should see. 

"As somebody who's in a studio all day, every day, it rings so true," he said. "It's so inspiring to hear musicians talk about what they created."

The Wrecking Crew musicians were behind mega-hits like The Beach Boys’ “Good Vibrations,” Sonny & Cher’s “I Got You Babe” and Frank Sinatra's “Strangers in the Night.” But they stayed largely behind studio glass and out of the public eye.

The documentary has not been widely released, because of the expense associated with obtaining licensing and music rights. It has been a two-decade-long labor of love for award-winning director and producer Denny Tedesco. According to the American Federation of Musicians, the film may be one of the largest soundtracks of any film history, with 131 music cues. 

So far, Tedesco, the son of Wrecking Crew guitarist Tommy Tedesco, has been able to pay $250,000 toward the cost of licensing the music for the film, which is estimated at more than $500,000. 

Wenzel said the project came "out of the blue" for Groovebox Studios, through a business contact. 

“Bringing a film of this caliber to Detroit was a no-brainer,” he said. “GBS’s entire concept is based on supporting the artists and musicians who deserve to be heard, regardless of funding. Denny’s film is no different. His dream to tell this story to the world is one that we stand behind.” 

In addition to blockbuster hits, The Wrecking Crew created myriad television theme songs, advertising jingles, and film scores. More notably the group was responsible for the background music of bands in nearly every popular genre of music in America. Famed artists such as The Beach Boys, Simon & Garfunkel, Nat King Cole, and The Mamas and the Papas hired the group to play in their recording sessions. 

“We have witnessed such a large fan base and support system in Detroit for this film,” said Tedesco. “It really goes back to the shared respect and close relationships the Detroit and Los Angeles musicians had for one another.” T

Tickets for the 7 p.m. showing on Aug. 21 are $15 and available for purchase at http://detroitcrew.eventbrite.com/ or at the Main Art Theatre box office. Proceeds from the event support Tedesco’s ongoing efforts to achieve a national release. He will conduct a question-and-answer session after the film.   

The Main Art Theatre is located at 118 North Main Street in downtown Royal Oak. For more information, visit thewreckingcrewfilm.com or grooveboxstudios.com.

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