The holidays have brought us all something we desperately needed: time off. With all the hectic doings that these days entail, I gotta tell you I was kind of happy not to have to ride the lovely MegaBus from Philly to NY in the freezing cold. We shut down production this past week for some much-needed holiday revelry. And while it was nice to step back, I can’t seem to get rid of this nagging feeling of GO! GO! GO! that’s at the back of my brain, cursing my inactivity. ‘Cause all I want to do is fucking GO GO GO! I love doing this; I love every aspect of putting this film together. Even the most tedious of tasks is exciting. So rest and relaxation is pretty much a double-edged sword. While I do enjoy being lazy and hanging out at home with Pookie and the cats, the compulsive side of me wants to be OUT THERE, chasing that story, meeting the people of legend and nefarious reputation, building and talking and connecting and creating. It’s like friggin’ crack to me. When you get into those moments where the camera is rolling (or whatever cameras do nowadays with all that fancy-schmancy technology) and it’s just the few of you in the room, just talking, there is an energy that is palpable and thrilling. There is a reverence observed, to some degree, when we get together and talk about City Gardens and what the music meant, what those days meant. It’s not so simple as “nostalgia” or “sentimentality.” It’s deeper than that and not nearly so serious. There is a lot of laughter and that’s what keeps me coming back.
We did launch our brand-spanking new website (shameless plug!) http://www.citygardensfilm.com/ so you can check out some of the work we’ve been doing over the past few months. A lot of people have put in tremendous efforts in helping this to become real, and our gratitude is immense. For me, it’s all about the amazing people I get to work with on this project. I’d daresay I was “blessed,” if I believed in that sort of thing. They are kind of inspiring. This inspiration I experience is derived from their passion. Each person represents a new facet; a new perspective for me to contemplate. Example: when Amy and I first started collaborating for the book I was most forcefully impressed with her writing style. It was concise, business-like (which is imperative for non-fiction) and utterly logical. Her ability to chronicle an event through the starkness of other people’s exaggerations was admirable. In our time working together she has shown me the brutality of self-editing and how fundamentally important it is. For someone like myself, who has a tendency to ramble self-indulgently through purple lands of overblown exclamation, Amy taught me the value of succinct and objective reporting. Plus she just flat-out fucking rules.
And then there is Tozzi. You can’t say a bad thing about this guy. He is earnest, intuitive and so nice it makes me wanna’ friggin’ puke sometimes. Tozzi is the kind of guy you vibe with right away on levels both personal and artistic. His enthusiasm is infectious and it drew me in immediately (I am not what you would call an “enthusiastic” person by nature). The thing is; his vision is dead-on. He sees the story in ways none of us do, and he’s bringing it about with a fluid and even-handed manner.
Salerno. That right there is the driving force. The man is walking history; he has seen life brutally in black and white and has never blinked. Ken’s the oldhead, which is a term spoken with dignity, admiration and respect. Salerno is the guru with parables that extend beyond words. He captures emotions of every kind like they are solid, tangible things. His eye has seen it all and his life has absorbed it all and now I get to witness this on a daily basis. The history Salerno holds is my youth and the youth of thousands of others. He is easily the backbone of the film.
So as we round out this year of 2010 with varying degrees of relaxation and partying, it’s nice to look back on what we’ve accomplished. But looking forward I am itching to get back at this thing.