Greenwich Entertainment Presents Let There Be Drums!, Directed by Justin Kreutzmann
One of Last Filmed Interviews with the Late Taylor Hawkins + Features Interviews with Ringo Starr, Stewart Copeland, Mickey Hart,
Bill Kreutzmann, Stephen Perkins, Chad Smith, and Matt Sorum
Available via Apple TV, Amazon Prime Video + In Select Theaters
on October 28, 2022
Are drummers born that way or do they become that way? Does the urge to create rhythm and be an integral part of a band emanate from something within—or is it learned?
Ever since he was a young boy, director Justin Kreutzmann had the perfect perch to observe a great drummer: His dad, Bill Kreutzmann, was a founding member of the Grateful Dead, and with Mickey Hart provided the drums for the band since the mid-1960s. After Justin was born in
1969, he became a part of the Dead’s tours, often sitting on the riser behind his dad during rehearsals. While Bill hoped his son would become a drummer, the younger Kreutzmann gravitated towards filmmaking. The latter effort resulted in the creation of the rollicking, wild, and fascinating documentary Let There Be Drums! –– a deep-dive into the art of drumming, the musicians who’ve mastered it for 70 years, and the legacies parents pass on to their kids.
To get the definitive take on the world and art of drumming, Kreutzmann sat with some of the best, including Ringo Starr, Stewart Copeland of the Police, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann of The Grateful Dead, Stephen Perkins of Jane’s Addiction, Chad Smith of The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Adrian Young of No Doubt, Matt Sorum of Guns N’ Roses, Tre Cool of Green Day, Steve Ferrone of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and John Densmore of the Doors. Also among the interviews is the late Taylor Hawkins, drummer for Foo Fighters who passed away in March 2022, in what may be his final filmed interview.
The documentary uses the 2015’s Fare Thee Well: Celebrating 50 Years of the Grateful Dead as its framework, in which the band’s surviving members — Kreutzmann, Hart, Bob Weir, and Phil Lesh — gathered for what was billed as the final time. Kreutzmann’s camera captured the shows at Levi Stadium and Soldier Field, providing the film with incredible performance and recording material, along with rare and/or never-before-seen footage. Highlights from the footage include Keith Moon speaking in outtakes from The Who’s 1979 documentary The Kids Are Alright, Led Zeppelin’s John “Bonzo” Bonham speaking about fatherhood, No Doubt performing in a basement before they made it big, and a snapshot of a teenage, pre-Beatles Ringo Starr posing with his new drum kit. Let There Be Drums! is sure to be an immediate, essential backbeat for music fans.
Let There Be Drums! takes its title from a famous 1961 song and album by Sandy Nelson of the same name. Nelson was one of the era’s major drummers who came to fame in the late 1950s, a group that also includes Gene Krupa and Buddy Rich. In the film, Nelson speaks with Kreutzmann about his own influences and fame. Nelson died in February 2022, after the film had been completed. The documentary shows how drummers who came up in the 1960s and ‘70s looked not only to artists like Nelson, but also jazz drummers as inspiration, part of a long chain of drummers influenced by other guys behind a drum kit.
Directed by Justin Kreutzmann
Written by Justin Kreutzmann, Kevin Lincoln
Produced by Alex Blavatnik, Sean Stuart, Bernie Cahill
Executive Producers, Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, Dan Braun.
Co-Producer, Maren Domzalski.
Associate Producers, Kelley Whitis, Louise Runge.
Archival Producer, Pam Madieros.
Edited by Justin Kreutzmann, Ryan Wilcox.
Director of Photography, Justin Kane.
Music by Sebastian Robertson, Daniel Davies.
About Greenwich Entertainment
Founded in 2017, Greenwich Entertainment is an independent film distribution company specializing in distinctive, theatrical-quality narrative and documentary features. In 2018, Greenwich handled the record setting theatrical release of Jimmy Chin and Chai Vasarhelyi’s Academy Award-Winning Documentary Free Solo, which grossed over $17M at the North American box office. In 2019, Greenwich released two of the top documentary hits of the year with Andrew Slater’s Echo in the Canyon ($3.4M) and Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice ($4.3M) from Oscar winners Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman. Recent narrative releases include Isabel Coixet’s The Bookshop starring Emily Mortimer and Bill Nighy, and Madeleine Olnek’s Wild Nights with Emily starring Molly Shannon. Upcoming releases include Rob Bralver’s Moby Doc and Ebs Burnough’s The Capote Tapes. Greenwich is led by an experienced management team that has overseen more than 150 theatrical releases generating over $100 million at the US box office and garnering 8 Academy Award Nominations and 2 Oscar Wins. http://www.greenwichentertainment.com/
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Photographer and Editor/Founder of AllMusicMagazine.com. My love of live music has taken me to incredible experiences with the top bands of all time in stadium shows to the smallest venues with equally inspiring musicians. Using the medium of photography and my publication, these memories will last forever.