Saturday, October 23, 2010

Do It Again, Reuniting The Kinks

As a musician, as a film reviewer I was looking forward to seeing the documentary Do It Again, the journey of Geoff Edgers a Boston newspaper reporter who has an urge to do all he can to bring back together, the legendary band, The Kinks. The band noted for such hits as ‘You Really Got Me,’ ‘Lola,’ and ‘Come Dancing,’ among others has been feuding for years, and while many in the world of music would love to see them reunite, those who know them think the likelihood of them getting together again is perceived as a crazy idea that just isn’t going to happen. Edgers has an edge though that can’t be ignored, one that may just get him in the door. The edge? Edgers has been a fan of the Kinks since a small boy. That has to count for something doesn’t it?

While Edgers is the producer and subject matter of the documentary, the film is directed by Robert Patton-Spruill. What transpires on screen, for this one music fan, which happens to be a musician, is many moments of smiles and giggles, while shaking my head at the disbelief of the audacity of the subject Geoff Edgers. This isn’t in a negative way, but in numerous joy filled moments way. Not always the laugh out loud kind but the kind that brings a sense of joy throughout the film, up through and including, the ending credits. Do It Again is a tale that is weaved together and shot with entertainment as its focus and music laced all throughout the movie. Unfortunately, it is the cost of licensing the music for Theatrical and DVD release that may be the single factor that keeps the populace from seeing this wonderful gem of a movie. While the music for the film has been licensed for Film Festival usage, even the costs here according to Edgers in an after the film discussion was prohibitive.

In the film Do It Again, we see Edgers suffering with the reality that his income is getting ready to be drastically reduced at his job with The Boston Globe. He has a wife, a daughter, a new house and a dream. The dream is to get the Kinks reunited, if for nothing else, just one song. He has grown up with and loves this band. Edgers believes that one way he can bring the band together is to meet as many people in the entertainment industry as possible, including those who have actually worked with the Kinks. Here, their influence and tips will be of benefit in encouraging the boys to get together.

At the Tallgrass Festival where I screened this documentary, Edgers in the after screening discussion spoke about how he had contacted over 70 artists and individuals to interview. There were the members of the band Heart, who couldn’t meet because they had their hair to worry about, John Cougar Mellencamp thought he was crazy, and even though Edgers got an interview with Paul McCartney, someone who handles McCartney didn’t like the way the interview turned out so wouldn’t give permission to use the footage in the film. There are a few of those Edgers contacted who agreed to be interviewed, and they should be thrilled they chose to participate in this project. Among those interviewed was Sting who came across as a genuinely caring, fun guy with a willingness to not only care about his fans, but have a good time with them in the process.

Along the journey to reunite The Kinks, Edgers realizes that following his dream of reuniting this band is coming at a cost. Along the journey, he soon realizes that the likelihood of getting the band back together may not happen, it is then that when many would give up, that Edgers decides to go to the next level, he goes to Great Britain to take one last shot at accomplishing his dream. What transpires are opportunities he couldn’t have imagined, and secrets that will remain between him and one of the Davies Brothers.

The Davies Brothers, Ray and Dave are the two founding members of the band, The Kinks. While Ray Davies was the driving force of the band, the turmoil between the two brothers led to what many state was the ultimate demise. One of the most painful moments in watching the film is when Edgers has the chance to interview Dave Davies. During the interview he is asked about his brother and he states that his brother was only happy for 3 years of his life, the first 3 years of life before he (Dave) was born. This sort of Cain and Able story is heartbreaking. In a world where one would want and desire love between families we are challenged by Edgers daughter riding in the back of the car when she confronts her father about how come two brothers can’t love each other? That is actually a great question, a question that is all too real for many families. We live in a world where we wonder why we can’t get along, come to a place of peace, when in reality we can’t even get along with those we should be closest to, a brother or a sister. For me, as a person of faith I am reminded of the words of Jesus here, if we can’t love our brother or sister here on earth that we can see, how can we even pretend to say that we love God who we have never seen? A good question that for me was driven home as I contemplated about the apparent lack of love between these two brothers, who are so loved by so many others on our planet. If looking for world peace, there would be no better place to start than loving your brother. One would only hope the Davies brothers would come to this place of loving, not just in word, but in their actions.

Do It Again is about much more than The Kinks though, there are far more lessons we can learn from the example set forth by Edgers. This movie is about in many ways, going after dreams, seeking to do what your heart tells you. I was intrigued at the concept of interviewing someone you care about, love, or you have idolized. I asked Edgers if he got any butterflies during any of the interviews and how he saw them when he looked back on them. He replied that he really didn’t have any butterflies. He was so driven to do the story and to document the experiences that the experience was all he was thinking about. The only thing that created a little nervousness was going into each interview he knew he was going to ask the person he was interviewing to sing, or play along with a song with him by The Kinks. This provided quite a few entertaining moments but it also gave likeability to those who participated, and it humanized Edgers not just as a journalist, but a fan who really loved The Kinks.

I enjoyed this movie, the subject matter and the insight into not only The Kinks, (the film is loaded with their music) but especially Edgers. In truth, this isn’t really a movie about The Kinks, although there is a lot of material there, it is really a story of a man, Geoff Edgers who goes after his dream. It is the story of not giving up, of persevering, even in tough times. It is also the story of love between families, the ultimate love of a father wanting for his family, and the lack of apparent love between two brothers that would be so selfish in their apparent hate at its worst, clear dislike at its best of each other. Edgers is in fact the hero here and the truth is, he is the least known of the subject matters in the movie. He is a hero because he has a dream, and pursues that dream. That dream is sought out through love. It will likely provide a lasting impact between a daughter and son and those that view the film. That dream, is a dream worth sharing.

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