Reviewed by Jan E. Morris

Only sleeping in the spirit of your generation


I had no childhood dreams of being a Rock writer. I was a singer with possibilities, traumatized into silence at the tender age of sixteen by a blotched solo on a spring Sunday morning. My world was far from the heartbeat of Rock & Roll, but I lingered by the stages of the hometown dances, intoxicated with the music of those cover bands and mesmerized by the singers … who were living my dream. In the years that shaped my life, I considered myself incredibly fortunate to have known artists with enormous talent and charisma. Eventually, I felt compelled to write down the performances I was experiencing and to tell the stories of the artist behind the music. There are two kinds of journalists, the hard-nosed critic and the fluff writer; both are extremes of a single character known as a "fan". You can't be drawn into that life style without a genuine love for the artists and the music … if anyone tries to tell you different its pure bullshit.

In those days before MTV and rock videos and the Internet, aside from stiff TV performances, it was the Rock writers of Rolling Stone and Creem and Circus who found the words to bring the stories of the Rock performances to life and legend. The sheer genius and genuine talent of those performances demanded eloquence and you need only pick up a vintage Rolling Stone to experience the imagery and prose of prolific writers like Paul Williams and Ben Fong-Torres. The written word was all but dead until the Internet made writers of us all, but the rich tapestries of those words penned from the impressions of a culture in perpetual euphoria seem lost forever.

Almost Famous is not about the music, it is a journey into the lives of those of us who've been lucky enough to move in those inner sanctums. It is a reminder of just how much music and the artists who create it have enriched our lives. For those who missed it, it's your all access pass, you might be surprised to find there is more to Rock & Roll than sex and drugs. As the film flashed through three decades of my life (it is not so very different today), I wanted to thank each and every one of those artist's who touched my soul with their words and music; for the moments when they made me feel like the most cared for person in the room; for the hundreds of nights I watched instruments torn down, stood in as a Guardian Angel, and stood back as the buses disappeared into the night. Looking back, I've loved it all.

Tell them you came & saw
& look'd into my eyes
& saw the shadow
of the guard receding

James Douglas Morrison

Official Site
trailer courtesy of Vidnet
interview with Billy Crudup courtesy

the soundtrack rocks !

DVD release March 13, 2001