Oh, rock ’n’ roll, you never cease to amaze me! From all your pretty 27-year-old corpses to your excesses to your plane crashes to your classic rise and fall stories of ambition, fame, hubris, and the slow spiral into irrelevance, you seem to have an endless supply of cautionary tales.
A new film by musician, composer, actor, and director Neil Norman tells the fantastic, gleeful, tragic tale of 1960s garage rock wunderkinds The Seeds, a band credited with creating the idea of flower power, whose frontman Sky Saxon is the prototypical rock god, who like Icarus, flew too close to the sun and plummeted back to earth in an inglorious heap.
This Saturday, May 9, at 9 p.m., the historic Fremont Theater will screen The Seeds: Pushin’ Too Hard, a full-length rock ’n’ roll documentary that through archival footage, photos, and recordings—along with contemporary interviews with music biz notables—tells the story of a quartet of young men who spent about 18 glorious months in the spotlight. It’s mostly the story of Sky, née Richard “Richie” Marsh, a sweet Utah-born Mormon kid who went to Hollywood and became bigger than life. It’s also the story about how sometimes personality is enough to transcend marginal talent and launch someone into fame. As Iggy Pop (one of those interviewed) said, like a lot of the best rock performers, Sky couldn’t really sing. He was bigger than mere vocal talent.
Director Neil Norman had a front-row seat to the rise and fall of The Seeds.