RIVERSIDE: The Seeds documentary will take root at Mission Tobacco Lounge (The Press Enterprise)


Film director, musician and record label head Neil Norman spent years looking through people’s attics, poring over tapes, photos and bits of 8mm films, searching for anything he could on influential Southern California rock band the Seeds.

“We took all of the pieces and made a puzzle out of it,” Norman said in a telephone interview earlier this week.

In 2014, seven years after Norman and producer Alec Palao started, they released the fruits of their labor in the form of the documentary, “The Seeds: Pushin’ Too Hard,” which chronicles the band’s meteoric rise in the 1960s and its influence as well as its demise.

Norman, who directed the documentary, and Palao will be on hand for a screening of the film on Saturday, June 6, at Mission Tobacco Lounge in Riverside.

After the film, there will be a Q&A session and then there will be music from the Sloths, the Woolly Bandits and Vicky and the Vengents.

Growing up, Norman had a front-row seat for the ride of the Seeds. His father had signed the band to record label GNP Crescendo, which Norman now runs. The director remembered hearing the Seeds for the first time when he was 10 or 11.

“I was his adolescent A&R man,” Norman said.

While the first song his father released wasn’t a big hit for the Seeds, there was potential there and “Pushin’ Too Hard” became the band’s signature song, cracking the Top 40. Soon the band landed on “American Bandstand” and ushered in the flower-power movement.

“I saw the girls go crazy,” Norman said.

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