Thursday, October 13, 2005

Crowespective: Big splash, then big bomb

Play it: Rssmbld Sndtrck - Fast Times at Ridgemont High
Play it: Rssmbld Sndtrck - The Wild Life

Fast Times at Ridgemont High was Cameron Crowe's first foray into movies, basing it loosely on his own book Fast Times at Ridgemont High: A True Story in which he, in his 20s, impersonated a high school student and chronicled their escapades. The soundtrack was crucial to the film, and no one who saw the movie at the time can listen to The Cars "Moving in Stereo" w/o thinking about Phoebe Cates (Fountains Of Wayne's video for "Stacy's Mom" recently paid homage to the scene.") Like Dazed and Confused later would accomplish, this film featured many actors who later went on to greater acheivements: Sean Penn, Nicolas Cage, Forest Whitaker, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Anthony Edwards and Eric Stolz (whom Crowe vowed to cast in every movie... Stolz appeared in every film up to Jerry Maguire.) Penn, for his part, doesn't talk about the role, and never looked back. Interesting that his brother and father jump at the chance to play in Crowe's next penned film, The Wild Life.

This bomb nearly ended Crowe's budding film career early... lucky for us, though, he was able to come out mostly unscathed. It was marketed as a continuation of Fast Times..., when it really wasn't supposed to be. Says Crowe about the movie:
The only movie that I've ever been a part of where the money guys 'got it' was The Wild Life. I'm used to them not getting it. They didn't get this movie; they didn't get Jerry Maguire; they definitely didn't get Singles and Say Anything... was barely released. In many ways it's a miracle that we're even sitting here talking about my work in film, because the only stuff that wasn't a battle for me was rock journalism.
- Cameron Crowe on The Wild Life
The soundtrack, for it's part, had a few surprises (for a run-of-the-mill teen comedy.) Prince's "Dirty Mind" and The Three O'Clock's "I Go Wild" were definitly not heard in films at the time, showing Crowe's influenceon the soundtrack.

Eric Stoltz watch: Plays Stoner Bud in Fast Times, and Bill Conrad in The Wild Life.

IMDB's soundtrack listing for Fast Times at Ridgemont High
IMDB's soundtrack listing for The Wild Life

Crowe, Elizabethtown & MMJ

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drake leLane said...

Rssmbld Sndtrck: Fast Times at Ridgemont High

* "Raised On The Radio" - The Ravyns
* "Somebody's Baby" - Jackson Browne
* "Goodbye-Goodbye" - Oingo Boingo
* "Speeding" - The Go-Go's
* "Don't Be Lonely" - Quarterflash
* "Fast Times At Ridgemont High" - Sammy Hagar
* "Moving In Stereo" - The Cars
* "We Got The Beat (single mix)" - The Go-Go's
* "Winter Wonderland " - Darlene Love
* "American Girl" - Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers

drake leLane said...

Rssmbld Sndtrck: The Wild Life

* "Born To Be Wild" - Steppenwolf
* "Walking On A Thin Line" - Huey Lewis & The News
* "The Girl Can't Help It" - Little Richard
* "Heeby-Jeebies" - Little Richard
* "(Do Not) Stand In The Shadows" - Billy Idol
* "For What It's Worth" - Buffalo Springfield
* "Dirty Mind" - Prince
* "Mirror Man" - Human League
* "Foxey Lady" - Jimi Hendrix Experience
* "Hey Joe" - Jimi Hendrix Experience
* "Burning Up - (12" version)" - Madonna
* "I Go Wild" - The Three O'Clock

J Shifty said...

Man, you are blogging like a man on fire. This is quite a string of educational, well-written posts/playlists. And they rock, too. Thank you.

It's just a damn shame that side one of Led Zeppelin IV isn't on Rhapsody...

drake leLane said...

Yes... you know Crowe loved his Zeppelin, so there's a couple more of these playlists coming up with gaping holes as a result. Although, instead of side one from Zep IV, it ended being side one from Physical Graffiti ("Kashmir"*) that got played.

thanks for the encouragement... I started the Crowespective project months ago and now am now scrambling somewhat ambivently to deliver - it's just my luck Elizabeth gonna tank.

*my ringtone for when my family calls... I'm from a town called Cashmere (named after the city vale in India and horribly mispelled by settlers.)