I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve seen “Almost Famous”. It’s one of those movies I can watch three times in a row, and it will still be just as enjoyable of an experience. My DVD copy is well-loved after being watched, shared and packed to watch on trips with the girls. (It gets flipped on in hotel rooms a lot during our pre-show prep when we’re following a tour…) I can pretty much quote the entire thing, start to finish – original theatrical release and extended director’s cut.
In short: it’s my all-time favorite movie. (That probably doesn’t surprise you.)
It also taught me a lot about what it really means to be a fan of music – and that it’s okay if you’re obsessed with the lyrics and melodies over the lead singer. This movie came out at a pivotal time in my journey as a music fan and helped me transition from teenybopper with Hanson posters plastered all over her wall to a girl who follows bands on tour for the love of the music, seeks out local bands and loves the music first and always.
This month marks the 15th anniversary of the movie’s release. Specific dates are a little all over the place, depending on whether you count the movie’s debut at the Toronto International Film Festival (Sept. 8), the limited release (Sept. 13) or the nation-wide release (Sept. 22) as THE day.
But there’s really no bad day to celebrate this awesome music movie in my world, so to do just that I’ve put together a little list of all the musical truths I learned for my many, many viewings of this classic.
29 musical truths I learned from “Almost Famous”
- Simon and Garfunkel is the poetry of drugs and promiscuous sex.
- Sometimes the lyrics say more than you ever could.
- If you listen to “Tommy” by The Who with a candle burning, you’ll see your entire future.
- True music chooses you – it lives in your car or inside your headphones.
- Jim Morrison is a drunken buffon posing as a poet. (But The Guess Who has the courage to be drunken buffons.)
- If Lou’s doing Bowie and Bowie’s doing Lou…Lou’s still doing Lou.
- You can’t make friends with the rock stars.
- All you have to do is listen.
- Groupies sleep with rock stars because they want to be near someone famous. Band-aids are there because of the music. They inspire the music. (Meaning band-aids are good groupies…but The Band Aid wasn’t a very good blog name…)
- Bands should always play for the fans, not the critics.
- Rock ‘n roll is a lifestyle, a way of thinking and it can save the world.
- What it all comes down to is that indefinable thing when someone catches something in your music – the buzz.
- If you never take it seriously, you never get hurt. If you never get hurt, you always have fun. And it you ever get lonely, you just go to the record store and visit your friends.
- Never become a music writer and befriend those who will use you to further the big business desire of glorifying worthless rock stars.
- Some of the people you meet on the road are really amazing people.
- Lead singers work harder than anyone else on stage.
- There is no song better for a road trip sing-along than “Tiny Dancer.”
- When you’re out on the road with friends…you ARE home.
- Being in a touring band = having compromised morals and throwing away brain cells like confetti.
- If you think Mick Jagger is still going to be out there trying to be a rock star at age 50, you’re sadly mistaken.
- Tour buses are the heart and soul of a band on tour.
- The record companies will ruin rock ‘n roll and strangle everything we love about it. (Spoiler alert: they already have.)
- If you’re not careful and cross the line to being just a groupie, the band manager will sell you for $50 and a case of beer.
- Being on the road is the circus – everyone’s trying to not go home. (Don’t get caught up in it.)
- Most music fans – true fans – are too sweet for rock ‘n roll.
- It’s bad form to start singing any Buddy Holly song during a rough plane ride…
- Rock stars don’t see themselves the way they really are. (But then, maybe fans don’t either.)
- Most people don’t know what it’s like to love some silly little piece of music or some band so much that it hurts.
- What is there to love about music? To begin with, everything.
What’s the best musical truth you learned from “Almost Famous”?
Share yours in the comments.
P.S. If you love this movie as much as me, I’ve pinned some awesome articles and photos on my Almost Famous board on Pinterest.
Screen caps by me via Netflix.
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