Tag: Gene Krupa

Don’t turn around, the musical biopic you were undoubtedly waiting for…

With all the great and at least slightly tragic musical figures who have earned the biopic treatment who could be next? Who could follow such deserving figures as Ray Charles, Johnny Cash, Al Jolson, Jim Morrison, Ian Dury, Glen Miller, Gene Krupa, Edith Piaf, Bob Dylan, Serge Gainsbourg, and, of course, Dewey Cox? Marvin Gaye? Jacques Brel? Joni Mitchell? Jimi Hendrix, for crying out loud?

Nope, why make just another flick about a genius who forever changed the face of contemporary music when you give the world the world story of the man without whom there would be no “Der Kommisar” and or “Rock Me, Amadeus.” Ladies and gentlemen, direct from Austria and the year 2008 — sometimes it takes a while for good things to make it stateside — I present “Falco – Verdammt, wir leben noch!” (“Falco – Damn, We’re Still Alive”). Forgive the lack of subtitles, but I’m feeling like we get the gist.

H/t to Christopher Stipp of /Film.

Okay, it should be mentioned that Falco was, in fact, the most famous German language pop artist internationally, at least that I can think of right now. Also, I sort of liked “Der Kommisar” back in the day. “Rock Me, Amadeus” never did it for (for that matter, neither did “Amadeus”). Also, I believe that my first ever paying writing assignment was writing a review of the worldwide-hit free album Herr Falco made betweeen “Der Kommisar” and “Rock Me Amadeus.” If memory serves, I think I gave it a C+ or, perhaps feeling a bit generous, a B-. Shades of things to come.

Special bonus video after the flip.

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Drum Boogie

Continuing our A Blog Supreme-inspired series of great jazz-on-film moments, here’s a sequence featuring Barbara Stanwyck and legendary jazz/swing drummer Gene Krupa — pretty much the Keith Moon of his day — from one of my personal favorite classic-era comedies, Howard Hawks’ 1941 “Ball of Fire.” You’ll also notice Gary Cooper in there, playing an extremely sheltered professor researching the urban slang of the time.

One hallmark of classic era films is that you can be watching a noir mystery, a western, or a non-musical screwball comedy, and sometimes things will just stop for a song.  As you’ll see here, that wasn’t a bad thing if the right talent was available. And, whatever you do, don’t stop watching before seeing what Krup could do with a matchbook cover, starting at about 4:17 or so.

In case anyone’s wondering, no, that’s not Ms. Stanwyck singing. The terrific vocals are by Martha Tilton.

And here’s a bonus — Krupa with the Benny Goodman band in an amazing performance of their signature tune, Louis Prima’s “Sing, Sing, Sing.”

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