“Like A Rolling Stone”
This year’s Mill Valley Film Festival once again delivered some remarkable films and documentaries and while we wish we could review them all, thought it would be fitting to have the infamous Ben Fong Torres, editor for Rolling Stone magazine and who the documentary, “Ben Fong Torres’s “Like a Rolling Stone” is all about, do it for us. The documentary, currently receiving a 100% rotten tomato score was summed up quite well by top film critic Robert Daniels, “A must-see for every journalist, for any music fan, and for anyone who’s ever doubted their chances of success”
Clare Wasserman and Stephanie Clarke, who’ve produced many magical shows together since the early 80’s, hit the jackpot again producing a perfectly produced event at the Sweetwater directly following the viewing that was actually curated by Ben himself. We met up with Clare and Stephanie after the show. Stephanie said, “The audience was so emotional after the viewing. That emotion they carried over to the event is what empowered such incredible performances throughout the evening” Ben clearly overwhelmed and grateful posted a thank you and recap we wouldn’t dream of editing.” Ben Fong Torres: I’m still coming down from the music show at the Sweetwater Music Hall, following the screening of that doc about me (Like a Rolling Stone) on Oct. 10. Even after two one-hour sets, the carefully packed house called for more, until one of the musicians came up with a rowdy “Twist and Shout.”
The house band, led by Austin DeLone, backed an amazing array of performers and songs, picked to reflect the film and my career at RS and beyond. They included my soul sister Annie Sampson, the equally soulful Glenn Walters, David Freiberg doing a stunning “Get Together,” Maria Muldaur saluting Dan HIcks, Roger McNamee and Kurt Huget offering quieter moments with songs by the Beatles and the Dead, Kimberlye Gold mesmerizing the crowd with classics by Janis and Grace, and Scott Mathews twisting “Road Runner” into a salute to cheese & me.
I did Dean Martin’s “Memories are Made of This,” Elvis’ “Little Sister” and Dylan’s “Rainy Day Women,” with lyrics about the documentary, from Bob’s POV. Through all of this, I was backed by guitar whiz Todd Swenson and the wonderful Soul Delights: Katie Guthorn, Kathy Kennedy and Keta Bill. They also backed up Glenn, Kimberlye and others, and took the spotlight themselves for tunes by Marvin Gaye and Linda Ronstadt.
One clear highlight was Annie’s “It’s All Over Now (Baby Blue),” with a moving a cappella vamp. Dianne, my wife, captured it, and nephew Jason put it on YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ENiPeH9sR2USearch. The MVFF (festival) site has two galleries covering the Sweetwater show and 2 screenings of the film. Here are some of Brian Wilk’s shots, including Dianne and me with director-producer Suzanne Joe Kai. And here on FB, Carol Caley Guida posted some pics and video snippets. I have thanked all the players and the wonderful audience. Now, I thank you.