I recently watched “Danny Says,” a documentary about a music industry insider by the name of Danny Fields.
As someone that worked with David Peel, who passed away last month, I knew about Danny, and various people recommended that I see this documentary.
I knew that Danny not only helped get Peel signed to Elektra, helped facilitate John Lennon‘s meeting with Peel, and also played a major role in discovering, signing and eventually managing the Ramones.
This film shared details a lot of amazing things that Danny did during his career in the music industry that I was not fully aware of…
For example, in 1996, Danny Fields was a managing editor of Datebook Magazine, which catered to teenage music enthusiasts in USA, and they decided to run excepts of a John Lennon interview conducted by journalist Maureen Cleave for the London Evening Standard. Initially ignored in the UK, the American audience picked on a statement in which John discussed how the Beatles popularity seemed to be stronger than Christianity at that point in time. There was a massive backlash against the Beatles after that incident, which probably contributed to their decision to stop touring.
Danny Fields was a person that discovered a lot of great musicians that became major trendsetters. He was hired by Elektra Records as a publicist, and helped transform a folk music label into a rock music powerhouse, working with The Doors, and convincing the label to sign MC5 and The Stooges, two bands that served as major inspirations for the US and UK punk music movements of the mid-to-late 1970s.
In 1975, Fields discovered the Ramones at CBGB, and helped get them signed to Sire Records. As the band’s co-manager, with Linda Stein, Fields brought the band to England, where they had an enormous impact, inspiring the UK punk movement.
As a writer for the New York Times pointed out, “You could make a convincing case that without Danny Fields, punk rock would not have happened.”
There’s a ton of names mentioned in this documentary. Danny worked with Doors, Cream, Lou Reed, Nico, Judy Collins, and this film includes a massive list of people that provided interviews- Michael Alago, Eric Andersen, Penny Arcade, Scott Asheton, Roberta Bayley, Jim Bessman, Susan Blonde, Justin Bond, Leee Black Childers, Judy Collins, Alice Cooper, Mike Diana, Myk Fisher, Danny Goldberg, Bob Gruen, Duncan Hannah, Steve Harris, Fayette Hauser, Kristian Hoffman, Jac Holzman, Billy James, Louis Edward Jordan, Larry Kaplan, Lenny Kaye, Wilson Kidde, Howie Klein, Wayne Kramer, Jon Landau, Richard Lloyd, John Lomax III, Pat Loud, Gary Lucas, Steve Mackay, Dick & Zoe Manitoba, Jim Marshall, Gillian McCain, Monte Melnick, John Cameron Mitchell, Paul Morrissey, Billy Name, David Neuman, David Peel, Dennis Peron, Iggy Pop, Tommy Ramone, Randi Reisfeld, Jonathan Richman, Yvonne Ruskin, Natalie Schlossman, John Sinclair, Seymour Stein, Arturo Vega, Loudon Wainwright, Rufus Wainwright, Jann Wenner, James Williamson, & Mary Woronov.
Anyways, the LOUIE LOUIE reference is as minimal as you can get. If you sneezed at the wrong time, you’d miss it completely. Nobody mentions the song, and the song isn’t even played.
It’s just tiny visual reference. There’s discussion of how big changes were happening in the pop music universe during the period of 1965-1966, and LOUIE gets an animated mention in a motion graphics sequence.
Anyways, I highly recommend this documentary and encourage my friends to see it. It’s a keeper!
The Iggy Pop story about Ron Ashton destroying a company truck was especially funny!
Danny Says – the official website
Wikipedia – Danny Fields
Wikipedia – More popular than Jesus