Picture this: it is 1965 and a well-known rock ‘n’ roll band, The Four Seasons, have awoken in their hotel room the morning after their gig.
Picture this: it is 1965 and a well-known rock ‘n’ roll band, The Four Seasons, have awoken in their hotel room the morning after their gig. After a heavy night of partying the band are attempting to get back to business in order to write and rehearse a new song.
Meanwhile, in the background, all they can hear is screaming fans shouting their names, begging them to come out of the hotel. The band sit in silence adjusting to their surroundings, when all of a sudden they burst into song.
What was the song you may ask?
The song was Everybody Knows My Name, written by Bob Gaudio for The Four Seasons, and is now the inspiration for Philip Bulcock’s (Nick Massi in Jersey Boys) new film.
It may not have been a hit during its time, but thanks to Bulcock’s enlightened short film, centred around and entitled Everybody Knows My Name, it captures what it was like to be a famous band in the 1960s whilst reinforcing what modern bands go through on a daily basis.
This song is not one of the better known songs from The Four Seasons, but you can recognize it instantly as being one of theirs. If you close your eyes and listen to the song you will immediately notice the recognizable falsetto tone in their voices and four part harmonies.
From musical to film
Focusing on The Four Seasons, a.k.a. Jersey Boys, it is apt that the main cast that includes Bulcock, Ryan Molly, Stephen Ashfield and Glenn Carter appeared together as the original main characters in the smash hit musical Jersey Boys.
This means that the actors are able to really get to grip with their characters and delve into their personalities. Ryan Molly, for example, plays Frankie Valli in both the musical Jersey Boys and the film Everybody Knows My Name.
Playing the leader and front face of The Four Seasons, Molly portrays Valli’s slight arrogance well as he stares into the mirror admirably whilst bursting out the lead vocals.These little motifs each actor employs for their characters are very enjoyable.
A contemporary style
In a contemporary style there are no words spoken, apart from those sung, yet it manages to tell a story. In homage to the era in which it is set the film has been shot on 35mm film giving it its vintage feel.
It invites you into the lives of The Four Seasons as the camera angles are shot as if someone else is there in the bedroom. As we follow the waiter taking their breakfast to the room it then widens so we are able to see the whole room watching the band sit looking out to the open deep in thought. Although we are watching it behind a screen it becomes very intimate between actor and audience.
This short but sweet nine minute film is a clear tribute to The Four Seasons. Simple yet effective it tells a story reminiscent of the 1960’s that also reflects on today’s music industry.
Bulcock has done a perfect job of incorporating his knowledge as a former west end actor, playing a Four Season himself, to create a contemporary tribute towards the band that were responsible for hits such as Sherry, Walk Like A Man, December 1963 (Oh What A Night) and Big Girls Don’t Cry. “Everybody knows my name, I’ve got fortune, even fame, I snap my fingers for a dame, and aint not man that I can’t tame.”
You can watch the film for free now here. Have your say on the film in the comments section below.
Kettle Rating 3/5
Image: Andrew James