Thursday, September 28, 2017 at 8:45 PM Vancouver Playhouse
What do Janis Joplin, Bruce Springsteen, Aretha Franklin, Barry Manilow, Patti Smith, Whitney Houston, Sean “Puffy” Combs, and Alicia Keys have in common? They all owe a large part of their success to legendary recording exec Clive Davis. A Harvard-trained lawyer with zero experience of the artistic side of the music business, Davis was inexplicably elevated from the legal department to president of Columbia Records in 1967. Famously, the neophyte was persuaded to attend the Monterey Pop music festival (wearing his trademark suit, no less), where Janis Joplin’s incendiary performance blew his mind—he signed her on the spot and has never looked back. Full to the brim with fantastic archival performance footage and insightful interviews with many of his star discoveries (Springsteen, Franklin and Smith among them), Chris Perkel’s riveting, info-packed portrait traces Davis’ remarkable tenure at the top of the music industry, and his brave integrity as a gay man. What a ride it’s been! And, given that he’s still going strong at 85, it’s not over yet…
Chris Perkel’s riveting profile of legendary music man Clive Davis spans a remarkable five-decade career, providing an incredible tour of the most sensational music of the cultural revolution, from the ’60s to the rise of hip-hop.
A native New Yorker, Chris Perkel cut his teeth editing features for Academy Award®-winners Cameron Crowe and Morgan Neville. His directorial debut, The Town That Was, explored the devastation of the Centralia mine fire. Perkel followed up with works for the United Nations and Coachella before directing and editing Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of Our Lives.
“Captivating… [The film] celebrates how someone like Davis could work with a freedom that now seems enviable, if not miraculous. Watching the movie is like listening to some ultimate annotated Classic Top 40 playlist… [that] sheds irresistible slivers of light on the mystery of how great pop comes into being… He didn’t draw the pop-vs.-edge distinction that too many fans (and critics) do… Clive Davis was able to listen without prejudice.”—Owen Gleiberman, Variety