Various Artists – Greenwich Village: Music That Defined A Generation (DVD Review)
Did you ever wonder where the pop star Carly Simon got her start? It turns out…she had a sister named Lucy and they both started in Greenwich Village together. I didn’t know that until I saw this fantastic documentary directed by: Laura Archibald! I thought Carly had come out of L.A. along with James Taylor back in the early 1970’s. It turns out, she had a whole different persona with her sister Lucy in The Village in the early 1960’s. In other words…that’s where she really got her start.
The documentary is salted with segments from Suzy Rotola’s memoirs read by Susan Sarandon. For those of you who do not remember Suzy, she was quite the key figure in The Village as Bob Dylan’s first serious New York girl friend and also shares the cover of: “The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan” with the man himself. It also turns out she was one fantastic writer and kept careful notes for her book which you hear quite a bit of in the film.
Laura was careful to include some very important figures with us in her film. Artists like: Phil Ochs, Bob Dylan, Eric Anderson, Tom Paxton, Pete Seeger, Judy Collins, Ian & Sylvia Tyson, Kris Kristofferson, Happy Traum, Michelle Phillips, Carolyn Hester, Peter Paul & Mary, Richie Havens, Steve Earle, Harry & Tom Chapin, Jose Feliciano, John Sebastion, Don McLean, Arlo Guthrie, Izzy Young, Buffy Sainte Marie & more. Obviously, some of these artists and characters are no longer with us, and much of the documentary is made up of historical footage the way I like it! It’s great to see artists like: Phil Ochs…one of my favorites, come back to life with his guitar in this film.
The director deserves a-lot of credit for the detail she showed in the editing and pacing of this film. It is absolutely fabulous!
I am not going to go on & on about the many details in this film so as not to ruin it for potential viewers. But needless to say, I do highly recommend you track down this film and watch it maybe even twice as I did as to not miss any of the details. There are way too many songs, causes & scenes to go into in this one review.
If you do have a healthy interest in American folk music history…this film is a must! Thanks.