Out of Nowhere: Champaign Music Scene Documentary
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(Jan 01, 2012)
A documentary film about the Champaign-Urbana, Illinois music scene, from the sixties through the oughts. Features exclusive, on-camera interviews with REO Speedwagon, Head East's John Schlitt, Adrian Belew (with a great Robert Fripp story), Slink Rand, Mark Rubel, Elsinore's Ryan Groff, Cody Sokolski, Finchley Boys' George Faber and Garrett Oostdyk, Seth Fein, Keith Harden, Terry Hawkins, Champaign Mayor Don Gerard, Larry Fredrickson, Phil Strang, Roger Francisco, Michael Husler, Ralph Senn, The Rave's Brian Cook, Bob Simpson, Larry Wigand, Jay Rosenstein, Mark Lundquist, Rocky Maffit and more. Includes exclusive and rare performance video.
Top customer reviews
REO's story is featured heavily in "Out of Nowhere," and deservedly so. These guys helped put Champaign on the map in many ways, and frankly, I had no idea that the founding and longtime members of this huge band had such sentimental and loyal feelings toward their hometown of Champaign. The cheerfulness and sincerity displayed by Cronin, Doughty and Hall is infectious as they're carted around C-U in a tour bus in 2010, taking in the sites outside the window, sharing memories of and thoughts on the town, keeping things lighthearted but earnest. Cronin, who hails from Chicago, is particularly engaging and fun to watch. Late in the movie, his spirited solo acoustic performance of "Music Man" at the fabled Virginia Theater is a treat to behold.
As the stories unfold, head-bobbing rock tunes appropriately accompany the plethora of photos of practically every past and present C-U rock 'n' roll artist or band who's made a difference -- it makes you want to discover all of this music. Many rockers in the photos are long vanished from the scene, but some are still around, flaunting their chops in different Champaign bands. Of course, the seasoned musicians who've made it happen over the years have rich stories to tell, and that's where the narrative fun comes in. Grizzled rock veterans who share their thoughts include George Faber of the Finchley Boys, Cody Sokolski of the of the Delta Kings, Slink Rand of the Slink Rand Group (a band I wouldn't mind hearing more music from) and Don Gerard from Moon Seven Times. The very interesting and well-spoken John Schlitt, former lead singer of Head East and Petra, as well as modern rocker Ryan Groff from Elsinore, offer their cool stories as well. All weigh in with fascinating perspectives from different eras and express tons of prideful memories.
Prior to watching "Out of Nowhere," I thought I had a firm grasp of C-U's storied rock 'n' roll scene; this documentary proved I had much to be educated on. There are simply so many topnotch C-U artists who have rocked the city throughout the years that it's mind boggling. Film creator Bob Zimmerman deserves lots of credit for consolidating loads of material into a few hours that fly by. Undoubtedly, he could have added more stories, more bands, more photos and more music; happily a continuation to this documentary, which will hopefully include more female artists, is already in the works. After watching "Out of Nowhere," you'll come away thinking that Champaign-Urbana is the opposite of nowhere ... it's definitely "somewhere," like any spirited college town deserves to be.
- Erik Krogh
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If you love Reo Speedwagon, Adrian Belew, Ryan Groff from Elsinore...Read more