Becoming the Boss
The early days on DVD
In January of 2005, I was contacted by Mr.Tom O'Dell, a researcher for
UK TV company Pickle Productions. His company was preparing a project of
making a documentary film about the early years of Bruce Springsteen.
After the initial surprise, I of course thought it would be a great idea
to make a DVD about the early days. Without hesitation, I decided to help
them out with some of the information on my webpage and by putting them in
contact to some of the potential interview subjects.
Tom O'Dell was seeking information and possible interviewees for the film.
He would be flying to the USA to conduct these interviews and needed a
contact person or persons while there. I contacted Albee Tellone by email
and asked his permission to allow Mr.O'Dell to have his email address.
Albee agreed and they began corresponding daily while trying to track down
some of the principle people needed for the interviews. Albee was able to
help Tom track down some of the potential interviewees by using the
internet and email. He was in contact with Vini Lopez and through Vini,
Tinker West. Up until this time Tinker has never been co-operative with
anyone who wanted interviews or information. Vini Lopez deserves the
credit for getting Tinker to grant an interview - and a good one at that !
The shooting of the DVD began on Febuary 15, 2005 - when Tom O'Dell and
his camera operator flew to Memphis,Tennessee and drove for 3 hours to
find and interview Albee Tellone in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas. They
continued on to other states like Virginia, to interview Robbin Thompson
and NJ to interview Vini Lopez, John Luraschi, Tinker West, Frank
Marziotti, Richard Blackwell and others. Then to California to interview
the writers of the books about Springsteen.
What I have always liked about Albee's stories is the convincingly real
style in which he tells them. The stories told in these interviews are no
exception. Frank Marziotti gives a lot of great insight into what was
going on with The Castiles and Tex Vinyard, their manager. Robbin Thompson
has a unique perspective of the band Steel Mill, which was the most
popular original music band on the Jersey shore from 1968-1971. A singer
from Richmond Virginia - some 320 miles south of NJ - Robbin was added to
the band in the summer of 1970, long after their sound was established.
Tinker gives a very good explanation as to how the Upstage Club in Asbury
Park contributed to the formation of Steel Mill along with his experiences
as their manager.
Vini Lopez gives very good in-depth details to the workings of Steel Mill,
The Bruce Springsteen Band, and The E Street Band. He and Albee give some
good insights as to what it was like to travel around with these guys.
Both the good and the bad. After he saw the DVD, Albee told me "I sure was
glad that the stories I told matched up with Vini and Tinker! We didn't
prepare for those interviews." "It was ALL spontaneous and off the cuff. I
live in Arkansas and they live some 1200 miles away in NJ."
The total running time of the documentary is about 80 Minutes. Footage of
Albee playing mandolin with fiddler DeeAnn Gillispie at Zeke's Music where
they work in Mountain View, Arkansas, is included in a bonus chapter.
Also included are a digital trivia quiz and a discography. The DVD comes
in a standard case and is factory pressed. The packing is nice, but
unfortunately there is no booklet included which diminishes the overall
impression. However, this DVD is a special item for everyone who is
interested in the early days of Bruce Springsteen and all of his musical
friends in Asbury Park. I highly recommend it specifically because of the
many interviews with the "old guys", which are quite interesting.You can
purchase this DVD at your local recordshop or at one of the many online
Thanks to my help, I was included in the credits of the DVD, but
unfortunately they didn't give mention of this homepage (www.castiles.net)
but instead my german homepage about astrophotography.