last update: 7th June 2018


Becoming the Boss
The early days on DVD

In January of 2005, I was contacted by Mr.Tom O'Dell, a researcher for the 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 shops.

Thanks to my help, I was included in the credits of the DVD, but unfortunately they didn't give mention of this homepage ( but instead my german homepage about astrophotography.

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