Essential Pictures presents The Music Never Stopped, a drama directed by Jim Kohlberg that is based on Dr. Oliver Sacks’ case study, “The Last Hippie.” Set in the mid-1980s, the film chronicles the struggles of a father (J. K. Simmons) trying to re-connect with his estranged son (Lou Taylor Pucci), who is recovering from brain surgery that has left him unable to create any long-term memories, effectively stranding him in 1968.
Through the music that embodied the generation gap of the 1960s – particularly Grateful Dead – the father forms a most unusual but emotionally vibrant bond with the son he thought he had lost. Indeed, music plays a vital role in the film, which features songs by Bob Dylan, Crosby, Stills and Nash, Steppenwolf, Donovan and the Dead, who wrote the song for which the film is named.
A pivotal moment in the film features the father and son share a bonding moment while attending a Grateful Dead concert in the ’80s. Previously unreleased live performances of “Truckin’” (Noblesville, IN, 7/15/89) and “Touch of Grey” (East Rutherford, NJ, 10/14/89) can be heard playing during the scene. Both are included on the soundtrack, along with a previously unreleased live version of “Sugar Magnolia” recorded on February 24, 1971 in Port Chester, NY. In addition to the three unreleased tracks, a trio of classic Dead recordings also appear on the soundtrack: “Ripple,” “Uncle John’s Band,” and the live version of “Not Fade Away/Goin’ Down The Road Feeling Bad” from their eponymous live album, better known as Skull & Roses.
The soundtrack also features a new track from The Tulips, a musical group formed first as friends, then to perform "Summer Song" for the film. The song was written by Kraig Jarret Johnson, sung by Chrissy Amphlett, accompanied by Charley Drayton, Kraig Jarret Johnson and Greg Wieczorek and produced by Charley Drayton. More will be blooming from The Tulips as they continue to write and record.
“Music is such an integral character,” director Jim Kohlberg says of the film. “We were able to put together this incredible soundtrack with a great deal of detail, patience and luck. I wasn’t going to do the film unless we could get the music...”
The Music Never Stopped – Music From The Motion Picture is now from available from digital retailers. You can get it here. You can also pre-order the collection CD at Amazon.com. The film opens in limited release on March 18. Visit themusicneverstopped-movie.com for more info and access to select advance screenings.
1. “Till There Was You” – Peggy Lee
2. “Uncle John’s Band” – Grateful Dead
3. “Sugar Magnolia” (Live) – Grateful Dead*
4. “I Threw It All Away” – Bob Dylan
5. “Magic Carpet Ride” – Steppenwolf
6. “Mellow Yellow” – Donovan
7. “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” – Crosby, Stills & Nash
8. “Not Fade Away/Goin’ Down The Road Feeling Bad” (Live) – Grateful Dead
9. “Truckin’” (Live) – Grateful Dead*
10. “Touch Of Grey” (Live) – Grateful Dead*
11. “Ripple” – Grateful Dead
12. “Summer Song” – The Tulips*
13. “Gabriel’s Theme” – Paul Cantelon
* Previously Unreleased