Heart’s Nancy Wilson on the classic 2000 film ‘Almost Famous’: “[It] was a really, really great project”
A remastered edition of Almost Famous, Cameron Crowe‘s acclaimed 2000 film inspired by his experiences as a teenage Rolling Stone journalist during the 1970s, was released last month on Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD.
In addition, expanded box-set versions of the film’s classic-rock-packed soundtrack are due out on August 20. Heart‘s Nancy Wilson, who was married to Crowe during the making of Almost Famous, composed the film’s score, co-wrote the original songs for Stillwater — the fictional band at the center of the movie — and served as a technical consultant and mentor to the actors.
Wilson tells ABC Audio that the movie “was a really, really great project to be part of.”
One of her interesting tasks was coaching Billy Crudup, who portrayed Stillwater guitarist Russell Hammond, on how to fake like he knew how to play the instrument.
“[M]ost of [what] I tried to show him…was all about the body language,” Nancy notes. “It was all about slouching…You gotta, like, lean on one foot, and you’ve got to have your guitar super low-slung.”
Wilson also remembers doing “a rock school thing,” where the actors were shown “video after video of The Who and [Led] Zeppelin and everybody from that era.”
As for creating Stillwater’s songs, Wilson says she and Crowe envisioned “a [meat-and-potatoes] band that would be a conglomerate of Bad Company and The Allman Brothers and maybe a little bit of R.E.M.,” whose tunes had “basic, bluesy chords [and] simple changes.”
To record the original tunes, Nancy enlisted such notable musicians as Peter Frampton, Pearl Jam‘s Mike McCready and ex-Heart drummer Ben Smith.
Wilson’s complete score and various versions of the songs she co-wrote for the film will be featured on the Almost Famous box sets.
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