Tag Archives: Don’t Ask Me Questions

They Did It!

Light 'em off if you got 'em!

The Graham Parker documentary film Don’t Ask Me Questions achieved its funding goal during the final week of pledges!

Visit the official film Kickstarter page.

Congratulations to Michael Gramaglia, who can now complete the project and get it out into the world.

Congratulations to Graham Parker, who will finally see a decent documentary about his brilliant career become reality.

Congratulations to all the donors whose generosity helped support this vision.

And congratulations to the people who might finally tap into this artist we know and love thanks to their (likely) accidental exposure to this film. Can you imagine just discovering Parker this week and having that incredible catalogue to troll through as a new experience? I don’t think I’d trade thirty plus years of pleasure for one deep dive, but there are going to be some very happy people opening that door for the very first time.

After the success of Do It Again and now this, I have faith that projects about radio-ignored worthy artists can take root. And yes, I’m hoping that the next Kickstarter email I get is asking me to check out the John Hiatt story…

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Filed under Features and Interviews, Film/TV, Music, Reviews

Graham Parker Film – Home Stretch

I was angry too, back then.

Passion is no ordinary word. 

Last month, I wrote about the Kickstarter effort to raise funds for the Graham Parker documentary Don’t Ask Me Questions. The response has been tremendous and the goal is within reach. 

However, the premise of Kickstarter is that if the goal is not attained, none of the pledge money goes through. 

With one week to go, the producer still needs only a small amount – roughly six hundred dollars a day. That’s a dozen fifty dollar bids, twenty people pledging thirty dollars. In other words, it’s right there in front of us

Please consider a donation if you haven’t done so, but more importantly please pass the word along to friends who might be able to join the effort. 

Here’s the direct link to the Kickstarter page – and Michael Gramaglia has posted two new clips from the film for your dining and dancing pleasure. 


Filed under Film/TV, Music

Another Kickstarter Success Story

"I Won't Go Hollywood"

Looks like the new paradigm is DIY – with sponsors.

Got a note the other day about the upcoming Bleu album, Four. I’m a big fan; they even used my pull quote on the jacket of the first album which was my favorite record of the year. But although he’s had success on a major label and getting his music into film, he’s gone the truly independent route this time in an effort to release his music without compromise or interference – he’s gone on Kickstarter. Stacy from Speck Management, who handles Bleu, echoes my feelings about this type of DIY marketing plan:

“I think this is a full testament that indie music is alive and well!  Major record labels, and even some indie labels, I think, are underestimating the power of fans who truly love the artists they….love.  Fans seem to rally for artists on Kickstarter because they know their pledges go directly to the artist, and that makes them feel good about it.”

Unlike most of the projects on Kickstarter, Bleu has blown by his initial modest goal by a mile, but he’s still offering several inducement packages to invest directly with the artist; circumnavigating the old-school machine that sucks up most of the money and usually drops the ball.

The amount of money is a pittance compared to a major film or album budget, but I guarantee you Bleu is getting far more cash to work with and will have no debt to recoup, plus he has 100% ownership going forward. It’s a sweet deal for him, and for his fans – he’ll be able to get more projects completed and released and extend his career. In short, the new paradigm.

You’ll remember that a while back I touted the support of the Kinks film Do It Again, where Geoff Edgers had invested all he could from personal savings (and the wallets of friends and family) and used Kickstarter to get the film into festivals. The result was a rousing success, and he continues to take the film around the world and screen it for audiences and distributors. Having seen the film and the audience reaction to it, I know it’s only a matter of time before this gets a wider release.

Another project is the Graham Parker documentary Don’t Ask Me Questions which is making great strides after only a couple of weeks. Once again, people like you and me are getting involved to support worthy projects with reasonable budgets to help bring them to fruition.

The premise of a Kickstarter program is that the creator has a financial goal which is publicly posted. If they do not reach that goal in the allotted period of time, all bets are off and none of the pledges are enforced. For those who are skeptical about donating to a project and then losing their money when it never sees the light of day, this is about as big a safeguard as you can get.

Could a project owner raise the pledge money and then pocket it without producing the planned result? Of course. People could also request an insufficient sum of money because they planned poorly, or could wind up reprioritizing the effort and making a profit. You have to use your common sense, like you should do with any investment. Thankfully it’s easy to research the project owner, and since the artist involved has a lot more to risk career-wise, you can be pretty certain that they vetted everything thoroughly before getting their name and reputation involved.

And if the project owner makes some money, what’s wrong with that? As long as the album or film gets produced, I’m happy. Isn’t that what it’s all about?

Otherwise you can sit at home and watch the big industrial machine release make the decisions. So enjoy that Creed album on your way to see Transformers V.

Here’s the main link to Kickstarter – you might find that a favorite artist is trying to get something off the ground, and you could be an important part of making that happen. If for nothing else, you’ll get an advance, behind-the-scenes peek at what might be coming down the pike in the future.

It’s your eyes and ears and wallet, after all. Carpe diem

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Filed under Editorials, Film/TV, Music

Graham Parker Film!


Well, it’s about damned time! 

Don’t Ask Me Questions is a new documentary film about Graham Parker being brought to life by Michael Gramaglia, who co-produced and co-directed the wonderful Ramones film End of the Century

I doubt I have to explain to the regulars here who Graham Parker is…how he burst upon the US scene in 1976 with not one but two five-star albums (Howlin’ Wind and Heat Treatment). Or how three years later Squeezing Out Sparks was lauded by most critics as the best rock album of the year. How thirty-five years after his first splash he continues to write, record and perform some of the most intelligent, passionate, and literate rock’n’roll on the planet. 

But for the sake of convenience, here’s a link to a couple of hundred song clips that should seal the deal for any of you scratching your head. There are enough collections and best-ofs to fill a shelf, but don’t sell yourself short. Start at the beginning if you must, but work your way through his incredible catalogue and hear the albums in their entirety. You’ll find wonderment galore, from classics like  “Soul Shoes“, “Discovering Japan” and “Temporary Beauty” to recent gems like “She Swallows It” and “You’re Not Where You Think You Are“. 

I was angry too, back then.

I’ve seen Graham Parker perform many times over the years and have had the great pleasure of interviewing him for a magazine feature. He’s as powerful a presence with an acoustic guitar and his sardonic wit as he is backed by the fire of The Rumour and The Figgs. Once he was lumped together with Elvis Costello and Joe Jackson (and for some of us, John Hiatt) as one of rock’n’roll’s “Angry Young Men“. Now, older and wiser, he’s aged like fine wine. Here indeed is a man who spent a career putting art before commerce, passion before trend and substance before flavor. 

Now, finally, the Graham Parker story…on film


From the website“A modern troubadour, Graham releases new music almost on a yearly basis, while touring small clubs around the country to a die hard fan base…The film documents the history of his independent spirit and defiant optimism, celebrates the sincerity of his music and delights in his self-deprecating wit.” 

Interviewed in the film are Martin Belmont, Steve Goulding, Bob Andrews, Nick Lowe, Joe Jackson, Dave Robinson, Ian Hunter, Pete Thomas, Black Francis, Jesse Malin, The Figgs, Meg Griffin and Alan Pepper, among others. 

The project has been in the works for four years and is available for the general public to financially participate in the production at varying levels through the Kickstarter website. This is the same method that enabled the recent Kinks film Do It Again to get off the ground, and as a proud participant in both efforts I can vouch for the process. 

It’s not cheap to assemble a quality documentary film, especially when you have to secure rights to footage and audio and do it the right way. A project like this really hits home for me; it’s the type of thing I would do if I had the time and the money…and the guts

But someone is doing it. And he needs a hand. The pledge drive continues through the Summer; there’s a long way to go but a very reasonable target to aim for. Contribute if you can, but at least spread the word far and wide

Don’t Ask Me Questions official site . Great promo clip!

Graham Parker official website. Mecca!

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