Friday 9 December 2016

Elton such a big Tower Records fan he had to be in documentary, says Colin Hanks

Published 13/05/2016 | 00:06

Colin Hanks holding a Tower Records bag at Piccadilly Circus ahead of his directorial debut with All Things Must Pass, a film that tells the story of Tower Records
Colin Hanks holding a Tower Records bag at Piccadilly Circus ahead of his directorial debut with All Things Must Pass, a film that tells the story of Tower Records

Sir Elton John was so vocal about his love for music chain Tower Records that Colin Hanks felt compelled to enlist him for his documentary film on the company's rise and fall.

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Hanks, son of Tom Hanks and star of The Good Guys and Fargo, makes his directorial debut with All Things Must Pass.

The film tells the story of Tower Records and features Sir Elton, Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl and singer Bruce Springsteen.

Sir Elton once said the closure of the US-based record store was "one of the greatest tragedies of my life", while Grohl was a former employee, and Springsteen a keen customer.

Hanks, 38, told the Press Association: "Just because they're famous musicians doesn't mean that they're not fans of music. Obviously in Elton's case, he was very vocal about his love for Tower, and so we wanted to make sure that we included him in the film.

"I was very cognisant of the fact that a lot of the staples of music docs seem to be: you have a bunch of famous talking heads in the first three minutes telling you why the film's important, but then you never really see them again.

"I really wanted to do something different so I chose specific people and incorporated them into the film so that they could help push the narrative forward and speak about specific things that we wanted to discuss."

Hanks said: "I knew that if we were going to be the definitive Tower Records documentary, then we would want to get Elton in.

"And Bruce Springsteen, I just want to hear him talk about anything. Anything he wants to talk about, in that sort of romantic way that he does - I'm all ears!"

Tower Records was founded in 1960 by Russ Solomon, growing out of a chemist's in Sacramento, California, and booming to more than 200 stores by 1999.

But several years later, in 2006, it went bankrupt.

Sacramento-born Hanks grew up with Tower Records and has spent years working on the documentary as a labour of love.

In 2011 he turned to crowdfunding platform Kickstarter to get financial support for the project - where the film met with grassroots support.

The director said: "It was a big sign for us, because we had gone around trying to raise funds and gone around trying to raise money, and everyone's like, 'Nah, I don't think people really care about Tower that much.'

"But I knew they did, and obviously the amount of people that donated, it showed us that we weren't wrong, we weren't crazy, and a lot of people started paying a whole lot more attention to Tower and the film as a result."

:: All Things Must Pass: The Rise And Fall Of Tower Records is out on DVD and digital download now.

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