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‘Danny Says’ (review)

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Produced by Pamela Lubell
Written and Directed by Brendan Toller
Starring Danny Fields, Alice Cooper,
Iggy Pop, Tommy Ramone,
Jonathan Richman, Jac Holzman,
Judy Collins, John Cameron Mitchell

It is very likely that the first time I encountered the name ‘Danny Fields’ was while reading No One Here Gets Out Alive, the seedy biography of Jim Morrison.

Danny Fields had been the ‘company freak’ at Elektra Records, and convinced the promotions department to release ‘Light My Fire’ as a single.

Soon, The Doors were on their way to success. Danny Fields was on his way to something simultaneously more vague and more interesting.

Danny Fields, a powerfully intelligent child born in Queens, NY in 1939, grew up to be one of the quiet taste makers of the The 20th Century.

His resume is intimidating: in addition to breaking The Doors in America, he worked with Andy Warhol and The Velvet Underground; he signed and The MC5 and The Stooges to Elektra Records during his hitch at the company; he introduced Iggy Pop to David Bowie; he hung around with The Beatles, despite not being a huge fan of theirs; he managed The Ramones.

He was America’s top secret barometer of cool for about 40 years.

Danny Says is the much-anticipated documentary film about our hero. Mr. Fields comes across as low-key and hilarious, deadpanning his way through anecdotes about having to hide an inebriated Jim Morrison’s car keys. The film is charming and fun, and never depends on nostalgia.

In fact, Mr. Fields is a man who has spent his entire life looking towards the future.

The scene in which Danny plays a tape recording of him playing The Ramones’ debut for an ecstatic Lou Reed is worth the price of admission, by itself.

Rating: A+

Danny Says is now playing in theaters and On Demand

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