Written and directed by David Chase, creator of the HBO series The Sopranos, Not Fade Away is a coming-of-age drama driven by rock music and loosely based on Chase’s own experiences as an adolescent. The film is set in the 1960s. It’s Chase’s first feature film. It’s about a bunch of high school kids in ’60s era New Jersey putting together a garage band in the wake of the The Beatles invasion of America.
Steven Van Zandt of the E Street Band was tapped by Chase to supervise Not Fade Away‘s music. Who is Steve Van Zandt, you might ask. Van Zandt’s a lot of things but he is probably known by most people (especially rock music fans) for his stint as a guitarist for Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band. He is also a popular radio talk show host on Sirius XM and 100.3 the Sound. For Not Fade Away, Van Zandt subjected the lead cast to a musical boot camp which lasted for three months. He proudly proclaimed after the boot camp that the actors had learned how to play even though some of them never held a musical instrument prior to the camp. Van Zandt has also written an original song for the movie called The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre.
Not Fade Away opens to the guitar riffs of the popular Rolling Stones song, Satisfaction. Van Zandt has stated that they spent licensing fees for approximately 50 songs. He estimated that the amount they spent in licensing comprises 10% of the whole movie’s budget. Two Beatles songs are featured in the film. These are I’ve Got a Feeling and I Want to Hold Your Hand. Plenty of Rolling Stones recordings also made it into the movie as well as recording by The Kinks and Bo Diddley.
Partial List of Songs Featured in Not Fade Away
Bali Hai from South Pacific
Satisfaction by The Rolling Stones
I’ve Got a Feeling by The Beatles
I Want To Hold Your Hand by The Beatles
I Just Want to Make Love to You by The Rolling Stones
Down So Low by Tracy Nelson
The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre by Twylight Zones (the fictional band in the film)
The cast of Not Fade Away is composed of James Gandolfini, John Magaro, Will Brill, Jack Huston, Bella Heathcote and Molly Price. The cinematography is done by Eigil Bryld.