Music movie

Magic Music movie recalls the story of Colorado’s first jam group

Lee Aronsohn has extensive experience producing and writing for a number of sitcoms like The Big Bang Theory and Two and a half men (which he also co-created), but before moving to Los Angeles, he was a student at the University of Colorado at Boulder in the early 1970s. The self-proclaimed high school hippie, who attempted to enter the Greenwich Village clubs in New York with fake ID, first heard Magical music, hailed as Colorado’s premier jam group, about a month after starting CU.

He was struck by the band’s harmonies, and he says the melodies were like earworms, although that term didn’t exist at the time. While Magic Music never released an album (although there were offerings from Asylum, Columbia, and Flying Fish), these tunes stuck in Aronsohn’s mind for the next four decades. He sang the band’s songs to his children, and he had always hoped to hear the band play again.

After retiring from television in 2012, Aronsohn knew he wanted a new, more personal project and began to wonder what had happened to the guys at Magic Music. What began as an email correspondence with Colorado Music Hall of Fame inductee Chris Daniels – who had joined the band two years after forming Magic Music in 1970 – prompted Aronsohn to consider making a documentary about the band. . The result is 40 years in the making: the magic musical film, which he wrote, produced and directed. The film is screened in Boulder and Denver this week and will be released digitally in September.

Aronsohn says his initial vision was to document a new take on the band who started working on an album after a reunion gig at Swallow Hill in 2011, but “what developed was the desire to bring the band together. original version of the band and have them play together. ”

In the documentary, which chronicles the ups and downs of the group, Aronsohn and his team have accumulated over a hundred hours of footage, including a sold-out concert at the Boulder Theater in November 2015 with Chris “Spoons” Daniels, Will “Wilber “Luckey, George” Tode “Cahill, Rob” Poonah “Galloway and Kevin” CW “Milburn, who hadn’t performed in concert together for four decades. Earlier that year, Aronsohn had traveled to Colorado, Nevada, Alabama and Massachusetts to film the original members of the group in their hometown.

In the year and a half of editing the documentary, Aronsohn says there was a lot of trial and error, “just put one piece together and then see if I could feel a connection to another piece, and slowly, it fell into place. Slowly it gelled for me.

Part of his mission with the film was to uncover the history of the group, and he wanted to know how it matched his fantasy.

“All I was was a fan in the ’70s,” he says. “I heard the stories they tell about life on the school buses [in Eldorado Canyon] and go down to college to shower in the girl’s dorm and things. It felt like an incredibly exciting romantic life. So I wanted to know to what extent this was true and then what else was there. Of course, what I found out was that it wasn’t all drugs and women. There was a lot of struggle, cold and hunger.

Click to enlarge Magic Music members George Cahill, Chris Daniels, Will Luckey and Rob Galloway.  - WITH THE AUTHORIZATION OF BLUE INTEGRATED COMMUNICATIONS.

Magic Music members George Cahill, Chris Daniels, Will Luckey and Rob Galloway.

Courtesy of Blue Integrated Communications.

In a previous interview with WestwordDaniels said one of the keys to understanding the origins of Magic Music is that the members went to CU to play for tips where they would pass the hat on, and they depended on the streets and odd jobs for their income.

Although he never released an official album at the time, Magic Music recorded some songs on a two-track tape, and Aronsohn used some of those tapes to mark the documentary. Eighteen unreleased songs, recorded between 1970 and 1976, will appear on the film’s soundtrack, which will be released on September 13. If the film goes well, says Aronsohn, he would not only like to release a live album of the 2015 Boulder Theater show, but also release a live DVD of the entire concert.

40 years in the making: the magic musical film, opens Wednesday August 8 at Boedecker Theater at the Dairy Center for the Arts in Boulder, and on Friday August 10, at Sie FilmCenter. There will be a Q&A session with Lee Aronsohn and Chris Daniels after the 7pm show at Boedecker on August 9th. Magic Music will perform at Rocky Mountain People Festival in Lyon at 2 p.m. on Friday August 17; at 7:30 p.m. on the 17th, the film will screen at the Sie FilmCenter in Denver, followed by a Q&A and acoustic performance with the band.