Danny Says

A decent, competently-made documentary by Brendan Toller about the life of Danny Fields, a mover and shaker – here described as a ‘connector’ – in the American music scene for most of the 1960s and 1970s. Your enjoyment will probably depend on your interest in the cultural stories of the era, as the film describes in reasonable detail Danny’s time spent with Andy Warhol and The Factory in-crowd, his life as a pop magazine editor, his subsequent years as a talent scout with Elektra – he says he’s the guy that told the label to release The Doors’ Light My Fire as a single – and his long-standing friendships with Nico, Iggy Pop, Lou Reed, David Bowie and more. He also managed The Ramones during their early years, so you can see there’s a lot of rock mythology to fit in here, but Toller does a decent job of paying as much time as possible to it all. Fields is an intelligent guy with a varied career behind him, so his interviews are enjoyable to listen to, and the other talking heads are engaging, interesting figures in their own right: Judy Collins, Iggy, Lenny Kaye, Wayne Kramer, Alice Cooper, Jonathan Richman and more all say nice things about the subject. The animations that are used occasionally feel a bit cheap and scrappy, though maybe that’s understandable for a Kickstarter-funded project. (***)