Classic Hits & Oldies

‘Let There Be Drums!’ director Justin Kreutzmann discusses star-studded music doc’s emotional family aspect

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Courtesy of Greenwich Entertainment

Let There Be Drums!, a new documentary starring various famous rock drummers, opened in theaters and was released digitally and on-demand on Friday.

The film was directed by Justin Kreutzmann, son founding Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann, who’s featured in the movie and was one of its executive producers.

Justin tells ABC Audio that besides featuring various musicians sharing their stories about how they developed their passion for drumming, the doc examines the experiences of several children of well-known drummers, some of whom followed in their dad’s footsteps and others, like himself, who didn’t.

Justin says the idea to feature stories about drummers’ families came together while he was interviewing late Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins for the film.

“[Taylor] said, ‘I don’t know if this is for this documentary, but, like, how stable was your home life growing up?'” Justin notes. “And we started a dialogue, and everybody did that with me.”

Besides such famous musicians as Justin’s father, Ringo Starr, Hawkins, The Police‘s Stewart Copeland, The Grateful Dead’s Mickey Hart and Red Hot Chili PeppersChad Smith, the movie features John Bonham‘s son Jason, Keith Moon‘s daughter Mandy, Ginger Baker‘s son Kofi and Phil Collins‘ son Nic.

In talking to the various drummers’ children, Justin notes, “I was really interested in people’s … home life and growing up on the road or not growing up on the road or what happens when you have issues maybe from childhood because you feel like your dad’s fan base gets more of his time than you do.”

Justin adds that he hopes that the documentary “works on both levels,” for music fans interested in famous drummers’ stories and for people who will appreciate the emotional family aspect.

Let There Be Drums! also will be released on DVD this Tuesday.

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