Lost & Found: Can You Name Everyone in the Backbeat Band?
When director Iain Softley started working on the Beatles biopic ‘Backbeat,’ he made an unorthodox choice regarding the soundtrack. The film depicted the Beatles’ formative years, focusing on their time in Hamburg, Germany. Instead of using recordings of the Beatles or rerecording the songs they played during that time, Softley enlisted the help of some outlier rock ‘n’ roll talent.
A veritable who’s-who of indie-rock artists gathered to record the ‘Backbeat’ soundtrack. The band was comprised of Soul Asylum’s Dave Pirner, Afghan Whigs‘ Greg Dulli, Sonic Youth‘s Thurston Moore, Gumball’s Don Fleming, Mike Mills from R.E.M., Nirvana and Foo Fighters dude Dave Grohl and Henry Rollins even made a guest appearance for one song.
The Backbeat Band came together to perform three songs on the 1994 MTV Movie Awards. Even though the film’s soundtrack doesn’t contain any original Beatles songs (the film only used the songs the young Beatles used to cover), the Backbeat Band finished up their three-song set with the Beatles’ ‘Helter Skelter.’
The credits to the movie awards show started rolling while the band was playing the last song of their set, but the guys just kept going. The set eventually, as great rock shows sometimes do, devolved into mayhem and destruction as the musicians began pulling down gear and knocking into one another onstage. It’s one of those magical music moments that will most likely never be seen again.
And if you’ve never heard of ‘Backbeat,’ it’s not a bad film. You could certainly do worse when looking for something to watch if you’re bored. The soundtrack is killer.