WATTSTAX

“A candid, colorful and deeply meaningful sociocultural time capsule, one that captured the Black community at the height of its political energy and optimism.” (Washington Post)

In August 1972, acclaimed Memphis, Tennessee-based Stax Records presented Wattstax, an all-star concert featuring the label’s roster. Held in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, the marathon concert featured soul, funk, r&b, gospel jazz, pop and blues. Performers included Albert King, The Staple Singers, Rufus and Carla Thomas, The Bar-Kays and many others; the performance was headlined by a set featuring Isaac Hayes, then at the apex of his career; earlier that year Hayes won an Oscar and several Grammy Awards for his Shaft soundtrack). The concert was designed to commemorate the seventh anniversary of the Watts riots; as a gift to the community, tickets were priced at $1. More than 110,000 people attended the concert, a film of which was released to theaters in 1973.

Commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Wattstax concert film, Grail Moviehouse proudly presents a special one-night screening of the movie on Monday, February 13. Co-hosted by author, speaker and music journalist Bill Kopp and former Motown staff writer Sidney Barnes, the evening will feature a screening of the film followed by an interactive discussion. Wattstax is the third in Grail Moviehouse’s ongoing series, Music Movie Mondays.

“Going to the movies has always been a kind of communal experience,” says Kopp, host of Music Movie Mondays. “Especially in this post-lockdown era, the opportunity to not only watch a film but then to discuss it with others is something even more special. And music-related films lend themselves remarkably well to this kind of shared, interactive experience.”

Kopp’s co-host for the event, Sidney Barnes is a fellow resident of Western North Carolina. A staff songwriter for Motown Records during its heyday, Barnes also fronted psychedelic soul group Rotary Connection, one of the most prominent and successful multiracial pop groups of the ‘60s and early 1970. For the Wattstax discussion, Barnes – who at age 82 is still an active performer and recording artist – will share his unique perspective and experiences as part of the music industry of that era.

Music Movie Mondays is sponsored by AshevilleFM. Hosted by Asheville-based author and music journalist Bill Kopp, Grail Moviehouse presents a special screening of Concert for George on Monday, February 13 @ 7:30 pm and Sponsored by AshevilleFM, Grail Moviehouse’s screening of Wattstax will feature a brief introduction by host Bill Kopp. Then we’ll watch the film together; afterward, we’ll engage in a moderated discussion featuring co-host Sidney Barnes.

The one-night-only screening of Wattstax is the third and latest in the series of Music Movie Mondays at Grail Moviehouse. Every month, we’ll watch and discuss new releases, classics and cult favorites.

WHAT: Music Movie Mondays Series: Wattstax
Special screening and moderated discussion hosted by Bill Kopp with special co-host Sidney Barnes
WHERE: Grail Moviehouse, 17 Foundy Street, Asheville
WHEN: Monday, February 13 @ 7:30 p.m. / Tickets are $15 and likely to sell out!


PAST SCREENINGS…


Concert for George

UPDATE: The first screening at 7pm is SOLD OUT, but due to high demand, Grail Moviehouse has added a SECOND screening at 7:10pm. Discussion afterward (for ticketholders of both shows) is included. Link below gets you tix to that screening. (UPDATE: second screening is also sold out)

On November 29, 2002, one year after the passing of George Harrison, Olivia Harrison and longtime friend Eric Clapton organized a performance tribute in his honor. Held at London’s Royal Albert Hall, the momentous evening featured George’s songs, and music he loved, performed by a lineup that included Clapton, Joe Brown, Dhani Harrison, Jools Holland, Jeff Lynne, Paul McCartney, Monty Python, Tom Petty, Billy Preston, Ravi and Anoushka Shankar, Ringo Starr and many more.

Directed by David Leland (whose credits include the feature Wish You Were Here, HBO’s Band Of Brothers and the Traveling Wilburys video “Handle With Care”), CONCERT FOR GEORGE captures stunning renditions of some of the most significant music of the 20th century, including “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” (featuring Clapton on guitar, McCartney on piano and Starr on drums), “Taxman” (performed by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers) and “The Inner Light” (covered by Jeff Lynne and Anoushka Shankar). Lynne, Harrison’s longtime friend and collaborator, produced the audio elements of the concert, while Clapton oversaw the entire proceedings as Musical Director.

Hosted by Asheville-based author and music journalist Bill Kopp, Grail Moviehouse presents a special screening of the Grammy-winning film on Monday, January 9 @ 7pm and sponsored by AshevilleFM. After a brief introduction, we’ll watch the film together. And then afterward, we’ll engage in a moderated discussion about George Harrison.

The event is the latest in a series of Music Movie Mondays at Grail Moviehouse. We’ll watch and discuss new releases, classics and cult favorites.

WHAT: Music Movie Mondays Series: Concert for George
Special screening and moderated discussion hosted by Bill Kopp
WHERE: Grail Moviehouse, 17 Foundy Street, Asheville
WHEN: Monday, January 9 @ 7 p.m. (sold out)  additional screening at 7:10pm (sold out) / Tickets are $15


IN THE COURT OF THE CRIMSON KING

UPDATE: The first and second screens are SOLD OUT, but due to high demand, Grail Moviehouse has added a THIRD screening (with discussion), at 4pm. Link below gets you tix to that screening.

One of rock music’s most original and uncompromising groups is also one of its longest-lasting: founded in 1969 by guitarist Robert Fripp, King Crimson has changed the landscape of modern music more than a few times during its on-and-off existence. Fripp is the band’s sole mainstay; more than 20 musicians have passed through its ranks.

But some of the most groundbreaking and important musicians – especially in progressive rock – have been members of King Crimson: Greg Lake (ELP), Ian McDonald (Foreigner), John Wetton (UK, Asia), Bill Bruford (Yes), Gavin Harrison (Porcupine Tree) Boz Burrell (Bad Company), Adrian Belew (Talking Heads, David Bowie), Pat Mastelotto (Mr. Mister, Stick Men) and Tony Levin are just a few.

The ever-changing King Crimson ushered in the progressive rock era at the end of the ‘60s, pioneered progressive metal in the 1970s, combined “worldbeat” textures with Western music in ‘80s and explored industrial and post-rock styles in the 1990s and beyond. On the occasion of the group’s 50th anniversary, filmmaker Toby Amies set out to make a documentary exploring the history of the band.

The resulting motion picture is as odd, idiosyncratic, challenging and ultimately entertaining as King Crimson itself. As the press kit for In the Court of the Crimson King: King Crimson at 50 asserts:

What began as a straightforward documentary about the cult rock band
King Crimson as it turned 50, mutated into an exploration of time, death,
family, and the transcendent power of music to change lives. But with jokes.

Hosted by Asheville-based author and music journalist Bill Kopp, Grail Moviehouse presents a special screening of the film on Monday, December 12 @ 7pm and sponsored by AshevilleFM. After a brief introduction, we’ll watch the film together. And then afterward, we’ll engage in a moderated discussion about King Crimson.

The event is the first in a series of Music Movie Mondays at Grail Moviehouse. We’ll watch and discuss new releases, classics and cult favorites.

WHAT: Music Movie Mondays Series: In the Court of the Crimson King: King Crimson at 50
Special screening and moderated discussion hosted by Bill Kopp
WHERE: Grail Moviehouse, 17 Foundy Street, Asheville
WHEN: Monday, December 12 @ 4 and 7 p.m. / Tickets are $15