If you lived here in the early nineties, you may remember the magical music environment that surrounded Tempe back in the day. It was a time when anything could happen in this ASU college town, an unpretentious era when behind every door on Mill Avenue there was great live music playing, where one could listen to up-and-coming new bands, as well as established artists like Alice Cooper or Stevie Nicks. And maybe have a beer with them.
But even if you weren’t here, you are probably aware of much of the music that came out of that time: The Gin Blossoms, The Refreshments, The Meat Puppets, and The Pistoleros, to name just a few.
Art Edwards, one of the founding members of the Refreshments, probably remembers it better than anyone, so much so that it inspired his novel, “Stuck Outside of Phoenix”. It tells the story of Josh “Hote” Hotle, his desperation to get to the burgeoning Seattle music scene, and what musical miracles happen to him when he gets stuck in town for three more days.
Now it’s time for that amazing story to become a movie, and local independent filmmaker Nicolas “Nico” Holthaus, known for his documentaries and the film Mill Ave. Inc, is the one to do it. Nico, who has been working for decades in film and music, now wants to top it off with this love letter to Arizona. And he’s doing so with the help of local talent, previously unreleased songs by artists like the Gin Blossoms, and hopefully local donors who visit the “Stuck Outside of Phoenix” website.
Some movies get made with financing. But often, smaller films start with “crowd- sourcing”, or asking for donations. Kickstarter is a great site to get creative dreams off the ground. “Stuck Outside of Phoenix” has already met their Kickstarter goal, but in order for production to get started, they need to make their indiegogo.com goal of an additional $5000 by midnight on February 16.
Do you like movies? Like to escape for a couple of hours on a weekend every now and then? Well, those filmmakers needed a little support too. Just like Nico Holthaus with his current project.
Don’t like movies much? Fine. So why should you care if a local nice guy achieves his aspirations? Good question. But then why not also ask why you should ever do a good deed, buy a Girl Scout cookie, smile at a stranger, or avoid kicking a dog on the street? Because it just feels good.
Oh, and if you do donate there are all kinds of incentives and perks that go along with that, like rare collectible music stuff, or possibly even an extra role in the film, if that’s what floats your boat.
So here is a chance to support the arts and help one of our own create this gift to Arizona. The Tempe music scene was once a perfect storm, a dream spot that became one of the three or four biggest cities in the world for exporting pop/alternative music.
And now it’s time to recapture that dream on film.
In Arizona’s 100 years, lots of amazing music has come from this state and it continues today with new bands like Super Stereo. Helping that to be immortalized on film is a perfect way to celebrate this state’s Centennial!
Like them on Facebook, check out the “Stuck Outside of Phoenix” donation site and see if you don’t feel inspired to be a part of this. I dare you not to.
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