Studio: New Line Cinema
Director: Liam Lynch
Screenwriter: Jack Black, Kyle Gass
Starring: Jack Black, Kyle Gass
Genre: Comedy, Musical
MPAA Rating: R
ARTICLES AND INTERVIEWS:
1. Production Information
2. Getting it Together .
3. And so Lynch and The D began the process of putting a screenplay together.
4. What’s Funny and What Works
5. The Cult of Friends and Fans
6. Full of Cameo Performances
7. Rockin Design
8. The Rock and Roll History Museum
9. Cinematographer Robert Brinkmann: Most Embarrassing Moments.
10. Rock Clothes: What to Wear?
There were two earth-shattering events that took place in Los Angeles in 1994: the Northridge earthquake and the birth of Tenacious D, the band headed by Jack Black and Kyle Gass.
The two met as members of the Actor’s Gang, an ensemble theatre troupe in Los Angeles founded by Tim Robbins, where they discovered their mutual love of rock and roll. From their first gnarly performance at Al’s Bar in downtown Los Angeles, where they performed their only song, “Tribute,” to their emergence as the self-proclaimed Greatest Band on Earth, “The D,” as they are known to their legion of fans, has rocked the socks off all who have heard them.
Following their professional debut at Al’s Bar, they appeared on the HBO late- 90s’ sketch comedy program, “Mr. Show” which led to HBO creating three, halfhour “Tenacious D” shorts featuring the band. They also served as the opening act for Beck, Tool and Pearl Jam, developing their own fan base along the way.
Their live shows have become legend, the audience made up of “D” devotees who know the words to all the songs – songs that speak of fame, Kielbasa, Dio, friends, idols, drugs, demons and love – carnal and otherwise.
Their 2001 CD “Tenacious D” went platinum and was followed by the DVD, “Tenacious D The Complete Masterworks,” which included their live concert at Brixton Academy plus music videos directed by Spike Jonze and Liam Lynch, as well as Lynch’s documentary “On the Road with Tenacious D.”
Although Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny is described by Black and Gass as a biopic, some liberties have been taken. But then, why wouldn’t they be? This is, after all, The D - the most irreverent of reverent troubadours.
The movie begins with 10-year old Lil’ JB (Troy Gentile) serenading his ultraconservative, very religious family with a rocking rendition of “Kickapoo,” a song written expressly for the movie with lyrics that would make a sailor blush. When his father (Meat Loaf), who believes rock ‘n roll is the devil’s work, unleashes his belt and shows him no mercy, tearing down all of his beloved rock posters, JB implores Dio (Ronnie James Dio), one of his rock Gods, for guidance. Dio reassures him that he is on the right path but he must leave his stifling home environment and go to Hollywood to “find the secrets of his art.”
Slipping out of the house, Lil’ JB spends the next several years on the road stopping at numerous towns called Hollywood. JB (Jack Black) finally arrives in rock ‘n roll Mecca – Hollywood, California.
Strolling along the Venice boardwalk, he is enthralled by the music of KG (Kyle Gass) a troubadour playing Bach’s “Bourrees in E Minor” on a classical guitar. Although his naïve suggestion that they form a band together is rebuffed, JB joins in on KG’s melody, singing along over his playing. To JB they are jamming; to KG, the neophyte is ruining his gig, driving away his crowd.
When Lee (JR Reed), a geeky Pizza Delivery man mistakenly thinks they are an act, KG storms off - disgusted.
Walking home later that night, KG witnesses JB being beaten unconscious by a gang of A Clockwork Orange wannabe’s. Coming to his rescue – after there is no longer any danger to himself – KG helps the young musician up and takes him back to his pad.
Eager to learn and hoping to be included in KG’s band, “The Kyle Gass Project,” JB undergoes a series of tests devised by the more experienced KG. Until one day the truth about KG, his bogus band, album and hit song “I Love You Pumpkin” is revealed. After the dust settles, a friendship has been formed and a band is born. KG’s funds having been cut off by his parents, the rent due and no dough in sight, the two are in truly desperate straits. Their only hope is to win Open Mic Night at Al’s Bar.
When their first performance is met with less than a stellar response, they determine that to win the contest they need to write a masterpiece. They soon realize this is much harder than they ever imagined.
Then Fate intervenes: they notice that every cover photo in their collection of Rolling Stone magazines show all the great rockers using the same peculiar guitar pick. Racing to The Guitar Center to buy one, the store manager has an acute reaction when they show him the covers.
Leading them to a private room, the ex-guitar tech turned rock historian relates a strange tale involving a wizard, black magic, a blacksmith, a fair maiden and a great demon with a chipped tooth. He tells them the history of The Pick of Destiny – the darkest secret in the history of rock. Going all the way back to the Dark Ages, the Pick has passed through many hands, from Mozart to the British Invasion – punk, new wave, metal. In the United States, it spawned the blues and rock n’ roll. The Pick, he informs them, now resides in the Rock and Roll History Museum – an impenetrable fortress.
A hilarious musical adventure, Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny, follows JB and KG on their quest to obtain the Pick and become the Greatest Band on Earth.
Written by Jack Black & Kyle Gass & Liam Lynch, who also directed the film, Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny is produced by Black, Gass and Stuart Cornfeld. The executive producers are Ben Stiller, Toby Emmerich, Richard Brener, Cale Boyter and Georgia Kacandes.
During the journey, discerning audiences will spot cameo appearances by many friends of The D, including, among others, Fred Armisen (“Saturday Night Live”) and Ned Bellamy (Lords of Dogtown) as the Museum’s security force; Cynthia Ettinger (“Carnivale”) as Lil’ JB’s mother; Colin Hanks (King Kong) as a fraternity member; Amy Poehler (“Saturday Night Live”) as a truck stop waitress with way too much attitude and stand-up comedian Paul F. Tompkins as the host of Open Mic night at Al’s Bar.
The production team includes cinematographer Robert Brinkmann; production designer Martin Whist; costume designer Dayna Pink and editor David Rennie, A.C.E. The score is by John King and Andrew Gross; King, of the Dust Brothers, also supervised the recording of fifteen new songs from The D. Three of these songs, the big opening number, “Kickapoo,” “Break in City (Storm the Gate)” and the closing number, “Beelzeboss (The Final Showdown)”, are co-written by Tenacious D and Liam Lynch. In addition, D fans will recognize the song “History of Tenacious D” from the band’s repertoire. Epic Records will release the film’s soundtrack, “The Pick of Destiny,” on November 14th, 2006.
A New Line Cinema presentation of a Red Hour Production, Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny (this film is not yet rated) will be released in theaters nationwide on Wednesday, November 22nd, 2006.
Production notes, photos and promotional video © 2006 New Line Cinema