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Doughboys documentary premieres in New York

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They’ve made the most of their second act together.

Now the members of the New Jersey-bred garage band The Doughboys have chronicled their entire history in Rock N’ Raw, a documentary/concert film that’s scheduled to be screened Dec. 3 in Manhattan.

Drummer Richard X. Heyman recently checked in to discuss the reasons for making Rock N’ Raw and more. How is Rock N’ Raw different from other band documentaries? And what would you say the appeal is for music fans who have never heard of The Doughboys?
Richard X. Heyman: “The first obvious difference is this is The Doughboys’ story. Many bands share similar histories, but each group is unique as well. What’s interesting to me is that here you have a band that was formed in 1964 and played and lived through that era, and is now transported to the 21st century. Of course, we’re older now, but we still have the same enthusiasm that we had for the music, and are thankfully able to put as much energy into our performance as we did back then, maybe even more so.

“I suppose you could use the wine analogy — we’ve aged, but I think we’ve improved with the years! The appeal for music fans is that the band puts 100 percent into our live show, and the film captures a full performance with a professional visual and audio quality, thanks to the stellar efforts of director Rob Adams and his crew and audio engineer Kurt Reil and his assistant Kristin Pinell. Plus, there are lots of stories about our days playing in the ’60s, some of them pretty hilarious.

“One of the main reasons we made the film was so that fans from outside the [New York] tri-state area and even the country can get a chance to see us in concert, and also learn about our back story. We’ve been reunited now for over 10 years, so it seemed an opportune moment to capture the live show on film.”

Percentage-wise, how much of Rock N’ Raw falls into the following categories: recent concert footage, recent band interviews and archival clips?

Heyman: “I don’t know the exact breakdown, time-wise, but it’s pretty evenly distributed between the concert footage, recent interviews and vintage photos and 8 mm film.”

What can other musicians learn from Rock N’ Raw?
Heyman: “Well, certainly the cliché ‘it’s never too late’ comes to mind! But I think younger musicians will get to see and hear an authentic ’60s band. The approach to playing our respective instruments and the way the band interacts onstage comes in part from those early days. For example, when I started playing the drums, there was mainly jazz and the first stirrings of rock ‘n’ roll and R&B, so I learned the traditional way to hold the drumsticks and a lot of jazz rudiments, which for many drummers today is not the case. And the same goes for Myke [Skavone], Gar [Francis] and Mike [Caruso] in the way they play and sing — they come from a classic rock ‘n’ roll tradition, which has stood the test of time.”

Is there any chance John Zacherle, who featured the pre-Doughboys band The Ascots on his TV show way back in 1966, will attend the Dec. 3 screening? And how about other notables from the band’s past showing up that night?
Heyman: “It’s possible Zacherle will show up — he’s been invited, but he doesn’t go out much anymore, so I don’t know for sure.”

What does 2012 hold for The Doughboys?
Heyman: “We’re working on our next album of original material, which we’re very excited about. We’re looking forward to lots of gigs and making and meeting new fans.”

— Introduction and interview by Chris M. Junior