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 Film about TOMMY BETZLER by Enrico Corsano

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2021 8:56 pm    Film about TOMMY BETZLER by Enrico Corsano Reply with quoteBack to top

Independent film maker Enrico Corsano produced and directed a documentation about P'Cock (etc.) drummer, my good friend Tommy Betzler, that will run in a couple of independent festivals and cinemas throughout Germany, starting in ten days. The title is:

TOMMY B. - Ein Mann schlägt sich durch

(the subtitle is a word game in German that's not easy to translate; it means "a man is struggling to get by" but "schlägt" literally means to "beat". In connection with the cover / poster and especially if one knows Tommy in person, it's quite funny...)

Image


There's also a trailer on YouTube - I'm quite chuffed that it starts with me introducing Tommy (as if he needed that...) during the P'Faun concert at E-Live...

https://youtu.be/DUMzIEE35pU


Currently, there are a couple of articles and reviews in the local newspapers (both print and online) around Darmstadt (the German city where Tommy is from...).

I made a (very) rough translation using DeepL of one of these (actually it's rather nicely written by a guy called Stefan Benz):


* * *


FESTIVAL PREMIERE ABOUT DRUMMER AND ROCK CHEF FROM DARMSTADT

From Mick Jagger to Uschi Glas: Thomas Betzler has fed the stars of music and film. The documentary "Tommy B." will be screened at the Lichter Filmfest from 27 April.


This life story has everything going for it: Glamour and drama, rock and roll, rise and fall, a sweeping panorama of time, an inspiring narrator and a star-studded cast. When Thomas Betzler (67) looks back on his life, his enthusiasm is very present: "It was a crazy time, I met all the heroes of my youth!" In the film "Tommy B." by Enrico Corsano, which will be shown online in the regional competition at the 14th Lichter Film Festival from 27 April to 2 May, it goes through more than 30 years of show biz in 65 minutes.

At the end of the seventies, beginning of the eighties, Betzler is the drummer of the Darmstadt band "Peacock", which is supposed to take off in the footsteps of "Genesis" and "Yes". But the flight of fancy of the "Peacock" came to nothing, the great era of prog rock and art rock was already over. Betzler remains true to the business, but switches to backstage, does pioneering work as a tour caterer in Germany and rocks the big concert kitchens. He has no idea, no plates, but immediately gets the job of cooking for The Who. Just three years later he was catering for seven tours at the same time. After ten years he is burnt out, collapses with MS, goes blind in one eye. But he will get up again.

Anecdotes from the eighties bubble over

When Betzler gets going in the film, the anecdotes from the eighties just bubble over. Director Corsano doesn't really need much more than this bald man with a grey whisker who used to be a young rocker with a thick mane. Already the jokes are purring away: Betzler has no opener for the wine bottle. Pete Townshend simply hammers the cork into the bottle with his finger before the concert. Tina Turner falls in love with German beef roulades. On the "Stones" tour Mick Jagger first looks for chicken soup for his vocal chords in his dressing gown. Then it has to be fillet of beef for 250 employees. And 10,000 marks are gone. But the funk-rock band "Mother's Finest" converts the cook to vegetarianism.

David Bowie wants sushi. Betzler doesn't find a Japanese chef, but a waitress in a kimono. Mike Oldfield doesn't like garlic at first. Back then, the British didn't like spicy either. They preferred shepherd's pie, minced meat with mashed potatoes. Even today, Betzler has Oldfield's signed "Cooking Bible" at hand. He also remembers the political tour with Willy Brandt, who liked to replace his Perrier with whisky. And of course, Betzler's silliest Dönkes also include the memory of his fatherly friend Fritz Rau, known as "Ayatollah Choleri" because of his notorious outbursts of rage.

The beat on the cooker is murderous. Before the concert he quickly turns a shower into a kitchen, after the concert he drives at night on the motorway to the next hall with an improvised kitchen. At some point Betzler organises ten to twelve dates at the same time. 4500 concerts come together in ten years. And all of a sudden it's over: after four months with "Santana" in 1992 he collapses. "The doctor threatened to put him in a wheelchair. Betzler needs a year for his "stress rehabilitation". He refuses medication. But after a year, his pots were bubbling again.

From then on, Betzler cooked for the film and television scene. "In film, it's a regular working day, almost like going to the office. I couldn't have done the touring any more," he confesses at the meeting in Arheilgen. It all started with "Forsthaus Falkenau", "Derrick" became "the crowning glory for him: I was the only caterer where Horst Tappert ate." Uschi Glas makes Betzler her cupbearer. After the bankruptcy of media mogul Leo Kirch, things don't really go on in the film city of Munich from 2002.

Playing the drums trains motor skills

"Mentally, I'm still there," sighs Betzler, who finally returned to Hesse because of his mother. A few years ago, he met up with old companions from the seventies. Back on the drums after 30 years. And lo and behold: the drum rehab is taking full effect - artistically with various albums; physically with new neural strength. Playing the drums with counter-rotating movements trains the motor skills. "My left leg sometimes gave way. Suddenly I had my body under control again. It's like a fountain of youth," Thomas Betzler marvels in "Tommy B". And so the narrative of an adventurous life journey does not end as a retrospective: "A crazy time and I hope it continues like this."

From 27 April, "Tommy B." will be shown in the online edition at the Lichter Filmfest: online.lichter-filmfest.de/film/tommy-b


ABOUT THE PERSON: THOMAS BETZLER ROCKS AND COOKS

Thomas Betzler (born 1964) grew up in Trautheim, "messed up" his Abitur at the Schuldorf Bergstraße, studied drums at the Darmstadt Academy of Music and financed his studies with jobs at the Wiesbaden concert agency Zosel. With the band "Peacock" he achieved cult status in and around Darmstadt at the end of the seventies. Klaus Schulze produced two albums with the band, but the psychedelic rock band failed to make a breakthrough. "The number fizzled out somewhere." There was no way they could compete with the Neue Deutsche Welle. In the eighties, Betzler moved to the backstage area, catering for the big names in the industry. After ten years, he had a breakdown: a bout of the insidious multiple sclerosis robbed him of the sight in one eye. After a year, Betzler resumes his catering business, but this time for television. In the nineties he moves to Munich, where he now cooks for actors. After ten years in Nieder-Beerbach, Betzler and his wife have now lived for three years in Arheilgen, where "Peacock" once rehearsed at the Mühlchen. The chef of the rock scene has been back on the drums for almost ten years now, meanwhile cavorting lively in the electronic music scene.

The Frankfurt director Enrico Corsano ("Dead End Bickenbach", several times guest at the Weiterstadt Film Festival) met Betzler four years ago while filming a "Pink Floyd" cover band and was thrilled by his stories. This is how the documentary "Tommy B." was made, which will have its premiere at the Lichter Filmfest. (sb)

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BruecknerAmbient
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Age: 51
Joined: 11 May 2011
Posts: 5618
Location: Mainz


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 24, 2021 11:56 am    (No subject) Reply with quoteBack to top

Well, while this is not the actual movie, it's an interesting watch in itself - a 20 min. interview with Tommy and Enrico on occasion of the festival where "Tommy B." is running at at the moment:

https://youtu.be/jQVG5gxLUj8

Of course, it's in German...

.

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