BluRay/DVD Reviews


By • Nov 17th, 2005 •

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(Gorgeous Entertainment) 2003
74 minutes

The one thing you learn from Michael Wolk’s documentary, YOU THINK YOU REALLY KNOW ME: THE GARY WILSON STORY is that true musicians don’t need fame and fortune to achieve their goals. In the1970’s when most youthful garage-bands were merely imitating their favorite albums, Gary Wilson, working mostly in his parent’s basement created wonderfully off-beat music and performance art. If there is music performed on other planets, it would sound like something from Gary Wilson.
“When I first heard Gary’s music, my jaw just hit the floor!” recalls Adrian Milan of Motel Records. “It was crazy, in a good way. It’s like James Brown meets David Lynch’s Eraserhead, with a back-up band that sounded like Steely Dan on crack.” YOU THINK YOU REALLY KNOW ME: follows Gary from the beginning. Gary grew up in upstate Endicott, New York, a small humble hamlet right out of the vision of Frank Capra or ‘Leave It To Beaver’. While in his teens, Gary and his friends formed a group – Gary Wilson and the Blind Dates. You could only imagine what fellow Endicotters thought of Gary and his pals. Gary, who wore a vast array of eccentric clothes would do things like bring his hyperactive pet duck to basement rehearsals. The parents of Gary’s would-be girlfriends were simply terrified and confused by him. The short Super 8mm and 16mm films Gary and his friends made that accompanied their music both pre-date and improve upon MTV. While in his mid-twenties, Gary vanished from Endicott. People didn’t know if he had died. Even Private Investigators failed to locate him. One of Gary’s favorite films was CARNIVAL OF SOULS, which told about a loner musician who leaves her hometown for possible greener pastures. Finally, Gary surfaced.
The recent re-discovery of Gary comes about a half hour into Wolk’s film. If Gary’s story was told in more cliched circumstances, the re-discovery would be saved be for the climax, but there is so much more to the story. As Wolk shows, Gary did not crash down. He just relocated, keeping his music alive while he supported himself working the graveyard shift at a San Diego adult bookstore. What happens in the remaining almost hour of YOU THINK YOU REALLY KNOW ME is a celebration of an artist keeping with his art. This is a must see for fans of alternative music, and human endeavor.

Produced by Michael Wolk and Kumiko Yoshii
Director of Photography: Bob Green
Edited by Mustafa Bhagat
Directed by Michael Wolk

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