By Ashwanta Jackson

The art of the “cover-up” once led an obscure Marvin Gaye record to be misidentified for decades.

THERE’S A GREAT MARVIN GAYE single from 1967 called “This Love Starved Heart of Mine (It’s Killing Me).” It’s classic Motown. All energy and style and the kind of driving backbeat that made the Motown Sound so iconic. Marvin is giving it his all on this record, his voice a breaking growl, soaring over the music. It’s soul at its finest and we, the lucky listeners, just get to sit back and enjoy it. Or at least, now we do.

Unless they were top brass over at Motown HQ, soul music lovers in the U.S. at the time probably never heard this song. It went unreleased for years, and only reappeared as a bootleg in the late 1970s, with a noticeable difference: Marvin Gaye’s name was nowhere on it. When the record resurfaced years later, it was under the name J.J. Barnes, a purposeful deception by obsessive record collectors and DJs known as a “cover-up.”

The practice of the cover-up most likely began in the 1950s with Jamaican DJs, who took their huge, booming sound systems, complete with generators, turntables, and speakers, to parties to play the newest releases. These events were largely grassroots, for-the-people sorts of things—street parties crowded with dancers all looking to hear the newest releases played on the loudest systems. But over time, many Jamaican DJs of this era pivoted from playing records to pressing them. Suddenly these sound systems weren’t just a party, they were a business. They charged admission, provided food and drinks, and played records straight from their own labels.

But what if a great song didn’t happen to be on your label? What if you still wanted to get people crowding into your spot, but without putting money in some other company’s pocket? Well, “DJs could keep their goodies secret by covering up,” notes Jean Oliver-Cretara, a music professor at The New School who researches Jamaican music and DJs. They could obscure the label, a trick known as white-labeling, or they could rename the album, changing the title or the artist or both to disguise it. Later, as migration brought an influx of Jamaicans to England, the practice spread among DJs, eventually finding a home in the U.K.-based underground scene known as Northern Soul.

The Northern Soul scene was all about the sound, and not just any sound. Songs had to have two key elements. First, they needed those raw-edged, dance-fueling beats that were packing dance floors an ocean away in the United States. Second, they had to be rare. Oh, you’ve got that extremely popular new Junior Walker and the All Stars single? Good for you. You can keep it. For the Northern Soul scene, obscurity was popularity, explains Abigail Gardner, a music and media professor at the University of Gloucestershire. “DJs would be chasing the most obscure records and maintaining their status as ‘players,’” she says.

Northern Soul’s exacting tastes meant the hunt was always on to find the rarest of the rare. It also meant a dud in the U.S. could mean a hit in the U.K. Some tiny label churning out releases that only saw regional success meant more to Northern Soul DJs than any major Motown hit. Rob Bellars, a DJ at the famed dance club The Twisted Wheel in Manchester in the 1960s and ‘70s, used to send away for American records that hadn’t made their way overseas yet, hoping to put something unique on rotation at the Wheel. “When you wrote to a company for a record and they said it was out of stock,” Bellars explains in the book The Story of Northern Soul: A Definitive History of the Dance Scene That Refuses to Die, “you knew there were a lot of people getting in on the act.”

DJs would do whatever it took to keep their finds a secret, which often meant putting some records in a sort of witness relocation. They’d give the record a false identity by cutting off its label and replacing it with the label of an easy-to-find one. Or, they might label it as a different artist all together. “You hold things close,” as Oliver-Cretara puts it. “Those records are your cards, you don’t show that off. You have to hide your sources.”

The subterfuge served two purposes: it kept the record off of a rival DJ’s playlist, and it kept it out of the reach of bootleggers who could otherwise copy and flood the market with that used-to-be-rare 45. So your Vickie Baines record became a Christine Cooper; your Billy Watkins an H.B. Barnum; and your Marvin Gaye a J.J. Barnes.

Oliver-Cretara also notes the practice may have had roots in something much more basic than preserving secrecy: money. Record labels couldn’t always release a single exactly when or where they wanted. Maybe there was an up-and-comer whose records could be huge in England, but who wants to get their hands dirty with the ins and outs of international contracts? Just cover-up the artist, box up the records, and hello international seller. What the artist doesn’t know won’t hurt them. (At least one artist did fight back in a way, though. Oliver-Cretara tells the story of the Jamaican percussionist Bongo Herman, who upon seeing his records being played and sold under another name in the U.K., bought the entire box of cover-ups and shipped them back to his house).

It ultimately may be impossible to pin down exactly why and how Marvin Gaye’s “This Love Starved Heart of Mine” got the cover-up treatment. One thing we know for certain, though, is that this particular Marvin Gaye record went unreleased, gathering dust on the Motown shelves, for almost 30 years. “When you consider the number of phenomenal people working for us and the high level of energy, we probably passed on more hit records in a week than most labels do in a year,” as Motown founder Berry Gordy put it in the liner notes of 1994’s Love Starved Heart: Rare and Unreleased, a Marvin Gaye rarities collection that includes the label’s official release of the song. For whatever reason, this one just didn’t make the cut at the time. That’s showbiz.

The story of how the record came to make its unofficial debut in late-1970s U.K. dance halls is murkier. It could have happened when Richard Searling, a Northern Soul DJ who spun at the Wigan Casino in the 1970s and ‘80s, discovered an acetate, or test pressing, of the record in 1979. That’s the story related in Kev Roberts’ book, The Northern Soul Top 500. Alternatively, the pressing could have come from a bootleg tape. Or, as one theory goes, it wasn’t actually Searling at all who found it, but another DJ altogether.

Here’s what we do know: The copy that found its way onto English turntables in the 1970s was one that didn’t have Gaye’s name on it. Officially untitled, the record came to be known in clubs as “It’s Killing Me,” and later bootleg versions listed the artist as J.J. Barnes. There’s a bit of a joke buried in the choice of Barnes, too, since he was a singer-songwriter on the roster of Motown rival Golden World records, a label known for promoting sound-alike artists designed to compete with Motown greats. J.J. Barnes was the Pepsi to Gaye’s Coke.

For many, record collecting is a labor of love. It’s combing through dusty old stacks of forgotten songs and singers, hoping to bring them back to life for the length of a song. If you’re a part of a scene that treasures obscurity, it can also be an obsession. The spy games of the era of record cover-ups were definitely a bit of both.

Why British DJs From the ’60s and ’70s Kept Their Best Records Secret

By Joel Handley Reverb Nation

Back in vinyl’s heyday, a record’s mastering process—in which an engineer would take the final mix, add the last touches of EQ and processing, and then use a lathe to cut grooves into a master lacquer—was performed by a specialist who knew well how to prepare music for vinyl release. It was, after all, the dominant medium.

Now, amid the vinyl resurgence, artists and producers accustomed to digital recording want to release music on wax. But like a driver who has only ever known GPS trying to navigate by paper map, it can be a confusing journey. How do you get from Pro Tools to pressings?

If you look to publications, forums, or recording tutorials for guidelines, you’re bound to read plenty about the limitations of vinyl: that it can only fit about 20 minutes per side, that it can’t handle too much low-end, too much high-end, or wide-panned instruments.

Artists and producers adhering to what they’ve learned will mix and master their projects with these limitations in mind and then send their files off to a cutting house to create a lacquer. But Scott Hull—a mastering engineer with more than thirty years of experience that has owned Masterdisk since 2008—wants to debunk these supposed restrictions.

“There’s been so much written about the limitations of vinyl that I think people get the misconception that vinyl is somehow fragile and not a robust format,” Hull says. “I get sent these mixed/mastered projects to try to cut them, and I’m seeing all sorts of issues with them and it’s usually too late to do much about them.”

Hull reached out to Reverb to address these misconceptions. He’s here to explain why a competent mastering and cutting engineer can do more with the format than you may think. Keep reading to hear directly from Hull on what you can and can’t do with your vinyl release.

Your Sides Can Be Longer Than 20 Minutes

It’s largely printed that you can’t cut over 20 minutes or maybe sometimes push that to 22 minutes, but you can’t put over 22 minutes of music on a side. In fact you can—with the right equipment and the right skill—easily put more than 22 minutes of music on a side. I cut four sides today that were more than 24 minutes long, and the cuts were actually pretty loud. But there is more to the story.

With all of these things there is some level of truth to them, but they’re not absolutes. You have to have more understanding to know whether that rule applies to your music or not.

If you’re doing chamber music, or if you’re doing acoustic blues, or if you’re doing maybe a piano record that’s not heavily compressed, or a singer-songwriter thing that’s not heavily compressed, 25, 26, 27 minutes worth of music are almost no problem for the right cutting equipment—and this is an important distinction.

I have late-model Neumann cutting equipment from the ‘80s, and the advancements that they made in technology in the ‘80s allows the grooves to be compacted closer together, which allows us to fit more music onto a side without compromising the quality. So, an operator that works on a 1960s version of a cutting lathe will say it’s nearly impossible to cut more than 20 minutes on a side, and he’s right! But if a person is reading that and planning to send it to somebody like myself, that cut off is far too conservative.

Now, if you’re talking about a heavily hyper-compressed pop, rock, or some modern kind of record—or even really anything that was heavily compressed to be competitive—then 22 minutes might actually be too long. You might actually be best looking at keeping your music under 18 or 19 minutes.

The wiggle of the grooves on a lacquer is analogous to the audio. By and large, the larger the squiggles on the disc, the louder the music is. It’s more or less a one-to-one relationship. In other words, if the grooves don’t wiggle, there’s no sound. And whenever there’s a little bit of sound, they wiggle just a tiny bit, and when it’s loud, they wiggle a lot back-and-forth.

When the grooves wiggle back-and-forth, they use up more space on the disc. So if you think about groove number one coming around the outside of the disc, and then groove number two coming around to meet it, well, if groove number one has a big wiggle, groove number two has to leave room for that so it doesn’t cut over the same space on the disc. But, if groove number one was silent, then groove number two could come right up next to it and nestle right next to it and it would work fine.

What this means is if the record is loud all the way across, top to bottom, and there’s no soft sections, every one of those grooves is going to use up a lot more space, which means that I have to move the cutter head more quickly across the surface of the disc, which means I run out of disc space before I run out of audio.

The reason we have to reduce the level on a long side is to make the grooves smaller, so they don’t wiggle so much from side to side. When they don’t wiggle so much from side to side, we can put the grooves closer together, which means we can fit a longer program onto the side of a disc.

It’s a very straight relationship, but it’s complex because it involves the loudness, or the amplitude of the program, and it also is combined with bass information.

Low-frequency sounds use up a little bit more space, maybe sometimes a lot more space, on the disc than high-frequency sounds. This is just a function of the physics: To generate a low frequency you need more energy and that translates into a bigger waveform. It’s sort of exponential—the lower the frequencies, the more space it needs to generate the waveform.

A Wide Dynamic Range Will Help the Louds Be Louder

I find that on a peak-limited record, or something that has a high loudness factor like a pop or rock commercial release, we don’t have as many soft sections—all the softs have been raised and all of the peaks have been compressed down so that we can squash all the level up against the zero, the zero limit for digital. What that means is that it means that every groove on the record is louder. And so, on average, each groove is bigger, and so it uses up more space.

And here’s kind of the unbelievable reality: For every dB of peak limiting that you put on a record prior to cutting, I have to actually lower the level at least a dB, sometimes a dB or more, a dB-and-a-half, to get that to fit on the same side of an album, assuming we’re not talking about a very short program.

“There’s been so much written about the limitations of vinyl that I think people get the misconception that vinyl is somehow fragile and not a robust format.” – Scott Hull

By Andrew Arthur, Press Association Entertainment Reporter

Composer Felix Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in e minor was the first music to be put on a vinyl album.

The first ever vinyl LP ever pressed, Felix Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in e minor, has been recreated to celebrate seven decades of the format.

The original master tapes and artwork from the 1948 release have been used in the recreation of the record, which was first revealed to the world by former Columbia Records president Goddard Lieberson.

The album features the playing of violinist Nathan Milstein and the Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra of New York, conducted by Maestro Bruno Walter.

A total of 500 exclusive pressings of the German composer’s violin concerto will be given away for free by retailer HMV in a selection of its stores to mark the anniversary on Saturday.

A copy will be also be donated to the British Library’s Sound Archive on Friday.

John Hirst, HMV music manager, said: “We at HMV are thrilled to partner with Sony Music to celebrate 70 years of the vinyl record.

“We’ve been selling the format for just as long, possibly even selling the Mendelssohn release back in 1948 at our flagship store at 363 Oxford Street, and have been at the forefront of the vinyl revival in recent years.

“Here’s to the next 70 years of the vinyl record!”

Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in e minor was composed over six years and it was first performed in Leipzig on March 13 1845.

Prior to 12-inch, 33 1/3 rpm polyvinyl LPs, albums were played on phonographic records commonly made from shellac.

Vinyl album sales have experienced a rapid increase in the UK over the past decade with sales rising from 205,000 in 2007 to 4.1 million in 2017.

Vinyl album sales have experienced a rapid increase in the UK over the past decade with sales rising from 205,000 in 2007 to 4.1 million in 2017.

Press Association

First vinyl album ever made recreated for 70th anniversary

By: Lake Schatz

The band’s take on the Toto classic has entered the Billboard Hot 100 Charts

Weezer fulfilled a year-long, fan-led campaign last month when they covered the Toto classic “Africa”. But what started out as little more than a fun and generous gesture for fans has actually turned into the one of the band’s biggest hits.

As Pitchfork points out, Weezer’s “Africa” rendition has entered the Billboard Hot 100 Charts, placing at No. 89. It’s technically their highest charting song since 2009, when Raditude single “(If You’re Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To” notched the No. 81 spot. The lesson here? Be a good sport to your listeners every once in awhile!

Along with support from fans and the charts, Toto guitarist and co-founder Steve Lukather has expressed his approval of the cover. He also promised to one day return the favor by taking on a Weezer song.

Weezer’s “Africa” cover is their biggest hit in nearly a decade

By: Kory Grow Rolling Stone

Trent Reznor and company play hits and deep cuts, pay tribute to Reznor’s hero David Bowie

“We’re gonna do a mood shift,” Trent Reznor told the audience at Nine Inch Nails‘ gig Friday night in Las Vegas. “Instead of some happy, upbeat songs,” he said, pausing dramatically for laughter, “we’re gonna switch it up and do something melancholy.” His band then cued up the cascading synths it used on a remix of David Bowie’s “I Can’t Give Everything Away,” eerily replicating Bowie’s Berlin-era keyboard sound perfectly while Reznor coolly crooned the song’s lyrics as his “hero and friend,” as he called him, did when he recorded the song. It was a somber moment that hung in the air of the smoke-filled room, and it was one of many highlights of a gig that serves as a preview of what’s to come on the group’s fall tour.

The concert was the second show of a three-night Sin City residency, but other than one remarkably Elvis-like “thankyouver’much” after Add Violence’s shimmery “The Background World,” Nine Inch Nails were far from a Vegas act tonight. The band is in town to shake the rust off before they head out on what will be their most ambitious run of dates in four years.

The “Cold and Black and Infinite” trek, as they’re merrily calling it, features many multi-night stops in big cities, and it’s clear that Reznor and company have anticipated that by preparing a large amount of material to play live. Only six of Friday night’s 21 tunes overlapped with the ones they played on the first night, and the band played a mix of fan favorites and newer material with a sense of swagger.

After a short set by Reznor protegee Queen Kwong, the night began in earnest when the roadies revealed the lights that would be facing the band and cranked up the smoke machines to fill the stage. About half an hour later, everything was covered in smoke, and the group kicked things off with “Branches/Bones,” the short, upbeat intro track to Not the Actual Events, an EP Nine Inch Nails released in 2016 that became the first in a trilogy.

Although the group is putting out the final release in that series, Bad Witch, next week, they focused the setlist on the first two EPs, also playing Add Violence’s synth-pop paean “Less Than” (a track that’s so catchy and quintessentially Nine Inch Nails it sat perfectly next to The Downward Spiral’s “March of the Pigs”) and Events’ sludgy “Burning Bright (Field on Fire).”

By and large “heavy” was the order of the evening, as the group doled out a litany of guitar-saturated rockers: “Wish,” “Head Like a Hole” (a tune that sounded gutsier than usual with floor-shaking guitar) and The Fragile’s “The Day the World Went Away” (which Reznor said the group had not rehearsed). In other parts of the night, they played around with the rhythms of “Closer,” giving it a little bit more syncopated funk and sneaking in the synth line from “The Only Time,” and they played a reworked version of Pretty Hate Machine’s “Sanctified” that was overall quieter with some jittery keyboard lines and none of the Atari-style synths of the original. After “Burning Bright,” keyboardist Atticus Ross and guitarist Robin Finck manipulated samples of Trump speaking while a bad TV signal was broadcast on the two screens.

Reznor did not explain his intentions in any of this to the sold-out crowd of about 4,000 – fans who were a mix of black fishnet–clad goths and general T-shirt-wearing hard rockers – but he did look like he was enjoying himself. Throughout the night, he had fun playing around with some of the songs, saying, “You got it, you got it,” he chanted hip-hop style, “you can be closer now” after a particularly funky “I want to fuck you like an animal” recitation in “Closer,” he “oooh’d” way up high during “March of the Pigs” and he generally stalked the stage as he always has, playing various instruments and leaning into his microphone.

During the band’s four-song encore, Reznor, in a rare moment of banter, told the audience he didn’t take it for granted that they came out to see him. Throughout the night, the crowd had hung on his every note and sung along loudly to hits like “Head Like a Hole” and deep cuts like “Piggy” and “The Wretched.” “Thank you for coming,” he said. “It keeps us able to face the ever-horrific world, which seems to be going fucking crazy. Thank you for sending that energy back to us.” And with that, they closed things out with “The Day the World Went Away” and “Hurt,” for which he sang next to Finck on an acoustic guitar. By the time, the song ended with some crushing guitar chords, the crowd looked so elated that you’d almost believe it that the songs were “happy” and “upbeat” as he’d joked.

Nine Inch Nails Set List:

“Branches/Bones”

“Wish”

“Sanctified”

“Copy of A”

“Less Than”

“March of the Pigs”

“Piggy”

“The Frail”

“The Wretched”

“Closer”

“1,000,000”

“I Can’t Give Everything Away”

“The Background World”

“The Great Destroyer”

“Burning Bright (Field on Fire)”

“The Hand That Feeds”

“Head Like a Hole”

Encore:

“Only”

“Survivalism”

“The Day the World Went Away”

“Hurt”

Nine Inch Nails Bring Smoke, Refigured Classics to Vegas Residency

By: Brian Charette

For over 40 years, Donald Fagen has had a monumental impact on modern music.His jazz-tinged songwriting and funky keyboard work helped define the sound of a generation. Largely self-taught, Fagen regularly went to see players like Charles Mingus, Thelonious Monk, and Miles Davis perform during his formative musical years. Those experiences piqued an interest in jazz harmony that continues to this day. Here are five ways to play like this modern keyboard master.

One hallmark of Fagen’s musical persona is his deft command of keyboard harmony, demonstrated in Ex. 1. He often plays jazz-influenced chord voicings with an abundance of chord extensions in tightly spaced positions. This example is reminiscent of his piano work on his new song “Good Stuff,” with intriguing inner motion and chordal tension.

Fagen is a lifelong fan of vintage keyboards like the Rhodes and Wurlitzer electric piano. Ex. 2 is similar to his Wurly technique on tracks including the bluesy “Weather in My Head,” “Jack of Speed” from the Steely Dan album Two Against Nature, and more. Bar 1 begins with a modern harmonic approach that includes slash chords, which use a bass note other than the chord root and are a Fagen favorite. Bars 3 and 4 demonstrate the technique of alternating diatonic triads in the Dorian mode for comping over the B minor chord.

The reedy tone of the melodica, a breath-powered keyboard (Hammond-Suzuki calls their models melodions) appears often in Fagen’s work. Ex. 3 demonstrates his use of that instrument. In bar 1, we have a simple melodic motif that returns in bar 3. Then bar 2 begins with a Charlie Parker-esque bebop phrase that utilizes the notes of the E Mixolydian mode as well as the chromatic embellishing tone of A#. Later, bar 4 communicates a pentatonic-flavored idea.

Fagen will often move close-position jazz voicings in fourths and fifths to create interesting harmonic shifts, as seen in Ex. 4. Following the initial Eb suspendedchord, Fagen uses four different major seventhvoicings to take us towards our destination: a B minor 11th chord. Try this technique yourself by harmonizing a melody with unusual chords that are not diatonically related.

The venerable Hohner Clavinet is another sonic staple in Fagen’s music. Ex. 5 is inspired by new tracks like “Miss Marlene” and classics such as “Black Cow” and “Kid Charlemagne” and demonstrates his penchant for playing rhythmic riffs on the instrument. Notice how the left hand creates a strong counterpointto the right hand’s comping parts.

The Simple Behind the Complex

“The key to Donald Fagen’s sound is minimalism. Though his chord progressions can be complex, he never overplays and always makes his musical parts serve the song,” says organist and composer Brian Charette, who has performed and recorded with Joni Mitchell, Lou Donaldson, Bucky Pizzarelli, Michael Bublé and Rufus Wainwright, in addition to leading his own jazz groups. His latest album is Music For Organ Sextette, on SteepleChase Records. Find out more at http://www.briancharette.com.

5 Ways to Play Like Donald Fagen

By: Jeff Giles

They billed themselves as “the world’s most notorious rock band” — and Mötley Crüe proved they’d more than earned that title with the publication of The Dirt, the bestselling 2001 memoir looking back on their early exploits, fast rise to worldwide fame and the behind-the-scenes madness that frequently made them just as entertaining to watch as they were to listen to. As soon as it arrived in stores, it was a book crying out for the rock biopic treatment, and after years in development, it looks like it’s finally on its way to the screen.

Of course, anything can happen in Hollywood, and there are a million steps on the journey between a film set and your eyeballs — and that all probably goes double when we’re talking about a movie inspired by the life and times of Mötley Crüe. But a flurry of recent news has us finally convinced this thing is actually going to happen.

With cameras set to roll on the The Dirt next month — and a cast finally assembled — we’re taking a look at all the players arranged for what promises to be one of the loudest, wildest and all-around most aggressive real-life band histories ever depicted onscreen. From the projects where you might have seen the stars before to the résumés compiled by the picture’s behind-the-scenes talent — and a refresher course on the book itself — here’s everything you need to know about Mötley Crüe’s The Dirt.

Machine Gun Kelly as Tommy Lee

Colson Baker, the rapper and actor better known by his stage name Machine Gun Kelly, hasn’t been in the entertainment industry long, but he hit the ground running: Since releasing his first mixtape in 2006, Kelly has popped up on the charts and on the screen regularly, scoring a series of film and television roles (including his breakout appearance in 2014’s Beyond the Lights) between hit singles (like his Top 5 pop crossover “Bad Things,” featuring Camila Cabello). Although his short blond hair isn’t a match for Tommy Lee’s ’80s mane, the two have similarly wiry builds and an evident fondness for body ink. Kelly can also be seen later this year in the upcoming sci-fi movie Captive State, starring John Goodman.

Douglas Booth as Nikki Sixx

The Dirt won’t be Douglas Booth’s first musical biopic venture, although his first acting gig as a real-life star — playing Culture Club frontman Boy George in the BBC movie Worried About the Boy — was very different. The London-born actor has compiled a healthy list of credits over the last decade and change, landing in everything from period dramas like Great Expectations to big-budget films like the Wachowskis’ Jupiter Ascending. His chops clearly impressed producers, who tabbed Booth as an early frontrunner to play Nikki Sixx when casting reports started filtering in late last year.

his U.S. breakthrough by playing Lee Harvey Oswald in 11.22.63, the Hulu-produced adaptation of Stephen King’s novel about a time-traveling teacher trying to stop John F. Kennedy’s assassination. That series gave American audiences their first experience with Webber, but he was already an old pro, appearing in a variety of overseas films and TV shows starting with a 2008 episode of the Australian medical drama All Saints. More recently, he’s been seen as Lewis Wilson, a supporting character in Netflix’s The Punisher.

Iwan Rheon as Mick Mars

Like a number of his co-stars, Iwan Rheon was born and raised half a world away from the sunny California streets where the members of Mötley Crüe prowled. Unlike most of the others, though, he’s already something of a star in his own right. Rheon, who hails from Wales, will be familiar to many through his thoroughly convincing portrayal of the deliciously evil Ramsay Bolton on HBO’s Game of Thrones — and more recently, he’s taken on another high-profile gig, playing Maximus on ABC’s Inhumans. Playing Mick Mars in The Dirt will be a change of pace, but Rheon’s got a real-life musical background: After putting out a trio of EPs, the singer-songwriter released his debut album, Dinard, in 2015.

Tony Cavalero as Ozzy Osbourne

Tony Cavalero has signed on to play Ozzy Osbourne, with whom Motley Crue toured in their early days. Cavalero has starred as Dewey Finn in the TV adaptation of ‘School of Rock.’ He’s also had recurring roles on the series’ ‘SuperMansion,’ ‘Heart of Dixie,’ ‘The Single Life’ and ‘Aim High.’

Rebekah Graf as Heather Locklear

Rebekah Graf, who played the titular character in the 2010 sitcom My Roommate Sam and has a also been in the Entourage movie and Lycan, has been chosen to play Heather Locklear, who was married to Tommy Lee from 1986 until 1983.

David Costabile as Doc McGhee

The role of longtime Motley Crue manager Doc McGhee will be played by David Costabile. He currently plays Mike “Wags” Wagner in Showtime’s acclaimed series ‘Billions,’ and he’s also recurring roles in ‘The Wire’ and ‘Breaing Bad.’ This isn’t Costabile’s first part in a production about musicians. He was in ‘Flight of the Conchords,” an HBO comedy that ran from 2007-09 about a New Zealand novelty folk-rap duo, where he played Doug, the hapless husband of the group’s lone fan/wannabe-groupie, Mel (Kristen Schaal)

Director Jeff Tremaine

MTV’s sadomasochistic stunt series Jackass was a lot of things — including utterly addictive viewing — but it didn’t necessarily look like the greatest incubator for long-running Hollywood careers. The guys who starred in the show have gone on to varying degrees of success since the franchise went on seemingly permanent hiatus; meanwhile, behind the scenes, director and co-creator Jeff Tremaine has been quietly carving out an interesting path for himself, writing, producing and directing an array of releases that run the gamut from Jackass-style comedy to ESPN documentaries and … well, The Dirt. Tremaine has been attached to this project for years, and remained one of its most persistent public cheerleaders even when it looked like it was permanently stuck in development hell; he even produced The End, the concert documentary revolving around Mötley Crüe’s final show. However this movie ends up turning out, it’s being helmed by a guy with a passion for the project — and the band’s music.

The Dirt Book

There’s obviously no shortage of rock biographies — there’s virtually a cottage industry around books devoted to the biggest stars in the genre, with multiple weighty tomes inspired by the lives and legacies of artists such as Elvis Presley and Bob Dylan. And those of us who weren’t in the band will never really know just how accurate Mötley Crüe’s confessions might be. But even with all that being said, The Dirt remains a gripping warts-and-all account from some of hard rock’s hardest-living survivors — which is part of why it was such a bestseller upon publication in 2001, despite arriving years after the group’s commercial peak. In addition to inspiring its long-gestating screen adaptation, The Dirt also opened a literary sideline for the members of the band; Tommy Lee and Vince Neil have both since penned more straightforward memoirs, while Nikki Sixx released his acclaimed Heroin Diaries book, an account of his journey to rock bottom and back out of the drug dependency that nearly ended his life for good.

Everything You Need to Know About Motley Crue’s ‘The Dirt’ Movie