Filmmaker Les Blank passed away yesterday, at the age of 77. His documentaries gave viewers an insight and glimpse into worlds we were never lucky enough to see for ourselves, one filled with amazing characters, great food, laughs and music. His storytelling provided an enormous inspiration for this magazine.
Music was a huge component in Blank’s output from the very beginning, from his 1965 portrait of Dizzy Gillespie to The Blues Accordin’ to Lightnin’ Hopkins, where he showed us the blues master at home and 1971’s Spend It All, where the music of the Balfa Brothers came to life in ways that no audio recording could.
In a world where auteur is an overused description, you could always count that the latest Les Blank doc you’d catch would be as memorable as the last one. Thanks for all the great music and tales, Les.