Sixteen years after Almost Famous won over audiences with its earnest depiction of music and journalism, director Cameron Crowe is revisiting his rock roots for his first foray into television.
Crowe is the writer, creator, director, and executive producer of Roadies, a new Showtime series premiering this summer. Roadies, like Almost Famous, revolves around a fictional band touring the U.S. — only this time, the focus is on the unsung heroes working backstage to make arena concerts come to life.
The first trailer for the series opens with a poignant Tom Petty quote: “I think the general public has no idea what roadies do. Bless ‘em all. I just play the songs.” From there, we see stars Luke Wilson, Carla Gugino, Imogen Poots, and, strangely enough, Machine Gun Kelly working and musing and skateboarding backstage. Fittingly soundtracked by Eddie Vedder’s cover of “Hard Sun,” the preview has that wistful, indie vibe Crowe’s known for, and plenty of “do it for the music” sentimentality.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, many of the series’ characters and plot points are based on true stories in the music industry. In fact, Crowe said that one scene in the pilot about a pianist who flips out over fingerprints on his piano is inspired by Queen’s Freddie Mercury.
“I love music and stories where music is a character,” Crowe said at the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour last month. “Over time I was struck by the fact that Almost Famous spoke loudly to people. It was a very personal story for me and I didn’t expect it to touch people that way. I wanted to revisit the world of writing about music but in a different and contemporary way … [telling] authentic stories about people behind the curtain presenting music to people every day.”
Roadies premieres Sunday, June 26 at 10 p.m. on Showtime.