Washington D.C.’s eclectic music scene is slated to hit the big screen in 2020 and will be made by Amazon Independent Films, a division of the online retailer. “Go- Go is the sound of Washington, D.C., the DMV (D.C., Maryland, and Virginia) area,” Stanley V. Henson Jr., the script writer for the production, told the AFRO. The film, which does not yet have a title, will talk about go-go in the city and the lives of the pioneers who paved the way for the music genre.
Stanley V. Henson Jr. (Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons)
Henson said he met Max Kidd, known as the Berry Gordy of D.C. Go-Go scene, in 1980 and mentored him. Around 2007-2008, when he was writing a documentary about Ben’s Chili Bowl, he spent a lot of time with Kidd. He said he would also bring musicians to him. They had a deep talk about his legacy and Henson promised Kidd that if anything was to happen, he would make sure his story was told and his legacy continued. Kidd passed away on March 17. He was 75-years-old.
According to a press release, the film is slated to talk about “the lives of Maxx Kidd; Chuck Brown, known as the godfather of Go-Go music; Lil Benny; Peter Dean; Sugarbear Elliott, known as the crowned prince; and Miss Mack.” Of course, this is not the first time Go-Go music has been showcased nationally. Go-Go was featured prominently in Spike Lee’s 1988 film “School Daze.”
Henson said the film will focus on the beginning of Go-Go music and groups such as E.U., Rare Essence, Chuck Brown, The Junkyard Band, and the emergence of the Go-Go music sound of Washington, D.C. “Go-Go should have been bigger than what it was. It had to compete with hip-hop coming out of New York,” Henson said. “People have a love for it, they are loyal like sports fans.” Henson said that Go-Go could have been just as popular as Hip Hop music if Kidd didn’t get sick.
According to Henson, the film’s budget is $2.3 million. “I hope to make D.C. proud with this film,” he said.
Although the film is slated to premiere a few years down the line, area residents, who are still fans of the musical genre, said they think the music helps to tell a little of the city’s history. “Go-Go sheds some good light on the city and how it’s used to bring our people together,” Sadana Sparrow-Bey told the AFRO.