We’re Screening a Film You’re Going to Want to See
by Cat Johnson
When Pat Spurgeon, drummer for indie rock band Rogue Wave, was told that his lone kidney was failing, he had a choice to make: he could sit at home and do dialysis or he could go on tour with his band and do dialysis on the road.
One would think that doing dialysis in a van, while on tour with a rock band, falls into the bad idea category. Dialysis has come a long way in recent years and can now be done at home, but there’s a condition: you really need to have a sterile environment.
Several words come to mind when I think about a touring band’s environment. Sterile is not one of them.
No one knew what would happen on the road. There were concerns about Jim’s health, the less-than-ideal dialysis settings and the fact that the band, which was starting to catch the attention of a wider audience, had contracts and obligations it couldn’t break.
But Spurgeon is an all-in musician who admits to having no backup plan. So, in a total rock and roll, show-must-go-on move, he decided to go on tour. He had an idea though, he wanted his friend, filmmaker Jim Granato to help him document the journey.
“Pat wasn’t going to stop playing music,” says Granato, “no matter what.”
So Granato gave Spurgeon a camera, told him just to record what he was thinking and doing and to send the footage back to him. The resulting film is D tour: a Rock ‘n’ roll film about life, death and bodily functions.
Initially, there wasn’t a solid idea of what the film would be but as the process of making it evolved, it became clear that they were creating something extraordinary. Aside from the health challenges of a musician on the road, the film traverses organ transplant issues and emotions, being passionately true to your calling, the strength of the music community, and some of life’s big picture joys and sorrows.
“It’s the craziest example of life kind of taking over,” says Granato pointing out that the film impacts people in unexpected ways.
“I can’t say it’s surprising,” he says, “but the film still continues to bowl people over.”
D TOUR will be screening, drive-in movie-style, on Thursday, July 25, 2013 at the Felix Kulpa Gallery, next door to Streetlight Records in Downtown Santa Cruz. The screening is FREE and will feature a Q&A session with Director Jim Granato and documentary subject Pat Spurgeon, of Rogue Wave.