Amongst the incredible line-up of movies at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival was the world premiere of a cool documentary about the folk-rock band Gunhill Road, best known for their 1973 Top 40 hit song “Back When My Hair Was Short”. The name of the film, Every 40 Years, is a reference to the 40 year gap between the band’s heyday and their reunion that saw them performing a couple of gigs and recording a fine new album.
The film was co-directed by Eric Goldrich, the son of Gunhill Road’s pianist Steven Goldrich, who wanted to learn more about that phase of his father’s life and also to document the band’s reunion. Mixing vintage footage with new interviews with the band and associates – including Kenny Rogers who produced their first album – Every 40 Years tells the touching story of a band that tasted fleeting success, then got a chance decades later to make music together again.
There’s also a Santa Barbara connection – Gunhill Road’s singer/guitarist/songwriter Glenn Leopold lives in Santa Barbara, having moved here toward the end of a successful career in the animation industry, something he got into after the band petered out. Leopold, Steve and Eric Goldrich, and Gunhill Road bassist Paul Reisch were in town for the premiere, and the band even played their first real West Coast gig at the Red Piano afterwards.
This interview with Glenn Leopold was done by phone on 2/10/17, for an article on noozhawk.com.