- Published on Monday, 13 February 2017 19:30
A documentary film about the life and career of Chicago radio living legend Dick Biondi has been slowly in the works for over two years, but is finally getting closer to becoming a reality. The production team behind the film have now started a crowdfunding campaign to get a ten-minute screener completed, which should in turn help raise funds from larger donors and sponsors to complete the film by years' end.
One of the most iconic voices in all of radio in the last six decades, Biondi has been a mainstay on the Chicago radio airwaves since he first started on WLS-AM in May 1960 coming to Chicago after a few years of success in Buffalo, NY. Except for the years 1972-1984, he has been heard in Chicago all this time.
Biondi has been on his current radio station, WLS-FM since November 2006 (then known by the legal call letters of WZZN-FM).
Considered one of the most influential radio DJs of all time, "The Wild I-Tralian" Biondi was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 1998. Biondi's likeness is enshrined in an exhibit in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He also has a Chicago street named in his honor, "Honorary Dick Biondi Way," located at the northwest corner of East Lake Street and North Garland Court in downtown Chicago. The location was chosen because this small street is adjacent to the building at 360 North Michigan Avenue -- the very same building that the WLS-AM studios operated out of for a great many years and where Biondi became a Chicago radio superstar.
Pam Pulice is a documentary filmmaker in suburban Chicago and the owner of the independent film company Reel Stories Productions, LLC. Pulice has also been a fan and admirer of Biondi since first hearing his voice on the radio on WLS-AM in the early 1960s, when she was just 12 years old. She started up a Dick Biondi Fan Club and was able to meet her favorite DJ many times over the years.
Pulice felt that even with Biondi being honored in multiple ways, he still has not received his due for all he has accomplished. She felt a film about his life was needed to help inform the public of Biondi's incredible radio career, his hold over the 1960s teenage audience nationwide, and his amazing impact on the music industry (including being the first DJ in America to play a Beatles record).
"The Dick Biondi Film" (working title) began in 2014. Since then, Pulice has held video interviews with dozens of people gladly talking about Biondi. Among those already interviewed on film include Chicago radio stars John Records Landecker, Bob Sirott, Bob Hale, Jeff Davis, Dave Fogel, Greg Brown, Scott Childers, Tony Lossano, and Dan Wolfe. Others already interviewed include Tom Dreesen, Tony Orlando, Frankie Avalon, The Beach Boys' Brian Wilson, Chicago's Walter Parazaider, The Spaniels' Billy Shelton, The Buckinghams' Dennis Tufano, The Buckinghams' Nick Fortuna, The Buckinghams' Carl Giammarese, The Ides of March's Jim Peterik, The Ides of March's Larry Millas, The Ides of March's Ruben Agosto, The Cryan Shames' Tom Doody, The Shadows of Knight's Jimy Sohns, The New Colony Six's Ronnie Rice, Randy West, Ron Onesti, and Art Vuolo. Of course, Biondi himself will have plenty to say and share, as well.
Snippets of some of these interviews can be found on the YouTube account
of "The Dick Biondi Film"
The producer's goal is to have "The Dick Biondi Film" completed by December of this year. The documentary will be made available for television, film screenings, digital viewing, and DVD purchases. Over the course of the next month, Pulice would like to raise just $30,000 to help write and edit an approximate ten-minute short version of the film (a "teaser" trailer) to help entice sponsorship of the full-length movie.
In order to do this, a Kickstarter campaign has begun that will run through mid-March. Donors will only have to pay if the $30,000 goal is reached. Many different perks have been added to help entice donations to the Kickstarter fund, including a Biondi static cling, digital versions of the film, a DVD copy, shirts, a signed movie poster, tickets to the movie premiere, a phone recording from Biondi, and much more. The Kickstarter campaign can be found at this link HERE
Pulice will be promoting "The Dick Biondi Film" and its Kickstarter campaign in earnest this week. She will be appearing on WLS-AM on Tuesday at approximately 11:30am as the special guest of hosts Bob Sirott and Marianne Murciano. (Sirott also appears in the film.) On Tuesday night, Pulice will be at the "Cornerstones of Rock" concert taking place at 7:30pm at the Arcada Theatre (105 E. Main St., St. Charles). Show organizer Ron Onesti will give the audience a sneak peek at the film and Kickstarter campaign. Being that most of the performers at the "Cornerstones of Rock" concert appear in "The Dick Biondi Film" and owe some of their success from the 1960s to Biondi, it seemed like an appropriate location to kick off the documentary's crowdfunding campaign.
Two months ago, a new website was created for "The Dick Biondi Film," which gives much more background and behind the scenes information on the creation and progress of the documentary. The website can be found at DickBiondiFilm.com