Nearly a decade ago, actor Colin Hanks began turning his nostalgia and affection for Tower Records, the defunct music retailer that closed its doors in 2006, into a documentary chronicling the history of the store and its impact on pop culture and the music world.
This film has been seven years in the making. How does it feel to actually be done?
Awesome. It feels really good. It is a very different feeling directing a film and having people see it than acting in it. When I'm an actor it's not really my movie, it's the director's movie. I don't want to give the feeling I'm not invested in those — I am. But with this I am completely invested. We spent seven years of our lives putting this together, and there were times we didn't think it was going to happen, that we'd have to just stop and throw in the towel. So it's been pretty awesome.
Of the big-name interview subjects in the film, who was the toughest to get?
Elton John was the hardest only in so much as it was really about his schedule. He definitely wanted to do it. It was just about finding the time to do it because he's on tour. Dave Grohl was actually the easiest one. I had heard through the grapevine about some stories about when he worked at Tower — stuff like Grohl vandalizing a Michael Jackson poster outside and then taking a Polaroid of it and slipping it under the door for the manager to see.
And Bruce Springsteen?
Bruce is Bruce. He's awesome. He said, "I don't have that many stories about Tower." I said, "Bruce, all I need is one."