This weekend, we’re screening the film Stony Island at The Cinefamily in Los Angeles. The lead role is played by Richie Davis, cofounder of the bands Third Rail and Maxx Traxx from Chicago. Richie grew up in Jeffrey Manor, a redlined neighborhood at the center of Chicago’s changing racial landscape. To not participate in white flight was, in itself a revolutionary statement by their family. His closest childhood friend was Stoney Robinson (whose brother, Stevie, would actually front Third Rail and Maxx Traxx, as well as a number of other local groups like T.H.E.M. and Windy City. Now members of these bands can be heard here.) Chicago’s monolithic journalistic force, Studs Terkel, documented Richie’s young life in his book, Race. Powerhouse director Andy Davis would document it with the movie Stony Island, but Richie’s interviews with Stud Terkel provide amazing background. Listen here for the full interview:
Another write-up from WBEZ Chicago (our NPR affiliate) last year, concerning the cultural significance of the film (and some of the long lost Chicago landmarks it captures)!