Music History

Published on December 23rd, 2013 | by Alan Cross

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NFL Films and the Work they Do for Rock’n’Roll

Since is inception in 1962, NFL films has been creating some of the greatest highlight reels ever made. But few people know that in addition to football, the company is also deeply involved in the world of rock.

How?  Shooting concert films.

When you think about it, shooting a concert is much like covering a football game: everything has to be done in real time and there are no re-takes.  Ever.  And since the NFL isn’t a year-round thing, crews are happy with that additional few months’ work.

The first band to get the NFL Films treatment was Journey.  Since then–well, here’s what Sports on Earth says:

From the early 1980s through the turn of the millennium, it shot dozens of music videos. An almost comically diverse assortment of artists — including Def Leppard, Sister Sledge, Dio, Slayer, Cyndi Lauper, DJ Kool, the Black Crowes, Jon Secada, and Stevie Ray Vaughan — got the NFL Films treatment. “It encouraged off-the-wall kinds of approaches,” said Tuckett, who oversaw the company’s music projects for two decades. “And I think that we benefited from that. It got us out of our straight-laced NFL Films style and helped us become a little more contemporary.”

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About the Author

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.


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