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by Indiewire
September 12, 2011 2:08 AM
25 Comments
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iW's Project of the Day: LSD-Induced Music & Retirement of Anonymous Artists of America

An image from Tania Backus's "Anonymous Artists of America."

Here's your daily dose of an indie film in progress; at the end of the week, you'll have the chance to vote for your favorite.

In the meantime: Is this a movie you’d want to see? Tell us in the comments.

"Anonyomous Artists of America"

Tweetable Logline:

Trip with one of the first psychedelic bands to experience the Acid Tests, form a commune and live the essence of American counterculture

Elevator Pitch:

This is a documentary film about a group of people known as the Anonymous Artists of America (aka AAA). After giving them 10,000 hits of LSD and a Buchla synthesizer, Richard Alpert (now Ram Dass) helped to launch the Bay Area band. They became notorious and shortly after the Summer of Love, the communards boarded their psychedelic bus and set off for southern Colorado, where they bought 600 acres and lived the essence of the American back-to-the-land movement.

You can't go home again...or can you?

Production Team:

Producer/Director: Tania Backus
Associate Producer/Cinemaphotographer: Phil Seneker

About the Production:

"This is a story of historical importance, but also a personal journey for me, because I grew up with the AAA. The last two years I have been collecting information and deciding how to tell the story about the Anonymous Artists of America (aka AAA). In keeping with their name, the members have remained under-documented and relatively anonymous, despite their legendary underground reputation. This journey began when I was given a box of 8 mm film taken during early 1970s. This treasure trove led me to hours of additional research into what had happened to the people in the film." -- Tania Backus

Current Status:

Fundraising and in-production.

For more information and to support this film:
IndieGoGo Page

If you have an in-the-works project and you'd like to be profiled in an upcoming iW Project of the Day column, submit yourself by filling out this form!

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25 Comments

  • Chris | October 20, 2011 5:11 AMReply

    I would love to see this! I'm very interested in seeing people return to living sustainably, raising food and living like people did before industrialization. I also love creating music so anything to do with creative people tapping into their spiritual side and the process of writing music is interesting to me! Also, I know America was a different place than it is today, with much less people and less development on the land, but there are also many similarities so seeing a film that points them out would be great.

  • Tim Cash | October 6, 2011 4:14 AMReply

    I'd love to see this production put together Tania! I was with the band for about a year, thats me standing at the right front corner of the bus, shirtless, with the long green pants on that I lived in. Was in Frisco with the band, and Connecticut and was driving the bus on the way to the Woodstock festival when it broke down - them blamed me, but it wasnt my fault, I was making good time, they had given me something called "Ritalin" they said it was a "psychic energizer"!! It worked pretty damn good. Please contact me at your convenience.

  • Sam | September 20, 2011 2:35 AMReply

    I was lucky enough to see a music compilation video that Tania put together and really enjoyed it! I am looking forward to seeing this film...

  • Leah O'Shell | September 20, 2011 2:22 AMReply

    I would love to see this film as it is a part of my parent's history. Tania is wonderful and will do an awesome job putting this film together. I can't wait to see it!

  • Jim Fowler | September 17, 2011 3:17 AMReply

    "Save your seeds you gonna need them now 'cause Mable, Mable's up on the table!" I was at the Gardner Community Center for the first AAA gig in the Huerfano Valley. Apparently the aroma of pot saturated hippie chicks still lingers there...

  • George Parrish | September 17, 2011 1:49 AMReply

    Oh boy... I think this film is gonna be almost like having a memory again! You'd have MY vote, if I could figure out where to vote...

  • jack wartell | September 17, 2011 1:48 AMReply

    The movement of music, art, politics and the rest of the enchilada from urban settings to rural and then back again, was for all of us a conscious-raising , not-to-repeated Experience . It seems just like Yesterday....

  • Ian Jones | September 16, 2011 11:46 AMReply

    This is a piece of US History that needs to be told. Please make this film happen. Tanya is the artist to tell the story.

  • Laurel Ackerman | September 16, 2011 9:45 AMReply

    I can't wait to see this film!!

  • Diane | September 16, 2011 9:15 AMReply

    Looking very forward to seeing this film, excited
    about the important content.

  • Mr Tushe | September 16, 2011 7:16 AMReply

    Seeing this film will be a wonderful walk down memory lane. Could just be the most important film looking into the soul of the 60's.
    Thank you Tania for your dedication to this project.

  • pittendrigh | September 16, 2011 7:05 AMReply

    Looking forward to seeing this. Got my vote.

  • Jennifer | September 16, 2011 6:56 AMReply

    A part of history I love hearing more about. Looking forward to it.

  • Benjamin Cockman | September 16, 2011 6:36 AMReply

    I am really looking forward to this film. It documents a fascinating piece of history.

  • Sharlet | September 16, 2011 6:05 AMReply

    I love learning more about the AAA, as well as the creativity of Tania as she brings us insight and knowledge. We are privileged to have a window through her film!

  • Chip Baker | September 16, 2011 5:44 AMReply

    So much about this mysterious corner of our history won't be answered until somebody asks the right questions. Thanks, Tania, for taking this on for all of us. The people and the times shine in my memory, I can't wait to see the movie.

  • Lance R | September 16, 2011 5:18 AMReply

    Tania's insights and dedication will make this film an important document about a fascinating group from a fascinating time. I can't wait to see it!

  • Beatrice Merkin | September 16, 2011 4:27 AMReply

    Flashback!--this was the underground band to end all underground bands. Can't wait to see the film.

  • Lolly Shera | September 16, 2011 4:25 AMReply

    Show us Anonymous Artists of America!!! I can't wait to hear the real story of how these underground sorts created a counter-culture life style...rocking out on psychedelics and raising their children on a commune in Colorado...did this really happen?????? Our hippie generation is aging... Don't delay - pretty soon it will be too late!!!!

  • Lindsay Haisley | September 16, 2011 2:29 AMReply

    Yes! Thanks, Tania, for what you're doing. This is a film that DEFINITELY should get made. You have my support. I was part of this motley crew of outlaws, vagabonds and musicians back in the early 70s, and their story is a part of American history that really deserves to be told. You go, gal!

  • Roberta Price | September 15, 2011 8:52 AMReply

    Of course I'd love to see this film. I've seen some of the Super 8 footage taken way back then that Tania has inherited, so to speak, and it's a wonderful trove to work with. Two of my books cover the Huerfano Valley during the late 60's and 70's, and my photos record some of what was going on, but there isn't nearly enough to convey the phenomena that occurred there. She needs all the support she can get!

  • michael moore | September 15, 2011 8:17 AMReply

    you bet I'd like to see this one, and not just because I knew a lot of these characters at the beginning of their big leap into various unknowns...but also because Tania's definitely the one to pull it all together! Also it was me that probably took that picture up there, somewhere in Kansas in 1969...

  • Maya Linke | September 15, 2011 7:37 AMReply

    YES! I would love to see this movie made, for I am also, like Tania, one of the children raised on this commune. It is a beautiful place and a home I still return to every year.

  • David Falcon Ayala | September 15, 2011 6:51 AMReply

    This looks awesome!!! I want to see this play in theaters like the Alamo Drafthouse.

  • Tania Backus | September 15, 2011 6:19 AMReply

    THIS IS GOING TO BE A BEAUTIFUL, FASCINATING, INSIGHTFUL TRIP OF A FILM!