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Cameron Crowe Reveals Newly Published ‘Almost Famous’ Origin Story

Crowe was a journalist for Rolling Stone in the 1970s, but wrote this article that ultimately inspired the film in 1996.

almost famous

“Almost Famous”

Writer/director Cameron Crowe’s autobiographical rock odyssey “Almost Famous” turns 20 next year, yet the film still holds up well as a snapshot of 1970s counterculture. Famously, Crowe, who won a Best Original Screenplay Academy Award for the film in 2001, based his nostalgic road movie on his own experiences as a journalist at Rolling Stone in the time of Ben Fong-Torres.

Now, Crowe has revealed the story that actually inspired “Almost Famous,” which is a piece he penned for a shuttered magazine called Live! in 1996 — the same year his film “Jerry Maguire” was released. Crowe has shared that story with TheWrap, whose Steve Pond was also a rock critic in the 1970s. Reading the opening paragraph of the story, you can almost certainly hear Frances McDormand (Oscar-nominated for her iconic turn as a sheltering, truth-talking mother) admonishing Patrick Fugit:

“‘There will be absolutely no rock music in our house.’ With those epic words, my mother and father ushered in 1968. My mom was an English teacher, and early on she spotted the threat that rock posed to all those finely-bound books lining our cabinets. My sister and I lobbied hard, assuring them that drugs and promiscuous sex were not what our music was about. Rock was our poetry. Yes, came her reply, but ‘it’s the poetry of drugs and promiscuous sex!’ Of course she was right, but few were as good at feigning outrage as my sister and me.”

The publication of the story is timed to the world premiere and San Diego opening of the “Almost Famous” musical this weekend. Read the rest of the “Almost Famous” story over at TheWrap.

“Almost Famous” is still in the news. Recently, Cameron Crowe found himself defending the film against critics suggesting that the Penny Lane character (played by Kate Hudson, also Oscar-nominated) is a Manic Pixie Dream Girl. “She was never a manic pixie dream girl to me,” Crowe told the LA Times. “She’s based on a real person who is definitely not a manic pixie dream girl, in the best way. I always thought she was just a soulful, selfless, loving person who was super into community and kept herself a little bit hidden. She lit up a room by knowing everything about everybody.”

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