Steve ConteNew York-based musician Steve Conte has had a well-rounded career in his 20-plus years working in the music business. He's enjoyed an on-going gig as guitarist for the New York Dolls and his own bluesy rock outfit Steve Conte & The Crazy Truth; but he never expected to get the call to be a rock 'n' roll guru for 'It's Kind of a Funny Story,' featuring 'The Hangover's Zach Galifianakis.

"I got a call to be a rock 'n' roll guru for the cast of this movie," Conte said. "It stars Emma Roberts and Zach and Kier Gilchrist. There's one scene in the movie where they're in a mental hospital like Bellevue and there's a fantasy scene where they all fantasize about being on stage and being in this rock band and playing this song 'Under Pressure' by Queen and David Bowie." Steve ConteNew York-based musician Steve Conte has had a well-rounded career in his 20-plus years working in the music business. He's enjoyed an on-going gig as guitarist for the New York Dolls and his own bluesy rock outfit Steve Conte & The Crazy Truth; but he never expected to get the call to be a rock 'n' roll guru for 'It's Kind of a Funny Story,' featuring 'The Hangover's Zach Galifianakis.

"I got a call to be a rock 'n' roll guru for the cast of this movie," Conte said. "It stars Emma Roberts and Zach and Kier Gilchrist. There's one scene in the movie where they're in a mental hospital like Bellevue and there's a fantasy scene where they all fantasize about being on stage and being in this rock band and playing this song 'Under Pressure' by Queen and David Bowie."

The fantasy rock band consists of Galifianakis on keyboards, Roberts on guitar, and 'Lost' star Jeremy Davies as one of the background singers. The task at hand for Conte was to mold these actors into realistic looking rock stars.

Conte said he had his work cut out for him. "My job was to give them pointers. None of these guys really played, although Emma sort of strums guitar. I sent through some YouTube videos of guitar players' performances to check out, like early Who -- Pete Townsend doing windmills -- so they could see how guys move around and jump around on stage. I coached them and staged them."

Conte, who has seen his fair share of rock stages while touring around the world, was impressed with the elaborate set which was built from scratch at film studios in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. "They had this incredible set," Conte said. It cost more to build this set than it cost to make my MTV videos in the '80s! It was this five-tiered stage with this giant 20-foot tall wall filled with light bulbs. Afterwards, the film company will probably stick it in storage or throw it in the garbage. I told them they ought to build a club around it. They had some pyro, some explosions in the scene. It's gonna look amazing. The actors looked really good and I'm pretty proud of it."

You can see for yourself if Conte's rock star consultancy paid off when 'It's Kind of a Funny Story' opens next year in theaters. The debut album, 'Steve Conte & The Crazy Truth,' is available at the group's website.
CATEGORIES Interviews, Movies