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Working Titles – Almost Famous

Working Titles takes a closer look at specific films with a denim and workwear aesthetic with the goal of examining the material’s shifting cultural image.

“One day, you’ll be cool.” William’s sister assures him, as she flees their overbearing mother for a free-wheeling life in San Francisco. Those words reverberate in your mind for the rest of Almost Famous’s two hour runtime.

You’re treated to a glimpse at the fleeting world of rock and roll in the early 1970s. Nothing that cool can exist for very long and as brilliant as the film is, it stands as a reminder that you will never experience anything quite like this. As a small consolation, you can dress like the rock’n’roll gods of yore and the groupies sorry, Band Aids that worshiped them.

The 2000 film is a semi-autobiographical account of writer and director Cameron Crowe’s early days as a music journalist. While many details are elaborated and fictionalized with artistic license, the fact that Crowe traveled the country as a writer for Rolling Stone magazine at the age of 16 is completely true.

The events of the film are based on his first assignment when he joined The Allman Brothers Band on tour in 1973. They were replaced by the fictional band Stillwater so that a plot could be fleshed out around the interpersonal drama within the band. Much of the movie is also based on Crowe’s travels with Led Zeppelin during their 1975 US tour. 



A naive young William.

Crowe’s fictional stand-in is William, a brilliant but naive teenager living in San Diego. His cool older sister Anita, played by a young Zooey Deschanel, defies their mother by listening to rock music. The film’s open prologue shows Anita encouraging her little brother to listen to her record collection after she leaves home.

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