David Chase revisits his teen rocker dreams in ‘Not Fade Away’

When he put “The Sopranos” behind him, creator David Chase decided to take on a highly personal project – a return to his teen days when he and pals were wannabe rock stars. The result: “Not Fade Away,” a semi-autobiographical drama that marks his debut as a director of feature films.

“‘Wannabe’ is the key,” Chase tells Gold Derby. “‘Band’ is too generous. We were four friends who played together a lot, but we never played a gig for anybody. We never even played a dance. We plotted. We dreamed. We played. But we didn’t really take any steps necessary …. So we never really got serious. Even though we took it very seriously.

“When I got finished with the show, this was one of the ideas that I had and everybody, including Stevie van Zandt, told me, ‘Don’t do this one. Do something else. Do some kind of a thriller or out-and-out comedy’ and I didn’t listen,” he adds. Chase chose this option because he likes to tap his strengths creatively – ” I’m good at writing characters and dialog, verbal stuff.”

While I had his attention for this chat, I couldn’t let pass the opportunity to ask him what he thought of his bizarre experience at the Emmys where it took “The Sopranos” five years to win Best Drama Series. What does he think that was all about?

I was very confused about it myself in a way,” he says. “I’m very grateful that we won those Emmys. I wondered to myself: Should the show win an Emmy? I always felt that it was an outlaw show with an outlaw mentality, so, to be recognized by the establishment, something would have to be off in some way. There were so many shows like ‘The Jackie Gleason Show’ that never won the Emmy. David Lynch never won the Emmy. So I thought: if you don’t, you’re in pretty good company.

“I think there was an element of jealousy involved,” he adds. “I think people said to themselves, ‘Well, if he can do whatever the f**k he wants. We can’t. We’re here in the Soviet Union or we’re in a wheelchair. We can’t do all those things. If I had all that freedom I could win the Emmy too.’ I think there was something like that going on.”

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