Russ Solomon, the founder of Tower Records and the most influential Sacramentan of the 20th century, turned 90 this year. He’d probably be the most influential Sacramentan ever were it not for Hardin Bigelow, the first elected mayor, whose levees saved the fledgling city from flooding in March 1850 and who, a month later, rebuilt the riverfront after a devastating fire. In October of the same year, Bigelow was rewarded for his efforts with a cholera epidemic that eventually killed him.
Anyway! Solomon’s life and work is chronicled in the documentary All Things Must Pass, actor (and fellow Sacramento native) Colin Hanks’ feature directing debut that opened theatrically this fall.
It’s a breezy, affecting film, about which I spoke with Solomon, Hanks and other Tower aficionados for a deep-dive feature at Sactown:
In contrasting glimpses of the surging modern-day city with the heyday of its best-known brand, Hanks and (producer Sean) Stuart have delivered more than just the most Sacramento movie ever made. It’s the movie that Sacramentans perhaps won’t even know they wanted until they see it—a jamboree of flintiness, a repudiation of the provincial, a mission for more.
“Anyone from Sacramento would see it and go, ‘Oh, I know exactly who these guys are,’ ” Hanks says. “And not just because it’s Russ Solomon or whoever. They know who these types of people are. I do feel there is something about coming from Sacramento. You’re just…”
Hanks pauses, then continues in a voice scorched with both exhaustion and resolve. “We’re our own kind of breed, in a way.”
Very true! I hope you will read the rest here.