In Safety Not Guaranteed (due in theaters June 8), three Seattle magazine staffers seek out the author of the following classified ad: “WANTED: Someone to go back in time with me. This is not a joke. You’ll get paid after we get back. Must bring your own weapons. I have only done this once before.”
Whether the author of the ad is a mad scientist or just plain mad is one of the mysteries of the film. But it got us thinking about some of the historic shows we could see if we had access to time travel, and so we decided to ask the filmmakers where they’d set their very own musical wayback machines.
MARK DUPLASS (Actor)
I would want to find a Roberta Flack show when there was, like, only 30 people there and be part of her discovery, and hear her sing “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” and let that motivate a smooch of epic proportions.
COLIN TREVORROW (Director) & DEREK CONNOLLY (Writer)
CT: I would probably be in the early ‘70s, because you’d still have everybody great from the ‘60s playing great music, but you could see The Who, you could see Pink Floyd…I mean, there’s a million concerts in the early ‘70s that I’d want to be at.
DC: Wham’s 1985 final concert…no, I’m kidding. Yeah, late ‘70s I think would be awesome. You could get the beginning of Tom Petty and the end of bands like The Who and stuff, and I think that would be great.
ROCKER: So that was kind of the golden era you think?
CT: Yeah, that was a good time.
DC: Springsteen hitting his stride there…
CT: Yeah… a young Springsteen? We could talk about this all day!
JAKE JOHNSON & KARAN SONI (Actors)
J.J.: You know, I’ve always been a big Bob Dylan fan, and when I was younger I went really nuts for him, so I’d maybe go back to the mid-60s and watch him at a coffee shop and be there at the beginning. Be, like, “This cat’s cool, man.”
KS: “Yeah, I’m putting my money on him.”
J.J.: “Yeah, I’m gambling on Bobby Zimmerman over there with the guitar. I’m going to invest in you.”
KS: “Just sign this piece of paper.”
J.J.: “I’m gonna pay five grand and buy all your songs…I’d go back in time and be people’s manager…”
K.S.: “Listen, I know you want a break…I’m the break.”
J.J.: That’s right. I’d meet the Beatles and be, like, “You kids are good.”
K.S.: “With the right push, you can really make it.”
J.J.: “Look, I see where you guys are going…we’re getting you out of England, we’re going to the United States.”
ROCKER: And would you advise Dylan against going electric?
J.J.: No, because there’s actually a great moment in that where he goes electric and somebody calls him Judas. And he yells back, “You’re a liar!” And then you hear him go, like, “Turn it up.” And to me, that’s what I love about Dylan. I know the folk people got really mad at him, but he’s got that great…he’s like a peaceful weirdo, you know? But he’s really…deep down, he’s got so much bite. And that’s what I loved about him when I was, like, 15 and angry. He disguises that he’s an angry guy and he’s mad at stuff by, like, a beautiful song. But I love that he went electric, I love that people got mad and I’m glad he said, “Fuck you, too, man…it’s my music.”