Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World
Stevie Salas is Executive Producer of the Native American documentary film “Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World.”
Named after the 1958 Link Wray smash hit, “Rumble” traces the influence of Native Americans on nearly a century of popular music in an eloquent and engaging way. American popular music – and the history of rock and roll itself – certainly would not have been the same without the contributions of Native American performers.
After decades of official government oppression, however, many Indian musicians were reluctant to reveal their heritage and it wasn’t until almost the 1960s that a sense of ethnic pride emerged.
“Rumble” is inspired by Salas’ own personal journey in the music industry. A Native American and top-notch guitarist for superstars like Rod Stewart and Mick Jagger, Salas often wondered why no one around him looked the way he did. He has researched the topic for years and unveiled his discoveries in a 2010 Smithsonian exhibit called “Up Where We Belong: Native Musicians in Popular Culture.” The exhibit changed the written history for Native American musicians and became the substantive basis for “Rumble” in its examination of the often-under-appreciated role Native Americans played in the development of American popular music.
The film examines 10 different musical icons of Native American ancestry, ranging from Delta blues great Charley Patton to iconic electric guitarist Jimi Hendrix – who was part Cherokee – to living legend Robbie Robertson of Mohawk descent. The principal cast includes also Buffy Sainte-Marie, Martin Scorsese, Tony Bennett, Steven Tyler and Iggy Pop.
Sundance Film Festival 2017 – Special Jury Award for Masterful Storytelling
Boulder International Film Festival 2017 – Best Music Documentary