Review: Tommy – a film about Tommy Seebach

Last night the film Tommy was premiered in 35 cinemas across Denmark. A nationwide quiz about Tommy Seebach’s music, hosted by Jørgen De Mylius, followed. EuroVisionary was present in order to bring you a review of the film that will later be shown on TV and released on DVD. Hope for English subtitles as you don’t want to miss this fantastic film!

The film simply titled Tommy is a documentary about Tommy Seebach’s life. His ex-wife Karen, their three children, colleagues like Søren Bundgaard, Keld Heick, Dario Campeotto and Jørgen de Mylius participated with stories from their time
with him and clips from his private life and various performances including all of his Danish final participations was shown.

The film gets top marks due to its honesty. It wasn’t a glorification of Tommy Seebach’s life, but it showed the good times as well as the bad times. His family spoke out about how much his alcohol problem affected them and music partner Søren
Bundgaard from Kirsten & Søren (Denmark 1984, 1985 and 1988) also told how their companionship ended when Tommy had failed to send out some important tapes to the radio stations and instead had been drinking all night in their studio.

Tommy Seebach had a fantastic musicality no one could be in doubt about, but he did destroy a lot for himself with his drinking problems. His big frustrations when DR rejected Under Stjernerne På Himlen for the Danish final, the Dansk Melodi
Grand Prix three years in a row was also shown. He had most of his career based on being in the Danish final quite frequently as that meant a new hit, an album release and a lot of concerts.  When that didn’t happen anymore he had problems
paying his bills and big was his relief when he finally in 1993 got back in – due to a disqualification. When he then went on to winning it looked like all the problems would go away again. Concerts for over a Million Kroner were booked in less than a week – Tommy was back on the top! Unfortunately he went further down when he came 22nd in the international final in Dublin. He was being blamed for Denmark not being able to participate in the coming year and Tommy’s frustrations became even bigger. He had just written a song and performed it the best he could. It wasn’t his responsibility that it won the Danish final as clearly as it did.
Tommy’s frustrations over the accusations towards him after the poor result in Dublin immediately meant a heavily increased consummation of alcohol. This led to his wife Karen leaving him, taking the children, who meant everything to Tommy, with her and Tommy moving to an apartment right across a bar that quickly became his second home.

As the music industry closed the door on him in a combination due to his alcohol problem and his Eurovision Song Contest failure Tommy had to take every little job he could get just to keep some of his creditors away. He went from being a superstar to entertain customers on a daily basis in shops and to perform at discotheques where the young people used him as an icon to laugh at. When the film shows this part and you hear that Tommy was well aware of that he was booked for a
laugh you as the audience will have a hard time keeping a little tear away just as when the oldest son tells his frustrations about that it was no longer exclusive to see his dad perform. Now he was something that just was there when you went
shopping and might stop up for a sausage and hear one song before continuing in your daily programme.
The film ends with the touching story about how we went to a circus performance with his children. He had stopped drinking at this point and the children had for a little bit had the feeling of having their dad back. He walked with the children in his hands towards the circus like other dad’s were doing. The only difference being that Tommy’s children was adults at this time… six days later he died.

The film about Tommy is a touching and honest story about a musician with a huge talent very rarely seen. It is the story about a man, who loved his family and his music so much, but ended up losing it all to alcohol. It is the story about Tommy
Seebach’s life – for better and for worse.

It is a well made production and I can only recommend seeing it. I hope that the planned DVD release will include English subtitles as this is not just a film for Danes to see.

After the film a quiz took part where you by answering a question about Tommy could participate. Two audiences was called up on their mobile phones – it ended up being one in Rødovre, near Copenhagen and one in the cinema hear in Aalborg where I was present. They each had to answer various questions about Tommy Seebach’s music – and the winner became the one from Aalborg. North Jutland had beaten Copenhagen – which just added a little more flavour to it all.

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