Music News

A Doug Hopkins Biopic Is in the Works

The story of Doug Hopkins' rise and fall will be immortalized on film.
The story of Doug Hopkins' rise and fall will be immortalized on film. Timothy Archibald
Here’s a rundown of recent news from across the metro Phoenix music scene, including announcements of virtual and socially distanced concerts, a movie about a Valley rock legend, and the chance to score some rare vinyl and Arizona music memorabilia.

Doug Hopkins Biopic In the Works

The tragic tale of famed Valley guitarist and songwriter Doug Hopkins is reportedly headed to the silver screen, and it's being penned by one of his closest friends. In late December, news broke that a 2007 article about the late musician published in the Detroit Metro Times weekly newspaper is being developed into a movie.

The article, “Jesus of Suburbia: A holiday tale, of sorts,” was penned by former Phoenix New Times staff writer Brian Smith and chronicled the late musician’s struggles with substance abuse and his tumultuous relationship with the Gin Blossoms, the legendary Valley band he co-founded in 1987 and was kicked out of in 1992. Hopkins, who committed suicide in 1993, wrote two of the band’s biggest hits, “Hey Jealousy” and “Found Out About You.”

Smith, a longtime friend of Hopkins who currently lives in Tucson, is adapting the screenplay with his wife, Maggie. The flick, which is reportedly in pre-production and will be titled Lost Horizons, will be produced with Sarah Platt and Mike Tankel. The soundtrack will be overseen by Jonathan Daniel of Crush Music and will include previously unreleased material by Hopkins.

Herberger Theatre Announces Outdoor Concerts

Downtown Phoenix’s Herberger Theater Center will host a series of concerts by local bands this month at The Pavilion, its outdoor performance space. Performances will take place on weekends at the limited-capacity venue, which is located on the lawn area on the Herberger's east side. Per the theater's website, patrons are required to wear face coverings to attend.

The series starts on Thursday, January 14, with a gig by hip-hop act The Stakes and singer Venessa Mendez. High-energy funk/percussion/world music ensemble Phoenix Afrobeat Orchestra will then perform on Friday, January 22 (with an opening set by Arouna and Zaza Diarra), followed by Latin rock band Los Espliffs and singer-songwriter Salvador Duranon Friday, January 29. Each show starts at 7:30 p.m. and tickets are $27 in advance, $32 at the door.

click to enlarge TOKiMONSTA won't be coming to the Valley this month after all. - NIKKO LAMERE
TOKiMONSTA won't be coming to the Valley this month after all.
Nikko Lamere

TOKiMONSTA’s Crescent Ballroom Concert Has Become Virtual

There’s been a change in plans for an upcoming local performance by Jennifer Lee, better known as TOKiMONSTA. The L.A.-based electronica DJ/producer, who released a surprise album, Oasis Nocturno, last month, was originally scheduled to visit the Crescent Ballroom on Monday, January 25.

According to the Crescent’s social media accounts, the gig will now be livestreamed over Facebook the same night as the original performance. Now known as the “Oasis Nocturno Experience,” it will take place from 7 to 10 p.m. and it’s free to view. (Full details can be found here.) Anyone who purchased tickets to the original version of the show can get a refund from their point of purchase.

DJ Johnny D Hosting Record Sale on Saturday

Vinyl junkies of the Valley, get ready to add some new entries to your collection. Arizona music historian and vinyl collector John Dixon, better known as DJ Johnny D, will host a massive record sale at his Scottsdale home on Saturday, January 9. Per a post to Dixon’s Facebook page, the sale will include “mucho new/used vinyls,” which he says will be “all priced to sell,” and plenty of deals.

Highlights include hundreds of rock and soul 45’s for $3 each, boxes of LPs and vintage 78s, and more. Dixon will also be selling CDs by Arizona artists, including Sanford Clark. The sale runs from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. outside of his home, which is located at 3024 North 81st Place in Scottsdale. Early birds won't be allowed, masks are required, and everything will be arranged in order to encourage social distancing.
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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.