What the Hell Happened to Blood, Sweat & Tears Review – A Must See, Behind the Scenes Doc Shocks

What the Hell Happened to Blood, Sweat & Tears, from Abramorama, presents the surprising story of how the U.S. tried to plant the seeds to overthrow communism in eastern Europe through a rock band with a weak link.

In the 1970s Blood Sweat & Tears were on top of the world. The number band in the very changing rock and roll scene in the U.S., known for hits such as "Spinning Wheel," "You've Made Me So Very Happy," and "And When I Die," headlined the legendary Woodstock Festival and won multiple Grammy Awards, most notably 1970's win for Album Of The Year, besting The Beatles' "Abbey Road" and "Johnny Cash at San Quinten."

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In a time before artists were tapped by a presidential candidates to provide a boost to the campaign, in a reach across the aisle effort to sway votes, the Nixon government, yes, that same tricky dick administration decided to sanction a U.S. sponsored tour of Eastern Europe, in a whirlwind effort through communist bloc nations to break the chains of communism and who better than the number one band in the United States: Blood, Sweat & Tears.

Filtered through the lens of time, this gig sounds like an easy way to make bank and influence global politics. Not so quick. Our modern capitalist thinking had not evolved in the 1970s and supporting a government, in any way, that was funding the Vietnam war was an absolute mistake; as counterculture hippies were protesting in greater numbers in cities and towns across a once sleepy America and rightly so as their sons were coming home mutilated or in body bags.

As a result our simple music makers from Blood, Sweat & Tears, we understand found themselves in the crossfire of a polarized America, as their demographic, their concert going, record buying audience was the protesting counterculture who suddenly considered them dung.

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So, in the incredible never-before-told story about a top rock band that was unknowingly embroiled in a political rat's nest involving the U.S. State Department, the Nixon White House and a controversial concert tour of Yugoslavia, Romania and Poland, countries that were behind what was then known as the Iron Curtain. 

So what would make a rock band risk everything to join an unpopular political administration and agree to spread democracy through music to the youth of the world? We begin to understand that behind the good will tour an ultimatum had been issued to the band's lead singer, David Clayton Thomas, who readily admits he spent his youth in institutions as courtesy of the Canadian government, a leveraging point for the U.S. government.

As it was, the government, in their expert espionage tactics and antics found out about his soon to be expiring Green Card, his troubled past, and on the eve of the tour had him arrested on trumped up charges and squeezed. So that band had a decision to make.

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What the Hell Happened to Blood, Sweat & Tears is a trip through rock and roll history. With an incredible soundtrack, highlighting all the BST hits, and archival footage of concerts across time from Woodstock to Poland and deeper into the Iron Curtain.

The documentary takes the audience on a journey through what historians call the greatest time in rock and roll history. The counterculture was on the rise, the American political landscape was tumultuous, and the world was awakening in a cultural revolution.

A must see! What the Hell Happened to Blood, Sweat & Tears opens in theaters March 24, 2023. See it, rent it, stream it, own it! A collectors piece.

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Country: U.S.

Language: English.

Runtime: 111minutes.

Producer: Dave Harding, John Scheinfeld.

Director: John Scheinfeld.

Executive Produced: James Sears Bryant.

Writer: John Scheinfeld.

Featuring: David Clayton Thomas, Bobby Colomby, Steve Katz, Fred Lipsius, Jim Fielder, Clive Davis.

Haute Tease