I woke up this morning to discover When You’re Strange has been nominated for a Grammy. The category is long form video (dvd) which is fine even though the film was conceived as a film, made as a film and released as a film.

But it is a great honor to receive this nomination from the music industry. I worked very hard to make the film be as much about the Door’s music as possible. Their sound is like no other. I’m thrilled for them and everyone who believes like I do that this band stands as one of the most singular musical collaborations to rise out of the American rock psyche.

Let it roll.

Posted by:Tom

65 thoughts on “ 86. GRAMMY NOMINATION ”

  1. Hey Tom,

    WOO HOO!!!!!

    First nominated for an Emmy when it was on PBS American Masters, now nominated for a Grammy! Very cool news. This just goes to show that they made the absolutely right choice in you to write/direct this film. Every director brings a vision to each project, but I truly believe that WHEN YOU’RE STRANGE would not be the gem it is without your soulful input.

    Well done, Tom. Well done.


  2. Congratulations on this nomination, Tom!! This well-deserved recognition is exciting, albeit for an unexpected category. I have not seen the other nominated works, but surely there is NO comparison! For those who want to check that out: it is category #109 listed at: http://www.grammy.com/nominees

  3. Tom-

    Fantastic News!! Congratulations regarding the Grammy nomination. Your hard work and dedication is genuinely appreciated. Best of Luck, Tom!

  4. Thanks Elaine,
    I appreciate your kind words. I was totally taken by surprise by the nomination. But, it is a very cool honor, coming from a music organization.
    I fought harder than I’ve ever fought to keep the film the way I envisioned it–even up until the day was released entities were attempting to fudge with it.

    I don’t make no fudge.

  5. Thanks Ida,
    You were the first one to send me the news. I’m kind of grinning about it inside. Literally woke up this morning set to slog through my email and look what I found–a Grammy nomination.

    All I’ve ever hoped and wanted for this film was that it could be made available to as many people as possible. I wasn’t interested in big box office numbers or massive dvd sales. Just to have people be made aware the film was out there and they could partake in its pleasures if they so desired.

    Thanks so much for your great spirit and support.

  6. Hey Brandon,
    Thanks for the vote of support. I truly am happy just to be nominated. Whatever happens is frosting. I’m glad you liked the film. It has emerged as one of my personal favorites.

  7. Congratulations! Shows the lasting power of The Doors that in the year 2010 both a Doors documentary and a member, Robby, can receive Grammy nods. This will be The Doors year. Good luck to When You’re Strange and Robby to win the Grammy. They are, by far, the most deserving contestants. Let it roll, all night long.

  8. Congratulations Tom!! I’m not the least bit surprised to hear this news because I think the film totally deserves the honour of this nomination, as well as the Emmy. It’s a work you can always be proud of, as can The Doors.

    Keep grinning.


  9. Congrats, Tom! By my count, WYS is the third Doors-related project to get a Grammy nomination this year, the other two being Robby’s Singularity; as Vlad said, and Riders On The Storm was nominated in the Grammy Classic category, the second Doors song to be so nominated. (The first was LMF 10-11 years ago, p>

    And boy oh boy how times have changed! Back in the day, a Grammy nomination would have been unthinkable for a “hippie”/counterculture band like the Doors. Ha!

  10. Not that I’m totally suprised (that film was one of the greatest I’ve seen) but still…holy crap! Congratulations! 🙂

  11. Hey Vlad,
    Thanks for the encouragement. I do think it is cool that Robbie got a nomination for his album too. Who knows which way this one will blow. The best thing is that people are still hearing about and seeing the film.

  12. Hey Christine,
    Great to hear from you. I am proud of the film. I worked on it harder than almost any of my other films. I also fought for it to stay in the current form it is in.
    And I don’t cringe when my name comes up.
    Perhaps people will keep discovering the film.

  13. Hey Janet,
    That’s an interesting observation about The Doors and the Grammy’s. Were they ever nominated for one while Jim was alive?
    I’m happy about it but I don’t give it more importance than something that can help people find the film and see it on their own. God knows the theatrical release was pretty pathetic.

  14. Thanks Lindsey,
    That’s kind of how I felt when I heard the news. Thanks very much for your support. The film just seems to a have a ripple of life to it, life of it’s own; despite a miserable theatrical release here.
    It has just opened in theaters in Spain and is about to open in Australia.

  15. Hey Rai,
    thanks for the link to the Morrison pardon. It is pretty significant in a way. I know Jim was still very disturbed by the hanging conviction even has he flew to Paris with Pam.

  16. Congratulations, Tom
    The premiere was a success in Spain, although it opened in only four theaters (2 in Madrid, one in Barcelona and one in Valencia).
    Boxoffice.es says: “Special mention deserves the excellent debut of the musical documentary When you’re strange with which Avalon marked another success again. It has raised almost 15,000 € in 4 theaters. It’s more than 3,700 € for theater. It’s very positive for this film. It has found its audience”.

    Greetings, Maria

  17. Hello Maria,
    Thanks so much for your comment. I am very happy that When You’re Strange is reaching audiences in Spain. I really appreciate you forwarding us all this news.

  18. Oh my God! I just saw this so like the White Rabbit I’m late. I’m late. I’m late. (Hangs head abjectly.) Congratulations on this. They wouldn’t have it without you and you hard work, Tom. So deserved! Happy and Merry!

  19. Great news!
    I hope you get that grammy!
    And by the other hand, DiCillo’s and Doors’ Spanish fans finally
    get the chance to see the film in the big screen.

    Cheers and happy Christmas holidays to all DiCillo’s blog family!

  20. Hey Tom,

    That is absolutely fantastic news! More vindication of how powerful a piece of work When You’re Strange is. I will be screening it myself over the Christmas so I can share it with family and friends 🙂

    Happy Christmas, Tom, and to all here on the blog, from Ireland!

  21. Hey Tom! This is the first time i checked out your blog in a while… and saw this!! CONGRATULATIONS FROM SCOTLAND! im still watching WYS and it holds up very very well indeed, you did a great job.

    Hope you are keeping well tom and have a very merry xmas and new year when it arrives.

  22. Hey Tom and all,

    Hope everyone has a happy holiday season and best wishes for the coming year 🙂

    Tom, I hope your new year includes more artistic ventures making it to the screen, and a musical CD too (come tour down South!)

    Congrats again on the Emmy nod, and happy holidays to everyone here!

    Wayne, you should come Stateside sometime and bring some Murphy’s brew with you, would add to the holiday cheer…hope life is going well for you 🙂

    Happy holidays all!


  23. Tom,
    Last week my husband and I finally watched Little Miss Sunshine, a movie that won around a billion awards, was praised left and right, and hyped to no end. However as it turns out, it is nothing but a disappointing and clichéd piece of crap! Delirious, which I believe is from the same year, beats it at ANY level – story, dialogue, acting, originality, everythying! Those awards people are crazy. You are very wise to see this nomination as simply an opportunity for more people to hear about WYS. No award makes a movie great, either it is or it isn’t, and WYS is.
    It’s been harder to find time to write but I have been enjoying your blog as always. I wish you, your family and everybody here happy holidays, a wonderful new year. And I hope Santa will bring us an extra dose of sanity, patience and sense of humor to deal with it all.

  24. Hey Salli,
    Yeah, pretty wild about the Grammy nom. I certainly never expected it.
    I’m just curious; a few people in interviews for Spain and Australia have asked me, “How do you think Jim would feel about the pardon from Florida?”

    I really have no answer. I have no way of having an answer. What is your sense of how he would have reacted?

    Happy Holidays to you.

  25. Thanks David,
    Great to hear from you again. I heard some rumors that When You’re Strange was doing OK in Spain. I hope that is true.
    I wish you the best for the holidays and the New Year.

  26. Hey Wayne,
    Nice to hear from you, mate. How are things going at film school? I’m wagering you must have made your own first film by now.

    I’m glad you like the new music from The Black & Blue Orkestre. The latest cut, Slide On, is a personal favorite at the moment.

    I hope you have a great Christmas and a productive New Year. Keep us informed.


  27. Hey Stuart,
    Welcome back. I haven’t written too much lately as I’ve been pretty jammed up with other things.
    I appreciate your continued faith in When You’re Strange. The odd thing about making a film is that once you finish it that’s it; it don’t change.
    People’s perceptions of it might but the film will be the film will be the film.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you.

  28. Hey Elaine,
    I echo your sentiments and also encourage Wayne to come over with a barrel or two of ale.

    Good luck with all your endeavors this year. I know you’ve been working hard.

    My very best for the holidays.

  29. Hey Renata,
    Great comment, really. Made me chuckle and made me want to print it out and frame it.

    I don’t know if I can say one of the films is better than the other but I do know I can say that both films deserved at least an equal look from audiences.

    But, hey–this is the way this game is played. And similar things have happened many, many times before–to filmmakers infinitely more gifted than me.

    The recent series on TCM, Movies and Moguls, about the history of Hollywood, recently had a segment on great American films of the 1970’s. They discussed Bonnie and Clyde at length, blabbing on and on about Warren Beatty, sex, violence, Pauline Kael–and never once mentioned the man who directed it; ARTHUR PENN.

    I wish you and your family a great holiday and a happy New Year.


  30. What’s the good word Tom?

    I just wanted to say congrats on WHEN YOU’RE STRANGE and all the warranted recognition it has received. I agree it’s a shame that the domestic release was so piss poor but I think you’d agree it has found more of an audience than a great deal of docs do. Was there ever interest from Oscilloscope Labs to release? I dig what they do, even though their scale isn’t much larger than Abramorama’s. Did you see DEAR ZACHARY? It’s a wonderful tragic film.

    In any case, it’s been awhile. Glad to see you’re keeping busy and I trust you are mired in the purgatory of development on the next one?

    Tell Jane I say hello and happy holidays.

  31. Tom, you asked how Jim would feel about the pardon. We’d have heard his whoop of joy from here to Orion’s Belt, if we’d been listening carefully. 🙂

    Seriously, I think Jim would have been genuinely touched by the years of hard work that were put into getting this pardon by Doors fans, headed by Dave Diamond and Kerry Humpherys. I’m sure Jim would feel happy and that justice had finally been done through the pardon granted by Governor Crist and the Florida Board of Executive Clemency.

  32. Hey Noah,
    Great to hear from you my brotha.
    Thanks for the kind words about the Grammy nom. Yeah, the film got, and is getting attention and I’m pleased (and relieved) by that. Still, it doesn’t erase the series of boneheaded decisions that were made that had specific impact on how and if the film was scene.
    We were recently told the film was “ineligible” for Oscar consideration because it showed on PBS 3 weeks after its theatrical release.
    I don’t even want to begin to try and comprehend the logic of that last sentence.
    Never heard from any Oscilloscopes. I have not seen Dear Zachary. I’ll check it out on your rec. Where are you these days? Are you with your folks for the holidays? Give me a pitchur of your activities.
    Happy Holidays to you. And Jane throws a big hello your way.

  33. Hey Stuart,
    That’s a very thoughtful gift–I hope she appreciated it!!

    Me, I’ll probably be drunk by noon, sobering up a little around 3 or 4 so I can start the cocaine and demerol drip in time dinner.

    Seriously, I’ll be with a few friends. I wish you a Happy New Year.

  34. Peace and happiness (and ok , some wild ass times) to everyone! I’m sure there is one guy in particular that would have enjoyed your film and the artistic choices you made.

  35. Mario, I had never thought of that before, but it seems to me that you are totally right, I am sure he would have loved this movie. Somehow this is such a cool thought. Thanks. 🙂

  36. Sometimes I just don’t think! I got the family one of those flat screen TV’s (you know the ones I’m advocating smashing). So I set the thing up and in no time the kids (13 and 15) know how to operate it better then I do.

    So yesterday, I find the house practically empty and nothing to do. I walk by the blasted TV and think It would be cool to watch something, like a movie. . .and then I remembered that sitting on my desk I did in fact have a movie!

    Tom you made an incredible film! The opening scene is beyond belief! You really worked your ass off on the narration. The match motif!

    It is a documentary, that when finished viewing you have a very good understanding of The Doors. I enjoyed the earlier footage where Jim is very clownish on stage, goofing around a lot, that side of Jim is never spoken about.

    Wild ass times? I like to be on a train with Jackie, sans child, arriving in Istanbul from Europe at dawn and not have a clue what to do next. . .

  37. http://www.oscilloscope.net

    It’s Adam Yauch’s from The Beastie Boys’ company. I think they’re cool as the other side of the pillow. They do theatrical and DVD releases – very classy DVD releases may I add – and have handled some great material.

    Released HOWL earlier this year, A FILM UNFINISHED, BURMA VJ, THE MESSENGER, and a bunch more. Small company but has a pretty nice little niche. Might be worth keeping on your radar.

    In any case, I’m working at Cinetic Media in Chelsea as an assistant. I dig it. The people are great and the material I read and see is – for the most part – pretty interesting. Writing some projects with my two buddies from Swarthmore and coordinating our plans for world domination. Same shit, different year.

  38. Tom,

    I see Santa came early to you this year with another great nomination! What a terrific year! So happy for you!!! Wishing you many more great surprises! I like that they tweaked the film/dvd category to get you the well deserved recognition! It would be really special for everyone involved for the award to be given to such a wonderful film. You have an great community here and I feel confidence speaking for everyone that we all wish you continued success! Hope you had a great holiday!

    Warmest regards,
    Ms. Ann Onimuss 🙂

  39. Hey Mario,
    That’s a great story about the TV. The best part of it was the note about your kids already knowing how to work it. Crazy, isn’t it?

    My phone died so I took the plunge and got a Blackberry. Jeezus kreesto; it took me 10 minutes to write my first email and it looked like this: Hdjey Jooe, Jost gt a blickbarry adn sendig you myy frist eamil.

    I’m glad you respond to the film so strongly, Mario. I’m telling you, I feel very connected to this one. Man, did I work hard on it–not only scraping it together out of my brain but also working overtime to keep other people from messing with it.

    My best for the new year.

  40. Hey Ann,
    Thanks for the good wishes. Let’s see what happens in Feburary.

    I totally agree with you about the community. Always makes my day.

    I wish you a very happy holiday and new year.


  41. Hey Stuart,
    I don’t have that much invested in how Jim might or might not act. The truth is no one knows. I’m glad the Florida governor went the extra mile to get the pardon. I can also see the family’s point that Jim shouldn’t have been arrested in the first place.

    But, the truth is–the guy ain’t here.


  42. Hey Noah,
    Wow, you got connected fast, bro. That’s a great company you’re working at.

    Those are good films Oscilloscope released. I’ll definitely start investigating further.

    I saw a strong, bitter little film called Animal Kingdom. It’s an Australian film. I really think you would dig it. It starts with this 16 year old kid whose mother dies of a heroin overdose. He doesn’t know what to do so he goes to live with his grandmother who is kind of a crazed matriarch heading a cluster of her sons who are all petty thieves and drug addicts. The kid gets sucked in.

    Let me know when you get close to taking over the world. I’ll walk in with you.


  43. Welcome to the world of blackberries, Tom 🙂

    Am here for electronic consulting (free of charge!) if you ever need it. I love mine. The Gestapo company I work for won’t allow access to many web sites at all — I’m amazed we get Google. The other day I tried looking up nutritional information for a restaurant and I got told it was blocked. Yeah, like protein and carb counts are porn. I think not 🙂 So the blackberry lets me get my emails and look up things at any time – love it.

    Good luck w/yours…lemme know if you want any tips – seriously 🙂


  44. You deserve every single accolade, award and bit of recognition that comes your way.
    You’re an amazing artist, an inspiration to all filmmakers the world over, and most importantly an ally in the war against sell-outs.

    Congratulations, Tom.

  45. Wow Tom, Animal Kingdom, best film I saw this year. One of the best I´ve seen in a long time. Probably the greatest mob movie I´ve ever seen. Maybe you should go to Australia to look for actors for your next film?


  46. Hello Cheryl,
    Listen, I don’t know what I deserve but I can say your comment was extremely gracious. And generous.

    You made me realize something: it is a war for all of us against sell-outs. It is a battle that gets fought every single day. And without question it is just as gratifying for me to have allies in the effort as to be considered one.

    My best to you.


  47. Hey Sam,
    Of course I should have known you’d seen Animal Kingdom already. I almost missed it. It’s gone from NY now. It is interesting to me to see what films inspire the same reactions in different people.

    I feel the same as you do. There was a raw, truthful grace and power to the film that was deeply inspiring.

    And you’re right; all the acting was outstanding. Hey, I’d go to Khazikstan to make a movie if I could get actors and money there. Not much happining here in the US and A.

    Happy New Year, Sam.

  48. Bonjour Tom,

    Congratulations on your nomination! I’m really glad for you! You do deserve it, you do. I keep encouraging people to go and see your films,spreading the word through Facebook now!
    Wishing you all the best.

  49. Hey Tom,

    Happy New Year, It’s been a while, congrats on the great news about the grammy. I look forward to seeing what’s next on the agenda.

    Zef Çota

  50. Hey Tom–just a heads up to let you know PBS’ American Masters is re-running WYS this month. Check your local listings (as they say).

  51. Happy new year Tom!

    Haha to Khazikstan huh? Oh, really, nothing going on? I hear you, but I still think you guys are the masters of making movies, it´s in your DNA or something. I saw a few really great American independent films last year; “Winter´s bone” comes to mind – and I loved “I´m still here”. Joaquin Phoenix takes acting to a whole new level. Seen those? In couple of days I will see the US-version of Swedish Let the right one in. According to my old hero Stephen King it was the best film of last year, I´m excited. (But maybe he didn´t see that many?)


  52. …and When you´re strange, of course. That was pretty damn great! 😉

    Looking forward to hearing more about your next one.


  53. Any chance of seeing the complete HWY: An American Pastoral, digitally remastered? The footage from When Your Strange you used was surreal and beautiful and I really want to see more of Jim like that. I wish we could get ALL the footage of him like that.


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