Review by Randy Smith -
I first saw an ad in the AHRMA Vintage Views advertising a new movie called ‘BackTrack’. Motocross Action Magazine said “BackTrack is like a trip down memory lane. It reveals the grass roots joy of those who founded our sport” and then the “Baz” himself (Paul Boudreau) said “This film takes me back when men were men and bikes were bad. Two Bultaco thumbs up for BackTrack” OK, I have to see this movie I thought. I forgot to order one but as luck would have it, I was at a Missouri Vintage MX Race and there was a guy selling them, so a buddy and I chipped in and bought one.
BackTrack is a nice mixture of old rare film footage blended in with current interviews and current vintage races staring some of the best riders to race motocross. You get to hear from and watch clips from Billy Grossi, Kent Howerton, Gary Jones, Jim Pomeroy, Warren Reid and Marty Smith. The movie starts out almost like a history lesson showing some old races and old pictures of the above mentioned riders and the narrator says something like “these were just boys out having fun”. All of a sudden you are at a current Vintage MX race seeing the hero’s of yesteryear being reunited with each other and fully restored bikes from their past.
You go through the American history of motocross with original film clips then you get to hear comments on those days and situations from the riders who were there. It is very entertaining to hear the stories and what was going on behind the scenes “back in the day”. Each rider is setting in a chair in a one on one interview and you bounce back and forth to the past film clips and then back to the present memories. If you look in the background of the interviews you see and hear that you are at this reunion race. You hear bikes running and parked in the background. Almost like you are there yourself. Warren Reid makes the comment that “the bikes were always trick but they weren’t always good”. Oh how true that was.
The riders talk about how they got started, who had money and who didn’t, who were their biggest influences and who was their biggest competition. You get tips on how they adapted and learned to go fast or what career changing mistakes that they made. Some of the funniest stories were about what they did to kill the time between races (can you say Rental Cars?) or how Jim Pomeroy started a riot in Russia by throwing stickers to the fans. You can see it in their eyes as they tell the stories, the twinkle of fond memories mixed with a little bit of psycho mentality.
I enjoyed the movie immensely. In fact everyone who I have watched it with enjoyed it. Even my 13-year-old son and his buddy liked it if that gives it any merit. If I could change one thing about the movie I would have made it longer with more of the interviews remembering back when. It is 55 minutes long but it left me wanting more. Maybe that is why I have watched it five times already. I would highly recommend this Movie and give it the best rating of 5 Spark Plugs.
Review by Mark Hollywood Jarecki -
This review is easy and BackTrack all about having fun. BackTrack claims to be a documentary but it’s more of a narrated tribute if you ask me, a very well done tribute to the “old days” of Motocross, the riders of the day, and the return of Vintage Motocross. The video and audio are first rate. It’s done by Taylor productions and is very, very good. It features Billy Grossi, Kent Howerton, Gary Jones, Jim Pomeroy, Warren Reid, and Marty Smith. If you raced in the ‘70’s more than likely you’ll see one of your old hero’s. What’s cool about this production is the on AND off camera interviews intertwined between the rare motocross footage from tracks like Hangtown ‘75-76, Lake Sugar Tree ’77 , Mid-Ohio ’76-’77, New Orleans ‘73, Puyallup ’72-’73, Rio Bravo ’72-’73, and Saddleback 1979. There’s probably a 60-40 or so mix of interviews and race footage, which makes it seem personal to you. The riders share some of their stories of old, what the bikes were like, what particular races stand out, what they think of other riders, and what they did for fun while on the Pro Circuit. After watching BackTrack you come away with a feel good attitude and a renewed spark in your heart for Vintage Motocross. My advise, go buy it, (www.backtrack.com) you won’t regret it. On our scale of 1 spark plug, (poor) to 5 spark plugs, (fantastic), BackTrack rates 4.5 in my book.