Sample This – The Story Of The Incredible Bongo Band


The amazing story behind the creation of one of the most influential albums in popular music.

Set against the backdrop of social and political turbulence in the USA of the late 1960s, Sample This tells the amazing story of the creation of one of the most influential albums in popular music. In June 1968 Michael Viner was an aide to Bobby Kennedy. His roommate, ex-NFL star Rosey Grier, was a bodyguard for the aspiring President. They were both there the night when Sirhan Sirhan’s fatal shots rang out in Los Angeles. Grier wrestled the pistol from the killer’s hands while Viner watched stunned from the sidelines. Viner was devastated by the death of Bobby Kennedy and left politics to work for MGM. While there, he was asked to produce the soundtrack for a B-movie, The Thing With Two Heads, which starred his former room-mate Rosey Grier. The resulting album was The Incredible Bongo Band’s Bongo Rock, a commercial failure that nonetheless included the seminal Apache, the track that’s hailed as the foundation of hip-hop. Narrated by Gene Simmons and directed by Dan Forrer, Sample This features new interviews with hip-hop luminaries Questlove, Melle Mel, Grandmaster Caz, Grand Wizzard Theodore and Afrika Bambaataa.

LONDON Screening of Sample This – June 21, 2013 at the British Film Institute