It’s all gone Pete Tong. Brief story behind the movie

George Palladev 20.05.2022

It’s all gone Pete Tong. Brief story behind the movie

38-year-old Frankie Wilde, a world-famous DJ, master of turntables, and god of clubbing, is adored by the crowd, can have everything and everyone, and is sunk in luxury, debauchery and cynicism. He’s at the peak and at the bottom. But, having lost almost everything, he goes through various trials, comes down to earth, cleans up and finally becomes a better person. The director of the film, Canadian Michael Dowse, said that the theme of Ibiza and electronic music wasn’t his idea. “The producers had seen my short (237) and my feature (Fubar) and they came to me with an idea about doing a feature about Ibiza. They came with the title and some money, which was a good ass deal for me that I couldn’t pass up. The island looked interesting, and I came up with the story.” The film was shot in the early noughties, during the boom of club culture and the phenomenon of super DJs with astronomical fees. For the director, this topic was new: “I’m more into rock and roll.” That’s why Frankie wrote an album with guitarists in leather jackets :-)

Michael Dowse

Even though many viewers whispered to each other the story of a deaf DJ with a similar name, and even found and published his tracks (at least they didn’t raise money for treatment), the director and the main actors said: all these rumours and alleged lawsuits with representatives of the main character, based on which the film was shot, were actually a hoax of the creators of the film and part of the promotion campaign. “I like playing with the based-on-a-true-story thing,” said Dowse. Having become adept at shooting his first mockumentary film, Dowse, with a proper budget, arranged everything for It’s all gone Pete Tong as it should be: the memories of showbiz bigwigs and DJs, the camera following the protagonist, and the delivery itself leave no choice—undoubtedly, the film is truthful. “Ah Christ, cinema!” exclaimed Dowse.

But what is true is the stereotypes and situations from the club scene which abound in the film. It’s also true that Frankie Wilde is a completely fictional character. “I don’t know anyone like him. There’s every cliché and every eccentricity I suppose you’ve ever seen or heard about in DJing all rolled into that one character. There’s a little bit of a lot of people in him,” said Pete Tong himself, slightly stretching the truth. The story of one of the most popular house DJs of the 90s (Sasha), who temporarily went deaf in one ear and had to briefly interrupt his career to recover, was told to the film director by Pete Tong. Just another achievement of his!

The phrase It’s all gone Pete Tong has been an inside joke in club circles since the late 1980s, when Pete Tong introduced American house music to the UK. It’s rhyming slang and actually means It’s all gone wrong. A phrase that perfectly describes the whole script.