An incredible retelling of a forgotten artist’s rise and fall

Whoa, Whoa, Whoa. Sit down and let me tell you a little story about a man named Richard Atkins, and his band, Richard Twice.

Or, better yet, let me let Matthew Salton tell you through his incredible animated short documentary on the subject. Salton learnt of Atkins and his rollercoaster of a life story after his father saw him perform at an open-mic night and introduced the two. Atkins has only recently begun performing again, over forty years after he first entered a studio at Mercury Records in 1969 with some incredible musicians, including Larry Knechtel from Bread, Louie Shelton from The Monkee’s, and Elvis’ drummer, Ron Tutt.

After meeting, Salton unearthed Atkin’s debut (and only) album, recorded when Atkins was just 19-years-old and released under the name “Richard Twice” with bandmate Richard Manning. On their own, his songs are poignant and poetic, but once you learn the story behind them, they take on a whole new life and meaning.

Atkin’s story is more colourful than the black and white illustrations that portray it in this film—one that involves a near fatal motorcycle crash, a deathbed dream starring an old man named Mr Higgins, and a promising musical career cut short by stage fright. Still, through it all, Atkins managed to stay true to the advice that started it all: Live life to the full.

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