Hollywood Reporter: Inside Clive Davis’ Doc: Industry Lessons and “Super Emotional” Whitney Houston Moments

By Ashley Lee

“He wasn’t one of those labels execs who are out trying to party with the artists — he just cares,” says Chris Perkel, director of ‘The Soundtrack of Our Lives,’ which opens the Tribeca Film Festival.

The Tribeca Film Festival begins Wednesday with a resounding salute to Clive Davis.

The world premiere of the music-oriented documentary Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of Our Lives at Radio City Music Hall on Wednesday will be followed by live performances by Aretha Franklin; Jennifer Hudson; Carly Simon; Earth, Wind & Fire; and more.

The doc’s director, Chris Perkel, spoke with The Hollywood Reporter about filming the legendary producer, learning from Davis’ music industry tactics and carefully including footage of the late Whitney Houston.

Why a doc about Clive Davis?

Anybody who’s been alive over the last 50 years has felt his impact, but what’s most inspiring is how he lived his life, both professionally and personally, as someone who wasn’t bound by the identity politics and close-minded thinking that so many of us fall victim to. That receptiveness and engagement with the world enabled him to span so many genres and generations. Most people struggle with that, particularly as you get older, but he’s never done that.


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