“The Music Never Stopped,” a new feature film based on the case study “The Last Hippie” by Dr. Oliver Sacks, M.D. (“Awakenings”), chronicles the journey of a father and son adjusting to a lifetime of missed opportunities and how music therapy helps restore the young man’s memory, as well as his relationship with his family.
“The Music Never Stopped” tells the story of Henry Sawyer, (J.K. Simmons), a traditional, hard-working father who shares his passion for big band music with his young son, Gabriel. As Gabriel (Lou Taylor Pucci) grows into a young man, however, his musical tastes begin to shift towards the psychedelic rock of the late 1960s. With father and son on opposite sides of the musical and political spectrums, Gabriel disappears into the counterculture following a devastating confrontation with his father.
The film opens nearly two decades later, when Henry and his war bride wife, Helen (Cara Seymour) are told their son has been found wandering the streets of New York City. Gabriel has a brain tumor that has caused extensive brain damage and needs immediate surgery. When he recovers, he is in a near- catatonic state, and unable to recall or create any long-term memories. Effectively, Gabriel still thinks he is in 1968.