Directed by V. Scott Balcerek
One day in 1986, Adam Gussow, a white, Ivy League-educated harmonica player, found himself nursing a broken heart and walking down the street in Harlem, a block from the Apollo Theater. There, he came upon a one-man band: Sterling Magee. Better known as Satan, Magee was a local legend with heavy blues guitar riffs and makeshift percussion instruments. Word around the neighborhood was, he had backed James Brown at the Apollo and cut singles for Ray Charles’s Tangerine label, but no one really knew for sure. When Adam sat in on a session with Satan that day, a most unlikely connection was formed. Their partnership and friendship would transcend the racial tensions of a segregated city and the anxiety of a neighborhood that was hyper-aware of the perils of gentrification.
Satan & Adam is a celebration of the transformative power of music, and the bonds that develop when worlds collide and artists collaborate. Director V. Scott Balcerek pulls together over two decades of documentary footage to chart the duo’s friendship from busking in the streets of Harlem to bigger and bigger stages and to depict the challenges that both had to overcome to keep Satan & Adam together.
Directed by V. Scott Balcerek. Produced by Kennedy Marshall and Ryan Suffern (Finding Oscar). Executive produced by RYOT Films, Trevor Birney, Brendan J. Byrne, Corey Russell and Frank Marshall.