Last night I attended a serene, high-altitude screening-and-supper party for David Chase‘s Not Fade Away (Paramount Vantage, 12.21). It was at the Laurel Canyon home of elite sound mixers John and Nancy Ross, and was filled with journalists, Paramount publicity staffers, filmmakers and, of course, the Not Fade Away guys — Chase, James Gandolfini, exec producer and music maestro Steven Van Zandt and costars Bella Heathcote and John Magaro, among others.

Not Fade Away costars John Magaro, Bella Heathcote at last night’s gathering — Tuesday, 10.9, 9:55 pm.

Not Fade Away director-writer David Chase.

Not Fade Away exec producer Steven Van Zandt, Paramount publicist David Waldman.

I haven’t written a review but I respect Not Fade Away for its authenticity — it’s largely a personal-recollection saga drawn from Chase’s own history — and the grounded musical current. It’s basically a 60s cover-band saga than runs from late ’63 to early ’68 (and not the summer of ’67, as one or two NY-based critics indicated) about growing up and romance and failure and digging in and moving on.

Magaro (also in Liberal Arts) plays a New Jersey kid who starts a band with some pallies and experiences moderate success and struggle while going through all the changes that everyone else did in the mid’ 60s. (No LSD satori though.) Gandolfini plays his hard-assed, bluntly phrased, disapproving dad. Heathcote (Dark Shadows) plays Magaro’s free-spirited, highly perceptive lover and comrade.

Van Zandt told me that the Not Fade Away soundtrack album with have about 20 or 24 tracks, and will be out sometime in late November or thereabouts.

I asked Vam Zandt if he’s interested in the Pono, Neil Young’s new digital music device that will deliver vinyl-level sound. He didn’t know about it. Chase didn’t know about it either. I don’t know squat about it myself except that (a) it’s supposed to deliver a much greater dynamic range than CDs or mp3s, (b) a lot of classic material is being remastered for the Pono, and (c) the player will cost a shitload.

As with many films, Not Fade Away was once a lot lengthier than its final-release version. Van Zandt said it was three hours at one point. I for one would love to see the long version when it comes out on Bluray/DVD. Not Fade Away tells a long and detailed story in terms of the many characters and time span, and I’m sure loads of good material was cut out. And the long version has no narration, I was told. (I’m frankly not a fan of any narration in any film, if it can be avoided.)