Blood, Sweat & Tears

Blood, Sweat, and Tears Discuss Blackmail, Backlash, Infamous Iron Curtain Tour in New Doc Trailer

What happened to blood, sweat, and tears? The film follows the band on their infamous 1970 trip to Poland, Romania, and the former Yugoslavia.

In the bizarre new trailer for the upcoming documentary, What the Hell Happened to Blood, Sweat, and Tears?, BLOOD, SWEAT, and Tears journey behind the Iron Curtain.

Blood, Sweat, and Tears were briefly the biggest band in America, as the clip establishes early on – Grammy winners with major singles like “Spinning Wheel.” But, at the height of their influence and during the Vietnam War, the United States State Department enlisted the group on a tour of three Soviet-linked countries: Poland, Romania, and the former Yugoslavia. Blood, Sweat & Tears’ appearance as US government pawns did not endear them to the counterculture that had previously welcomed them, and their popularity never recovered (the tour ranked seventh on Rolling Stone’s list of the “Worst Choices in Music History”).

However, guitarist-singer Steve Katz alleges in the trailer that they agreed to the tour because they were blackmailed. While the new trailer doesn’t reveal any new information about that aspect of the plot, it does hint at the band’s chaotic, strange exploits behind the Iron Curtain — a startling mix of ecstatic youthful fans and brutal authoritarian crackdowns.

Director John Scheinfeld recounted how he came to tell this narrative in an email to Rolling Stone. He claimed he’d always been a great fan of BS&T, and had long wondered, what the hell had happened to them. He wasn’t able to ask until he spoke with drummer Bobby Colomby, and Colomby’s “response was so intriguing, so compelling, that I just had to do this film.”

“It was extremely fascinating to me that Blood, Sweat, and Tears was a victim of cancel culture long before we began using this phrase,” Scheifeld continued. Political criticism usually originates from one of two directions. Yet, BS&T was pummelling by both the right and the left in a unique set of circumstances. Even more astonishing, we discovered that the band was mentioned in geopolitical discussions in the Nixon White House and at the highest levels of government in three Communist countries.”

“This Eastern European trip transformed our life,” Colomby wrote in an email on the tour and its enduring impact on him. We returned certain that, as awful as the Nixon administration appeared to be and as horrific as the Vietnam War was, communism, which we witnessed personally, was not a viable political alternative for America… ever.”