Posted by bmac on May 30, 2008
I haven’t done one of these in a while, so here’s a couple of amazing rockumentaries. BTW, is anyone else as bored with politics as I am? I think I just OD’d completely on politics, and I can hardly stand it anymore.
Any way, I love these films, and if you’re into music and dig this kind of stuff, they’re amazing.
The Decline Of Western Civilization Parts 1 and 2.
These are classics in the Rockumentary genre. Made by then unknown Penelope Spheeris, who went on to at least direct “Waynes World” but mostly did a bunch of forgettable TV show adaptations like the Beverly Hillbillies. She used a stark, kind of nuts and bolts approach to interviewing the players and the fans, that really captures the bleak underbelly of Rock n’ Roll.
Part one, shot around 1979, features the Los Angeles punk rock scene. Black Flag (pre Henry Rollins), the Germs, Fear, and X are all featured in this amazing film, which will be near impossible to find if you want to see it. Even if you don’t care for the music, like me, it’s still a fascinating look into the world of punk rock when it was still dangerous, before “punk” was Avril Levine and Blink 182.
In this clip, Germs singer Darby Crash and his girlfriend tell an amusing anecdote about finding a dead painter in the backyard, and posing for pictures with the corpse. When asked if she felt bad about it (mocking a corpse) Darby’s chick says “Not at all, I hate painters!” Shortly after this film was made, Darby committed suicide in a bid for rock immortality, but in an ironic twist of fate, he did it the very day before John Lennon was shot outside the Dakota. He did become somewhat of a punk icon though, and Germs guitarist Pat Smear went on to play with Nirvana and the Foo Fighters.
I’m struck by how young Darby Crash was. Just a kid.
Part Two, released about ten years later, features the metal scene in Los Angeles in the 80′s, and has become a kind of cult classic, full of unintentional hilarity. I’ll put that up next post, to keep it pithy.