Friday Rockumentary Part 2
Posted by bmac on May 31, 2008
The Decline Of Western Civilization Part II, The Metal Years
Oh how quickly things changed in the ten years between these films. The first Decline was full of nihilistic punks that wanted to make important social commentary, ten years later, it was all about money, fame, drugs, and sex. Same city, same clubs, but a whole different world. It’s actually painful to watch how hedonistic and flat out stupid this whole scene really was, but that was the 80’s, and kind of the downside to the prosperous Reagan years.
The classic scene in this film is WASP guitarist Chris Holmes getting shitfaced drunk in a swimming pool swilling vodka while wearing a full leather outfit, as his mother looks on, trying to hide her disgust. I thought for years this was staged, but Spheeris says it wasn’t, and in fact, said that after she looked at the footage, thought it was totally unusable, and changed her mind at the last minute to include it in the film. It’s funny and sad at the same time, and yes, he’s still alive, and apparently still rockin.’
Spheeris focused a good portion of this film on bands that were struggling to make it, to mostly hilarious results. Unfortunately, the best stuff isn’t on YouTube, but there is stuff in here that would embarrass Spinal Tap.
Ultimately, it turned into a scathing indictment of the decadent, drug and sex culture of hair metal in the 80’s. Almost no one came out of this film without looking like an ignorant tool, except Megadeth, who after the parade of morons throughout the film, look like friggen metal rocket scientists in comparison.
This is the best bit I could find on YouTube, but this film shows up on cable occasionally, although it’s unavailable right now.