I’ve written here before about my love of documentary films. And if you are at all familiar with this blog, you also know that I am very fond of music and that I have a special affinity for the bands that populated college radio in the 1980s. In fact, one of my boards on Pinterest is primarily dedicated to artists from that time. So, I am sure you can understand the high level of giddiness I felt recently when I had the opportunity to marry these two passions.
First, I viewed the documentary Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone. I had the pleasure of seeing Fishbone in concert during their heyday. The energy of the band and charisma of lead singer, Angelo Moore, was unlike anything I’d witnessed before or since. And did I mention that Fishbone has a horn section? I am an absolute sucker for a horn section.
As much as I love Fishbone’s music, that wasn’t what made this documentary for me. It was the story of the band’s origin, struggles, and determination to keep on keeping on that had me hooked. I came away feeling a bit sad, but was also inspired. And after watching the film, I couldn’t help but think that Norwood Fisher, Fishbone’s bass player and co-founder, would be a very interesting person to interview. I’d like to do that one day.
Here’s the trailer:
The second doc I watched was: The Other F Word, a film that explores fatherhood through the sometimes bleary eyes of aging punk rockers. I have to stop here and say that I don’t think all the musicians featured in this documentary fit that bill. Who issued Blink-182 a punk rock card? Because I would like to check that person’s credentials. I realized, however, after posting about this on Facebook, that my idea of what is punk might be different from those who came of age in the 1990s and later. I guess I can accept that. But no way I will ever see Mark Hoppus and John Lydon in the same light.
Despite my above quibble, I thought The Other F Word was entertaining and quite touching. I will admit to even shedding a few tears at one point. And I found it interesting, though not surprising, that most of the men in the film had strained or non-existent relationships with their own father.
Here’s the trailer:
If you only have time to watch one of these movies, I’d recommend going with Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone. Raised on the East Coast, I didn’t really have more than a passing understanding of what life was like in L.A. during the effort to desegregate public schools. I enjoyed and appreciated the way that Lev Anderson and Chris Metzler, the filmmakers behind Everyday Sunshine, wove that information and other historical context into Fishbone’s story.
Now for my burning question: Which bands do you think best exemplify the spirit of punk rock?
And while you are thinking about your answer, here’s a photo for you to ponder. I feel almost certain that this guy, who I spotted recently in NYC, doesn’t listen to “pop-punk.”
*Disclaimer: I am not, nor have I ever been, anything close to what would be considered punk rock. Though, one Halloween when I was still in college, I combed my spiral perm over my eyes, donned a black leather jacket, black t-shirt and black skinny jeans and went out dressed as Jenny Ramone. That was fun.