Archive for the ‘Rock Docs’ Category

who is that guyIt has been quite some time since since I had watched or even reviewed a Rock Doc so I figured there was no better time than now to start. Normally when I am trying to decide what documentary to watch, I usually do not pick one unless I know the subject matter. That was definitely not the case with today’s choice for Rock Docs entitled Who The Fuck Is That Guy’? The Fabulous Journey Of Michael Alago. To put it in simple terms, the reason I chose to watch this documentary was for the simple fact that it had the word Metallica in the description. The documentary follows the life of a gay Puerto Rican New Yorker who would end up being one of the most important people in the metal industry simply for the fact that he signed Metallica. Watch the documentary as you get testimony straight from the source himself Michael Alago as well as James Hetfield, Kirk Hammett, Lars Ulrich, Kurdt Vanderhoof, Cyndi Lauper, Mina Caputo, Cherry Vanilla, Cheetah Chrome, Rob Zombie, John Lydon, Eric Bogosian, Mike Gitter, Phil Caivano, Phil Anselmo, Sean Yseult, John Joseph, Joe Sib, Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein, and so many more in this amazing doc.

who is that guy 2You may still be wondering just who in the hell Michael Alago is, but he truly is such an important figure for heavy metal because he signed so many acts from Metallica, Metal Church, White Zombie, and so many more. You find out that he was a guy that truly loved music back in the 70’s and 80’s as he describes the night life in New York City and all the legendary clubs that hosted shows back in the day from the L’amour, The Ritz, CBGBs, and so many more. You figure out that all of the names I mentioned above have a huge amount of respect for Michael Alago. He’s a guy who broke down a lot of barriers in the business being a gay man tackling an over-testosteroned genre and he made people understand that it was all about the music. The documentary features interviews, some animation for certain stories he or someone else tells, and a lot of great photos that Michael has had in his collection. You also learn about the HIV/AIDS epidemic of the 80’s firsthand from someone who survived it in Michael Alago. Check it out on Netflix right now as we speak and I am going to give it an A- for a final grade.

twisted_MBF_site_bannerIt has been quite some time since I delivered a review of a Rock Doc for you guys and I figured since there is no Ass Whoopin Wednesday this week that I would give you guys one. Everyone in the world remembers the VH1 Behind The Music episode that covered Twisted Sister because it was great and to the point. Now in 2014 comes a documentary that was directed by Andrew Horn (The Nomi Song) that dives a little deeper into the story of Twisted Sister at least a lot more than the behind the music special did. The film dives deeper into the early years of the band from their creation to their tireless road work that made them known as the hardest working band in all of New York. It also explores how everyone from Dee Snider, Eddie Ojeda, AJ Pero, Mark Mendoza all joined the band and all of the road blocks the band faced on their way to super stardom. You’ll see everyone from Randy Jackson (Zebra), Martin Hooker, Phil Carson, Suzette Snider, Kenny Neill, and a whole lot more.

films-twisted_sister-Twisted_Sister_-_2_610_407shar_s_c1One thing that I will say about this documentary is that if you want to know a heck of a lot more about Twisted Sister than anyone else does, this is the documentary for you. I honestly thought going into the film that it was going to span the band’s whole career considering the length of it, but it only really covers their club days to about Stay Hungry. The real juice in my opinion is what happens during the Stay Hungry days and after. The documentary like I said is just way too long and it covers too much detail of what I don’t care about when it comes to Twisted Sister. If you are a diehard Twisted Sister fan then this is definitely your documentary, I would just rather wait for a sequel which I hope they are making. I will admit though that there is some cool facts in this documentary that I didn’t know about like Lemmy hopping on stage during a festival to tell the crowd to check the band out because they were good friends. There is also the time Lemmy and Brian Robertson hopped on stage at a TV taping as they jammed with the band. That is some of the cool information that I liked hearing about more than Jay Jay French telling you how tired he was from being the band’s manager and missing out on living a rockstar life even though he didn’t drink or do drugs. I respect the band and I especially respect Dee Snider so I can see the struggle he went through with Jay Jay French just from watching this. The grading process for this one is a hard one because even though I didn’t love it, it wasn’t a bad doc because it was informative. So, I am going to go ahead and give the documentary an B+ for a final grade.


montage of heckIt’s been a while since I last did a rock doc for all of you on here and there was an opportunity that I couldn’t give up as a highly anticipated documentary Kurt Cobain: Montage Of Heck debuted on HBO about the man who literally changed the world with his artistic genius. On April 5, 1994, Kurt Cobain committed suicide by shooting himself with a shotgun inside in his him in Seattle, Washington leaving the world to speculate a to why he did it. He left the world as they speculated for years and years about why he did it blaming it on Courtney Love or the fact that the fame was just too much for him. Frances Bean Cobain, the daughter of the late Nirvana front man seemed to be on a mission as Courtney and her allowed director Brett Morgen complete access to everything that belonged to him from drawings, notebooks, journals, videotapes, etc. It’s a very personal access to what the front man thought and went through his whole life as you also get interviews in this rock documentary from his mother, father Don Cobain, sister Kim Cobain, Courtney Love, old girlfriend Tracey Marander, Krist Novoselic, and archived interviews with Dave Grohl, Buzz Osbourne, and footage of how they were with Frances Bean Cobain as a baby. 

kurtcobain_montageofheck_mainWhen I say that this is a very personal look into the life of Kurt Cobain, I really mean that it is a personal dark look into the life of a tortured artist. It seemed at first like he had the perfect life until things start to spiral out of control as soon as he went into his teenage years and it just spiraled from there. You seem him determined to make it to almost rejecting the fame to regaining his composure, but we didn’t know he hurt that bad. He was addicted to drugs and he knew it, but he will go down like so many other tortured geniuses of the past. The documentary was well directed, written, and presented. There are moments when things look like they’ll brighten up, but it gets real dark real soon. It seems in the documentary that he didn’t either like his fellow counterparts from Seattle and he was obsessed with Guns N Roses and Axl Rose. It’s a little weird at first to keep hearing them mention from time to time GNR and you wonder why. It’s cool to hear all of the tape recordings Kurt made and the videos he recorded as well because it gives you a look at the man himself. I have to say that I truly enjoyed this documentary from beginning to end and I recommend that you check it out as well if you are a fan of Nirvana or just curious. I am giving the documentary an A for a final grade.

supermenschIt has been a very longtime since we last did a Rock Docs on Moshpits & Movies and I have a good one for all of you this week. Some of you may remember Mike Myers as the actor that voiced Shrek, was Wayne in Wayne’s World, and a memorable cast member of SNL, but you can now add director to his credits. Mike takes on the legend of Shep Gordon in this rock Doc entitled Supermensch: The Legend Of Shep Gordon, the legendary manager of Alice Cooper and so many others. The documentary follows the man who bi-accidentally fell into the music business just because he was friends with Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, and Jim Morrison. Follow his story through his storytelling of all the wild parties and crazy stories from various interviews conducted with the likes of Mike Myers, Anne Murray, Alice Cooper, Bob Ezrin, Michael Douglas, Tom Arnold, Sylvester Stallone, Fab Five Freddy, Willie Nelson, Emeril Lagasse, Steven Tyler, Sammy Hagar, Mick Fleetwood, Don Nelson, Carolyn Pfeiffer, and so many more.

shepThe whole entire film is one crazy story after another as you pretty much get the story of how Alice Cooper became who he is today through the hard work of Shep Gordon who was always scheming. I didn’t realize he was the brains behind some of the decisions that were made that impacted Alice and some of his releases. I certainly didn’t know that Shep could be consider the guy who single-handledly created the celebrity chef craze that we have know for so many years with Emeril Lagasse. He is also a great humanitarian as he has taken care of a women’s grand kids since their mother had passed away and he didn’t even have to and that is why they call him supermensch. The definition of Mensch is, “a person of integrity and honor” and multiply that to get what Shep is. The documentary is amazing and it has some cool stories that you wouldn’t even had known if it wasn’t for this documentary. So, I have to give Mike Myers some credit where credit is due because he does an amazing job. If you want to check out the documentary for yourself, then head over to Netflix because it’s streaming over there as we speak. So, I am going to give this documentary an A- for a final grade because it was insightful and interesting.

wellnowyoureherefilm2014posterIt’s been a very long time since we last covered a documentary for Rock Docs and I love rock documentaries because they give you an inside look into your favorite artists. The one I chose for today is one of those and when I had heard that Frankie Banali was developing the film for quite some time since he restarted and rebooted LA Hair Metal legends Quiet Riot I was anxious to see it. The documentary is called Well Now You’re Here, There’s No Way Back and it follows the story of how they started the band with Randy Rhoads to being the first heavy metal band to ever score a number one album on the Billboard Top 200 back in 1983 in Quiet Riot all the way to the band’s untimely downfall back to it’s Resurrection after the death of it’s most legendary member. It then follows how the band’s core member will try to resurrect the band with a new singer despite what the critics may think and it shows you the frustration that comes with rescuing a legacy. The film features interviews with Glenn Hughes, Steven Adler, Spencer Proffer, Alex Grossi, Chuck Wright, Rudy Sarzo, Dana Strum, Kelly Rhoads, Don Jamieson, Eddie Trunk, Dee Snider, Lark Williams (Kevin’s girlfriend), Matt Sorum, Mark Huff, Scott Vokoun, Sally Steele (Vegas Rocks), and it features archived interviews with Kevin DuBrow and never before seen backstage footage and photos. The film was written and directed by Regina Russell who was Frankie’s fiance at the time this was recorded.

WellNowYoureHereIt’s crazy to watch this documentary which I watched for the first time on Showtime and see how quickly the band rose with a performance at the US Festival in 83 to how quickly they sank after the media bated their singer into talking trash about other bands. It was very cool to see some of the people in the documentary like Randy Rhoads brother and sister who make an appearance since he was in the original version of Quiet Riot and if you’re into heavy metal debauchery this doc has plenty of footage to drive anyone to want to be a rock star. After the doc does it’s history lesson, it switches gears very quickly into the struggle that Frankie Banali faced with trying to restart the band and all the aggravation he went through to find a replacement for Kevin. The auditions segment of the documentary is actually pretty funny as it’s done American Idol style. I also didn’t know that Chuck Wright recorded the bass parts to Metal Health (Bang Your Head) and Don’t Wanna Let You Go. The only issue I have is I think they could have dived deeper into the history of the band, but the issue for the film was Frankie and his trials & tribulations trying to find a new singer while dealing with the pain of the loss of his best friend. I would definitely recommend checking this out if you’re a fan of 80’s metal. I am giving the documentary an B+ for a final grade.

aFor today’s Rock Doc, I wanted to look at a figure that I think was a rock star in his own right even though he was a comedian. When you think of the late 1980’s and early to mid 1990’s, there is no one more iconic in the world of comedy than the one and only Pauly Shore who starred in classic films like Son In Law, In The Army Now, Encino Man, and Jury Duty. The one thing people do not realize about Pauly Shore is that comedy has been in his life since the day he was born into this world thanks to his mother Mitzi Shore owning The Comedy Store in LA. Well, Pauly just released a brand new road tour documentary called Pauly Shore Stands Alone and it;s a documentary that follows Pauly as he travels on a tour of the midwest while he deals with so many different elements that are distracting. Pauly has to deal with the fact that he has to move his sick mother out of her LA mansion that she had been living in for the last forty years as well as some other things that are drag in his life like women, bladder issues, etc.

maxresdefaultThe documentary has been playing on Showtime and I was happy that I was able to catch this on TV because it’s actually a really cool documentary. Pauly Shore was one of my favorite comedians back in the day and it was weird to me that Hollywood sort of abandoned him. Pauly really opens up in this documentary on the issues that plague him like what to do with his mother’s living situation to the fact that he is 45 and still doesn’t have a significant other or any children of his own. From what I have seen in this documentary is that he seems to be a really cool dude to hang out with. He takes his biggest fan out to dinner and treats her and a friend to a meal while he tries to find out why the girl is obsessed with her and in the end he treats her like a friend. If you want to get to know the man behidn the comedian, then check out this documentary. I am going to give the doc an A for a final grade.

download (1)Nu Metal giants Korn have been having the time of their lives since the return of Brian “Head” Welch into their lineup which includes the brand new album they released called The Paradigm Shift which was the first in eight years with the guitarist. The band also went on the road with the 2014 Rockstar Energy Mayhem Fest and the band along with their videographer Sebastien Paquet recorded everything on the road documenting the bands experience on the festival. The documentary also features appearances from Ice T (Body Count), Upon A Burning Body, Avenged Sevenfold, Islander, Texas Hippie Coalition, Emmure, Trivium, as well as you’ll see various radio interviews the band does, and some intimate moments they share with other bands and vice versa.

kornThe documentary is actually pretty amazing even though it just seems like a continuous video after another rather than a documentary. One of my only problems with the doc is they show footage in Boston (which is really Mansfield), but the live footage is from Dallas, Texas that follows. The doc features some really cool behind the scenes stuff that you don’t really get to see if you’re on the outside looking in. Of course, the doc features the band running through hits like Somebody Someone, Got The Life, Falling Away From Me, Shoots & Ladders, Blind, as well as some of the newer material like Spike In My Veins, Hater, and Never Never. The footage that was shot is absoultely amazing especially when the band is in Colorado, that was definitely one of my favorite spots that they shot in. One of the other things I liked is how supportive they are of other bands on the bill, it’s classy! If I was you and you were as big a fan of Korn as I am , I would definitely check this out. I wonder if it’s going to get a release somewhere in the future? I am going to give this video an A- for a final grade. Check it out below:

last days hereThis is something a little old for me, but new for you guys that have just joined me here on Moshpits and Movies called Rock Docs. Every week I will try to review a different rock doc which is short for Rock Documentaries like the one I have for you guys today which is an absolute favorite of mine. Last Days Here is a legendary rock documentary that looks at the ups and downs of one of rock’s most hidden secrets in Bobby Liebling and the doom metal band Pentagram. Pentagram was always one of those bands that should have made it, but for unknown reasons to their fans, they never did make it. In fact, the documentary explores all of the reasons why Bobby Liebling and his doom crew never made it big especially in 1971 when bands like Black Sabbath were huge. You’ll hear from various people in Bobby’s life like his parents (his dad worked for five different secretary of defenses), Ian Christie (author of Sounds Of The Beast), Victor Griffin, J.B. Beverly, Joe Hasselvander, Geof O’Keefe, Gregg Mayne, Murray Krugman, Phil Anselmo, Jimmy Bower, and so many more in this documentary that will be sure to scare you a little.

bobbyThis documentary for a little while is just absolutely frightening and if you still find drugs pleasurable after watching this then you are seriously messed in the head. The idea of what happened to Bobby and what you see in this film is absolutely terrifying and it further helps me believe I did the right thing in my life as far as not doing drugs was concerned. Bobby was an absolute mess for forty years as he’ll explain in the film as pertaining to how long he had been hooked on drugs. You’ll hear the stories of how they almost made it when Kiss came to visit and then the recording session with Columbia Records and Murray Krugman that literally went down the crapper. The one thing I will say is that Sean Pelletier has dedication and you’ll see it in this film where he could have easily walked out on Bobby, but he stuck around. The film does have a happy ending which is typical of any doc where they show you how a band rises, falls, and then rises from the ashes again. I think this band is very important when speaking of the story of Doom Metal and I am glad someone actually took the time to do this doc because it is amazing. I am going to give the doc an A for a final grade.