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Askew Review 15

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RAGE-20 YEARS OF PUNK ROCK MUSIC (Music Video Distro) DVD. Music documentary. Approx 65 minutes. NR, naughty words. This DVD is mostly made up of interviews with older punk rockers who lived through the birth of punk rock on the West Coast. Interviewed; Jack Grisham, TSOL; Jello Biafra, Dead Kennedys; Duane Peters, U.S. Bombs; Keith Morris, Circle Jerks; Gitane Demone, Christian Death; and Don Bolles, Germs. Each person has stories to tell, how punk rock changed their lives, what they think of today’s punk (as you can guess, they all hate it), and an assortment of other tales. Mashed in between the interviews are brief shots of various West Coast Punk Bands playing live. There are no full songs shown, only pieces. Shown live are the bands mentioned above, plus The Screamers and Weirdoes. There are also a ton of stills depicted at a furious pace. All this is glued together with a barrage of classic punk tunes.
With the over publicizing of today’s “punk” rock stars, it was actually a breath of fresh air to hear from some of the punkers who lived through the late 1970’s punk rock explosion.  The interviews are more entertaining than informative and I did find some of the people either boring or just plain stupid. Jello, Jack, and Keith are the highlights here, while one wonders how Duane Peters is still alive and Gitane, the lone woman interviewed, is just booooooring. Admittedly, my ears did perk up when she mentioned getting “fist fucked” for the first time, but of course, the interviewer failed to follow up on it and therefore lost my interest. The production quality is superb and the editing helps keep things flying. Extras include; 36 minutes of interviews with mostly common people talking about punk rock; 8 minutes of the director speaking, and five audio tunes. This DVD does give a good account at how punk rock use to be and how some of its pioneers have fared over the years. I only wish there was more live music to show the younger punk generation how it use to be and sound. Egads, I still cringe whenever I hear the word “punk” used to describe Blink 182. – Denis Sheehan


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