Friday, July 16, 2010

Fantasia Day 8 - Lemmy

Well I am fairly disappointed in Lemmy. I didn't have high expectations, nor a lot riding on it. I'm not a big metal fan, but I respect it and appreciate the cultural resurgence metal past and present has gotten recently. But this was really mostly a puff piece. There was a lot of good stuff in the movie: great music, interesting quotes from famous musicians and Lemmy himself really is a cool guy. I mean he deserves a puff piece, but I'd rather it be on some music video channel than Fantasia. I got a bit tired of following Lemmy and his new band around on their tour bus, backstage, hanging out with stars in LA (wow Billy Bob Thornton is more insufferable than ever, what a total fake-ass, he goes on about how "real" LA is and then tries to act all down home with Lemmy, once again drumming his pathetic "I'm really a musician" drum and talking about how when he got a cheque for several million dolllars for Monster's Ball, he "bought a case of Buds"; please go away now) and just hearing endlessly about how authentic he is.

There is about twenty minutes dedicated to his career with Hawkwind and the early years of Motorhead that is outstanding. They also spend a bit of time (maybe another 5-8 minutes) looking deeper into his upbringing and personality, which is where things get truly interesting. But that's about it. He is still playing music and seems to really have his shit together and be who he says he is, but I didn't need an hour and a half of that. I wanted to see some emotional depth and a real exploration into what made Lemmy into the guy he is today. I also wanted to see some of the mayhem of what Motorhead were like back in the day. There was nothing beyond a single piece of footage of them wrecking stuff in a hotel room for some goofy french rock reporter. Where were the groupies, the drugs, the destruction and of course society's reaction? It all was in the past, mentioned only briefly as things put behind him. As everyone constantly attests, Lemmy is still rock and roll. Unfortunately, this movie wasn't.

I am probably in the minority in this opinion. There were a lot of black t-shirts in attendance tonight and people cheered each time a metal idol came on the screen (except for Lars Ulrich of Metallica, whom they booed). I do hope the real metal fans got what they wanted. The director himself seemed pretty "real" and a cool guy. My suspicion is that the money and Lemmy himself had a lot of control over the direction of the documentary. Oh well, it could have been a worse two hours. And I am now kind of motivated to try and see Motorhead live.

Tomorrow night I'm off until the midnight showing of Re-Animator with my wife. I hope to get some beers in me for that one and maybe get a little rock and roll myself, show these kids what an old island punker like myself can still get in to.

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