Thursday, August 09, 2007

VH1 Goes to Hell

Richard Hell and the Voidoids: Shattered

Saturday evening (August 11th at 9pm EST), the cable channel VH1 will broadcast the documentary NY77: The Coolest Year in Hell. According to the blog Waved Rumor, the film features "three stories fused into one – a look at the crumbling NYC city infrastructure and government, and how Ed Koch’s campaign fought hard throughout the year to resurrect the city; the rise of hip-hop/disco/house, as led by the Bronx DJ culture from their street dance parties into the clubs, like Studio 54; and the rise of punk down on the Bowery, leading to the international explosion of Blondie, The Ramones, Talking Heads, Richard Hell and others from the downtown scene the following year. Some of the talking heads featured included Chris Stein, Randy Jones, KRS One, Geraldo Rivera, Gloria Gaynor, Tommy Erdelyi (Ramone), Legs McNeil, Arturo Vega, Ed Koch, Jimmy Breslin, Al Goldstein and others, talking about what was happening in the streets and in the clubs."

Sounds like a documentary version of the events featured in Spike Lee's film Summer of Sam. I love music documentaries. Recently I watched a terrible one called Chaos! Ex-Pistols Secret History. It was supposed to tell the story of Dave Goodman, the Sex Pistols' soundman, through interviews with Goodman, Don Letts, Ray Stevenson, Glen Matlock, and Malcolm McLaren. We have Dave Goodman to thank for the existence of so many Pistols' live recordings (as well as the Goodman-doctored demo tapes). Since none of the surviving Pistols participate in the Goodman doc (save Matlock), the filmmakers resort to interviewing Terry Chimes, Marco Pirroni, and members of second-rate bands like Eater and Cock Sparrer; and they use music and live footage of a pathetic tribute band called the Sex Pistols Experience. McLaren acknowledges that Goodman should have produced the first single, "Anarchy in the UK". But rather than honoring Goodman (who died in 2005), Malcolm selfishly uses the film as a forum to rebut the criticisms levied against him in The Filth and the Fury. He rewrites history once again by claiming that Vivienne Westwood had originally recommended Sid Vicious (nee John Ritchie) to sing for the Pistols, but McLaren misunderstood her instructions and got "the wrong John".


At 9/19/2007 1:56 AM , Blogger Disco:Very said...

"Shattered" sounds like it was totally written for Richard Hell. I never realized that before now...

At 9/19/2007 5:26 PM , Blogger jonderneathica said...

Shadooby dooby doo!


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