‘CBGB’, the major motion picture movie meant to depict the story of the iconic New York nightclub where New-Wave began has been called “a mess”.
Filmmaker Randall Miller set out to document the history of the famous venue where Blondie, Talking Heads, Dead Boys, The Ramones and Iggy Pop played some of their gigs but according to Robert Abele of the LA Times the movie is “a crass, jokey nostalgia piece, as if punk had been co-opted by K-Tel”.
The movie has an impressive cast but so did Oliver Stones The Doors. Alan Rickman plays club owner Hilly Kristal, Johnny Galecki is Terry Ork, Kyle Galiner is Lou Reed, Rupert Grint is Cheetah Crome but Abele says the performances “feels more like vaudeville than an evocation of something raw, potent and historically original”.
Marc Campbell of The Nails called Miller “clueless” and says the movie is totally inaccurate in its portrayal of The Ramones. “They were smart, they knew what they were doing and their sense of rock history was deep and profound, the movie treats them like losers, takes them at face value and totally misses out on the passion and brilliance of their concept,” he said.
The comments reflect previous Hollywood versions of music history. The Doors’ keyboard player Ray Manzerek loathed the Oliver Stone portrayal of his band saying, “Oliver has made Jim into an agent of destruction.”
Rosanne Cash also hated the version of her father Johnny Cash told in the movie ‘Walk The Line’. It was like “having a root canal without anesthetic,” she said.
The CBGB movie will premiere at the CBGB Festival in New York on October 8, 2013.
Stay updated with your free Noise11 daily music newsletter. Subscribe to Noise11 Music News here