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Spray Painting a Record Gold …


Great World of Sound; courtesy of Magnolia Pictures

with the Great World of Sound

Greetings and salutations* film nerds from the not-so-glam environs of the Holiday Inn Express by the SF Airport where Poppa H and his high school garage band have reunited to grip it and rip it* KISS-style in front of a crew of half-cocked talent scouts for a new Fox television show called Battle of the KISS Cover Bands

That’s right, I was in a KISS cover band, what dazed and confused Texas boy wasn’t? My signature move: the drum set my Aunt Ethyl bought me in 8th grade burst into flames every time I played “Wipeout” … so rad. It was quite the spectacle; I totally got like major tongue from the groupies …


My KISS cover band is better than yours

As for tonight’s audition … we might have gotten to “Rock and Roll All Night” if my blood-sucking demonic colleague on bass hadn’t tried doing his best Gene Simmons impersonation during soundcheck. He blew a Tequila 151 fireball through the ceiling that lit both of the Producer’s Hollywood ponytails ablaze.  Needless to say, they kicked us out before you could say lick my love pump … *

Great Wall Of Sound

To buoy our spirits and keep our mascara from running, I’m taking the band to a sneak peak of Great World of Sound, a Sundance Film Festival darling that’s indie Black Comic Gold coming to an art house theater near you (Oct 12).


Great World of Sound; courtesy of Magnolia Pictures

Think The Office meets Nashville meets Glengarry Glen Ross performed by mental patients and you’ll be in tune with the perfect pitch of this brutally poignant, sleeper hit about life on the smelliest-end of the music business.

Welcome to GWS, a flytrap of a recording studio in North Carolina where they literally spray paint their records gold. Ride along with two “song sharking” con men working the Southern motel circuit, Martin (Pat Healy), an idealistic nerdlinger who naively joins the team to “discover new talent” and smooth-talking Clarence (Kene Holliday) who damn well knows better than to believe that horseshit. Why not? 

Because the outfit is run by Shank, a sleazified F-list producer who’s claim to fame was producing a number 3 hit for a one-hit-wonder teen idol named Stephanie back in 1987. When the two “junior record producers” hit the road, a train-wreck sort of wackiness ensues as we watch them con two-bit musicians into funding their own worthless record deals.


Great World of Sound; courtesy of Magnolia Pictures

The irony in watching Sound is in the knowledge that most of the gospel acts, thrash-metal bands and girl groups wearing flight-attendant uniforms featured in the film really answered a talent-seeking ad placed by the filmmakers. While some will call this is a dirty trick, Poppa H finds the whole “art imitating life imitating art thing” to be pure genius as the real audition footage gives Sound an authentic beat that is probably the film’s most lasting, resonant tone …

And so it goes for us dreamers, sometimes you hit the jackpot on American Idol and sometimes the band’s van breaks down in the parking lot and you have to walk home in 16-inch platform space boots … Until next time, keep dreaming America. This is Poppa Rockstar signing off.  Be bad and get into trouble baby

Salesmen, Songbirds and Rockstar Movies
•    Salesman (1968) Dir. Maysles
•    Glengarry Glen Ross (1992) Dir. Foley
•    Nashville (1976) Dir. Altman
•    KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park (1978) Dir. Hessler

Happenings Round Town
•    Klimt (2007) Dir. Ruiz - Lumiere
•    Pete Seeger: The Power of Song (2007) Dir. Brown - Embarcadero
•    2 Days In Paris (2007) Dir. Delpy – Embarcadero
•    Delirious (2007) Dir. DiCillo – Lumiere
•    The King of California (2007) Dir. Cahill – Embarcadero

Volume 32 Footnotes*
•    “Greetings and salutations.” – Heathers (1991): Christian Slater doing his best Nicholson impersonation to a monacle-lovin’ Winona Ryder
•    “I like to grip it and rip it.” – Zoolander (2001): Mescaline-lovin’ male model Hansel (Owen Wilson) shares his bitchin’ life philosophy with a VH1 Awards Show audience.
•    “I call it ‘lick my love pump.’” – This is Spinal Tap (1984): Gum-chewing rockstar Nigel Tufnel (Christopher Guest) makes love to his latest piano ballad.
•     “Let’s get into trouble baby.” – Tapeheads (1988): Soul Train host Don Cornelius (as Hollywood Producer Mo Fuzz) to upstart filmmakers Tim Robbins and John Cusack.