ZZ Top: That Little Ol’ Band from Texas – Documentary Review

This documentary has been on my watchlist for awhile thanks to my fellow bloggers and I finally got around to watching it.  ‘ZZ Top: That Little Ol’ Band from Texas’ is a documentary that covers the history of the band from the origins in the late 60’s only up to the album ‘Eliminator’ in 1983 which in my opinion was too short, but that is the only fault I have with this documentary.

The story kicks off in how the band came in to being and I love a good origins story.  They talk about how Dusty Hill met Frank Beard, then Frank met Billy Gibbons and so on and so forth…I don’t want to spoil it if you don’t know.  What makes this documentary so special is that it actually is told from the perspective of the people that were there.  I mean it is basically told by Dusty, Billy and Frank along with some key people involved in their success from recording engineers (Robin Hood Brians and Terry Manning) to even a publicists (Howard Bloom). There are a few guest appearances from Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age), Steve Miller and Billy Bob Thornton which add a nice flavor, but give me the ZZ Top boys all day and every day please.

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‘The Show Must Go On: The Queen & Adam Lambert Story’ – Documentary Review

A few weeks back I stumbled across this documentary on Netflix.  It was called ‘The Show Must Go On: The Queen + Adam Lambert Story’.  It was about how the band carried on after the death of Freddie Mercury and how the band came upon finding Adam Lambert.  The nice thing about the documentary is it is quick at around 85 minutes, but that is really too short as this is Queen. They have so much history, to cram in, but they don’t need to as the focus is really Queen with Adam Lambert.

They do go in to a little backstory about Freddie and they go in to his death and how things felt over at that point, then they started a come back with the Freddie Mercury Tribute show that saw so many great singers perform.  They go in to Paul Rodgers and his stint with the band and then finally they spend their time on Adam Lambert and how he came to be known, hello…American Idol!! and his time with the band.

Now, I saw Queen last year about this time with Adam Lambert and it was one of the best shows I have seen in a long time.  Adam is flamboyant and he has one helluva a vocal range and is probably one of the only ones that could pull off the Queen catalog with any validity.  And he did just that.  Go check out my Queen Concert Review if you have time.

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Lady Gaga – Gaga: Five Foot Two – Documentary Review

Amazingly, I have a had time to watch a few documentaries I have been wanting to see.  First it was ‘Hired Gun’ Review and now it is the Lady Gaga documentary, ‘Gaga: Five Foot Two’ which I have been wanting to watch since its release in September 2017 on Netflix.  The documentary covers the time in Stefani Germanotta’s life (aka Lady Gaga) between the making of her outstanding album ‘Joanne’ and her Super Bowl appearance in 2017.

The style of the video takes a minute to wrap your head around and understand why it is being filmed that way.  The style is called Cinéma Vérité which is an observational style of filiming.  Click on the name to learn more.  Once I got passed the style, I really started enjoying the film.  It is an in depth, behind the scenes, look into her life.  It doesn’t look like she was too worried about how she came across.  You see her happy and smiling, crying, with or without make-up or even clothes at times.

Lady Gaga bares it all and doesn’t hold back anything which really draws you into her world and makes her feel authentic.  You start to feel what she is going through and she becomes relatable.  The thing I got out of it, being a rock star is not glamorous at all.  It is grueling work, it is brutal, it is exhausting, it is painful and it is not a life for the faint of heart.

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Hired Gun – Documentary Review

I have been wanting to see Hired Gun since it was announced as a documentary in the Summer of 2017.  Thanks to Netflix, I finally got that chance.  If you don’t know what it is, I will tell you.

‘Hired Gun’ is a documentary about those musicians singers and bands hire to be in the band whether to help make an album or to do a tour.  They are the “hired guns” and they aren’t actual members of the band.  For me, that sounded like a very interesting story to be told.  What do these musicians/artists go through to get the gig and to actually keep that gig.

The people they interview are incredible musicians.  You might not know them all by name, but you would probably recognize a lot their work.  They are as follows:

  • Liberty Devito (Billy Joel)
  • Jason Hook (Five Finger Death Punch)
  • Phil X (Bon Jovi)
  • Eric Singer (Kiss)
  • Ray Parker, Jr. (Ghostbusters)
  • Justin Derrico (P!nk)
  • Rudy Sarzo (Ozzy Osbourne)
  • Steve Lukather (Michael Jackson)
  • Kenny Arnoff (John Mellencamp)
  • Jason Newsted (Metallica)

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Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers: Runnin’ Down a Dream (2008 – Documentary)

On July 4th, I wasn’t feeling well and decided to sit and watch the Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers documentary called Runnin’ Down a Dream that is now streaming on Netflix.  I figured I might as well watch one of America’s greatest rock bands ever on our country’s birthday.

The film is by Director Peter Bogdanovich and released in 2008 by Warner Brothers.  When it was originally released it was as a 4 disc box set with the first 2 DVD disc being the movie, the third DVD disc was the 30th Anniversary concert and the fourth disc was a CD of rare tracks.  I just might pick this up if I see it when I am out.

Now be warned, if you plan to watch make sure you have 4 hours available because once you start there is no stopping.  The 4 hours flies by as this documentary is so entertaining mixed with great interviews and great footage of the band’s history. Any fan of Tom Petty should check it out as you will not be disappointed.

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We Are Twisted F**king Sister – Documentary

I never expected to sit down and watch a documentary on Twisted Sister.  However, it was raining outside and I decided to see what was on Netflix.  Lo and behold, there was the documentary, “We Are Twisted F**king Sister”.

I will admit, outside of their hits on the radio and their music videos, I don’t know much about Twisted Sister.  The member I knew about the most was Dee Snider as he was the one always making the headlines.  I do have their greatest hits album, but never listened to any of their albums from beginning to end.

The documentary was directed by Andrew Horn and he was the producer and about every other important job with regards to the film.  The basis behind the documentary is how the band was formed and their 10 year struggle to get a record deal.

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