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New Thelonious Monster Documentary


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If you were around Los Angeles in the mid-late 80s(after the first wave of punk had mostly faded and all those terrible hair-metal bands infiltrated the Sunset Strip), there were 4 bands that were at the crux of the local music scene back then: Thelonious Monster, Jane's Addiction, Fishbone, and Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Yes, Dream Syndicate was still around in some shape or form and capable of blowing the roof off of Raji's, but it was the above four that was the sun around which the local scene spun. It was those four bands who played many shows together on the same bill, and lived and partied at the same houses. From them, other bands like Concrete Blonde, Mary's Danish, Rage Against the Machine formed and entered the local scene.

Of the four, Thelonious Monster were the Chicago Cubs of the bunch...lovable losers who could never seem to catch a break; often partly through their(usually leader and singer Bob Forrest) own fault; i.e. alcohol and drug abuse. The one and only time I ever did heroin was with these guys.

While Jane's, Fishbone and RHCP would all go on to varying degrees of worldwide success, Thelonious Monster's popularity remained mostly local. I must have seen them at least 50 times...most of those shows spent crashing into the pole smack dab in the middle of the floor at Raji's. But I'll be damned if they aren't the most beloved of the bunch. Ask anyone who was around and clued into the music scene back then, and I guarantee you they have a favourite Thelonious Monster story to tell.

All four bands put on amazing, high-energy concerts...fuck Seattle, bands in LA were merging hard-rock/metal and punk long before anybody had heard of SubPop.

Anyway, if anybody that didn't live through those times knows about Bob Forrest today, it is through his work as a drug counselor on the show "Celebrity Rehab", with Dr. Drew.

Well, Bob and Thelonious Monster finally get their own documentary, and it is screening twice tomorrow(Thursday Aug. 4) night at the Cinefamily Silent Movie Theatre in Hollywood as part of the Don't Knock the Rock Festival.

Here's the trailer for "Bob and the Monster":

Here's the screening information:

Bob and the Monster

L.A. Premiere! Filmmakers and Bob Forrest in person!

8pm and 11pm shows

“It’s worth sticking around just to see what happens”. Anyone who was in L.A. during the punk, post-punk and early grunge years knew, or knew of the notorious musician/mayhem maker Bob Forrest. Today, so does the rest of the world, but instead as a cool-headed empathetic counselor on “Celebrity Rehab”. In this incredibly raw and inspiring documentary, Forrest revisits his heyday as charismatic front man and lyricist for indie band Thelonious Monster, and his struggle with the ultimate rock accoutrement: heroin. Bob And The Monster is a heady mix of claymation, rare archival performance footage, home video and interviews with seminal L.A. artists like the Circle Jerks, Fishbone, Jane’s Addiction, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Guns N’ Roses and Courtney Love. After the film, join us for a Q&A with director Keirda Bahruth and producer Rick Ballard — along with Bob Forrest and the rest of Thelonious Monster, who will also perform a set following the Q&A!, Plus, DJ Jimi Hey will be here to spin tunes before and after the film!

Dir. Keirda Bahruth, 2011, HDCAM, 85 min.

Cinefamily Don't Knock the Rock 2011

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If you were around Los Angeles in the mid-late 80s(after the first wave of punk had mostly faded and all those terrible hair-metal bands infiltrated the Sunset Strip), there were 4 bands that were at the crux of the local music scene back then: Thelonious Monster, Jane's Addiction, Fishbone, and Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Yes, Dream Syndicate was still around in some shape or form and capable of blowing the roof off of Raji's, but it was the above four that was the sun around which the local scene spun. It was those four bands who played many shows together on the same bill, and lived and partied at the same houses. From them, other bands like Concrete Blonde, Mary's Danish, Rage Against the Machine formed and entered the local scene.

Of the four, Thelonious Monster were the Chicago Cubs of the bunch...lovable losers who could never seem to catch a break; often partly through their(usually leader and singer Bob Forrest) own fault; i.e. alcohol and drug abuse. The one and only time I ever did heroin was with these guys.

While Jane's, Fishbone and RHCP would all go on to varying degrees of worldwide success, Thelonious Monster's popularity remained mostly local. I must have seen them at least 50 times...most of those shows spent crashing into the pole smack dab in the middle of the floor at Raji's. But I'll be damned if they aren't the most beloved of the bunch. Ask anyone who was around and clued into the music scene back then, and I guarantee you they have a favourite Thelonious Monster story to tell.

All four bands put on amazing, high-energy concerts...fuck Seattle, bands in LA were merging hard-rock/metal and punk long before anybody had heard of SubPop.

Anyway, if anybody that didn't live through those times knows about Bob Forrest today, it is through his work as a drug counselor on the show "Celebrity Rehab", with Dr. Drew.

Well, Bob and Thelonious Monster finally get their own documentary, and it is screening twice tomorrow(Thursday Aug. 4) night at the Cinefamily Silent Movie Theatre in Hollywood as part of the Don't Knock the Rock Festival.

Here's the trailer for "Bob and the Monster":

Here's the screening information:

Bob and the Monster

L.A. Premiere! Filmmakers and Bob Forrest in person!

8pm and 11pm shows

Its worth sticking around just to see what happens. Anyone who was in L.A. during the punk, post-punk and early grunge years knew, or knew of the notorious musician/mayhem maker Bob Forrest. Today, so does the rest of the world, but instead as a cool-headed empathetic counselor on Celebrity Rehab. In this incredibly raw and inspiring documentary, Forrest revisits his heyday as charismatic front man and lyricist for indie band Thelonious Monster, and his struggle with the ultimate rock accoutrement: heroin. Bob And The Monster is a heady mix of claymation, rare archival performance footage, home video and interviews with seminal L.A. artists like the Circle Jerks, Fishbone, Janes Addiction, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Guns N Roses and Courtney Love. After the film, join us for a Q&A with director Keirda Bahruth and producer Rick Ballard along with Bob Forrest and the rest of Thelonious Monster, who will also perform a set following the Q&A!, Plus, DJ Jimi Hey will be here to spin tunes before and after the film!

Dir. Keirda Bahruth, 2011, HDCAM, 85 min.

Cinefamily Don't Knock the Rock 2011

Thanks for that! Looking forward to seeing this.

1:17 to 1:26 - "When somebody starts to believe the lies that people are telling em, whether they be good or bad...

you're destroyed."

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Just coming back from the screening and all I can say is that I was GOBSMACKED at how good it was! Talk about flashback city...my wild crazy years of my youth came flooding back to me in a Proustian rush. Some sad moments, too, at reflecting on who was lost along the way. Seeing the shots of Rob Graves, Top Jimmy and Dobbs(legendary owner of Raji's during its heyday), brought tears to my eyes. But what really got the memories flooding back was when after the screening, the band played a blistering set of 5 or 6 songs, kicking off with "Psychofuckindelic" and ending with a rousing "See That My Grave Is Kept Clean", with Frenchie adding harmonica. Thelonious Monster was alive again.

Since this was a band that changed lineups like others change socks, especially guitar and bass players, I'll give you the lineup for tonight's show: Dix Denney

and Zander Schloss on guitars; Pete Weiss on drums; Dallas Don Burnet on bass; and of course, Bob Forrest on vocals.

I'll wait until I'm on a real computer to post more about the film and the night; and hopefully post some photos and clips. Although whenever I try to post my photos, I always get that "image extension not allowed" notice.

Tons of notables, and fans and girlfriends past at the screening. Michael and Pamela Des Barres were there; Michael emceed the evening and did the brief Q & A with Bob and the director Kierda.

There was an amusing moment when Bob talked about buying the Detective album, and Michael joked that was the only copy sold.

Original Thelonious bassist Jon Huck and 3rd bassist Martyn LeNoble were in attendance. And Dick Rude...oh man, Dick Rude! I hadn't seen him in nearly 20 years!

Also a delight to see spunky Shelley Sprague, Resident Technician on Celebrity Rehab.

Anyway, "Bob and the Monster" has already played SXSW, Chicago and now here...hopefully it will make it to your town. It's a great little rock n roll movie...and shows an important time in Los Angeles rock history.

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Sounds like one hell of a night!

It was snapper! One HELLUVA NIGHT!!! Better than going to a high school reunion(not that I've ever been to one...and I have no desire either)...such a blast seeing so many snaggle-toothed old-timers. Seriously, Martyn, Bob, just about all the old heroin users are missing teeth.

Also, let me warn you, along with the good, the documentary shows the bad and the ugly, too. There is some horrific footage shot by Johnny Depp of John Frusciante deep in his heroin-hell. The parts where Bob talks about first shooting up with Top Jimmy is done in claymation-style, which makes it a little easier to watch.

I saw myself in some Raji's footage and I think the Music Machine footage, as well.

Anyway, let's celebrate the Monster with some clips from the LA premiere last Thursday night. First up, "Looking to the West"..."when I was a kid nothing mattered more/ than Kiss and Led Zeppelin singing rock and roll":

Cover of Tracy Chapman's "For Your Lover", with Mike Martt stepping in on guitar and vocals in place of Zander Schloss:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YaxXyQdd1xA&feature=related

Not from the premiere, but a show last year at the Henry Fonda Theatre, featuring one of my favourite TM tunes, "Walk on Water":

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