Punk, a new documentary series made its debut on the EPIX channel tonight. Produced by Iggy Pop and designer and music mogul John Varvatos, Punk is a four-part series that explores the birth of Punk Rock. A huge assemblage of stars has come together including Pop, Varvatos, John Lydon (Sex Pistols, Public Image Ltd), Henry Rollins (Black Flag), Marky Ramone (Ramones), Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters/Nirvana), Duff McKagan (Guns n’ Roses), Donita Sparks (L7),director Penelope Spheeris (The Decline of Western Civilization), Joan Jett, Danny Fields, Legs McNeil, Wayne County, Keith Morris (Black Flag/Circle Jerks/OFF), Debbie Harry and Chris Stein (Blondie), Wayne County, Flea and many more. It may become a recurring series since the listing on EPIX refers to it as “Season 1”. You can watch the trailer below and click the link to sign up for a free trial to watch episode 1 on your phone on the EPIX NOW app or mobile device if your cable provider doesn’t feature the channel. Continue reading
The Decline of Western Civilization will be receiving a deluxe box set on June 30, 2015 from “Shout!” Factory, supervised by director and series creator Penelope Spheeris. The four disc set will be available in both Blu-Ray and DVD formats, and will include Spheeris’ The Decline Of Western Civilization (1980), The Decline Of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years (1988) and The Decline Of Western Civilization Part III (1998), a 40-page book containing an essay written by rock historian Domenic Priore (Riot On Sunset Strip: Rock ‘N’ Roll’s Last Stand In Hollywood), rare stills, and bonus features, including extended interviews, a commentary recorded by Dave Grohl in February 2015, and more. The set is available on Amazon.com and ShoutFactory.com.
The second in Spheeris’ music documentary trilogy, The Decline Of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years (1988) takes a fast-paced look at the outrageous heavy metal scene of the late ’80s. Set in Los Angeles, the film explores fascinating portraits of struggling musicians, fans and star-struck groupies. Featuring Alice Cooper, Ozzy Osbourne, Poison, Motorhead, and performances by Megadeth, Faster Pussycat, Lizzy Borden, London, Odin and Seduce, this raucous and uproarious chapter also chronicles the lonely naiveté of the striving bands, and the endless flow of alcohol and drugs.
Legendary moments from the film include Ozzy Osbourne’s straight talk about the pitfalls of the industry while he struggles to pour orange juice into a glass, an outspoken Chris Holmes of W.A.S.P. lounges in a pool and pours bottles of vodka on his head, a comparison of outlandish groupie stories, and London setting a soviet flag on fire, all contrasted by a down-to-earth Lemmy offering some sage insight into the decadent rock lifestyle.
Spheeris credits her daughter, Anna Fox, for not only encouraging her to get the movies out there for the fans, but also for doing most of the incredibly complex expanse of work that was required. For this, she is eternally grateful to Anna.
* New 2K scan of each film supervised by director Penelope Spheeris
* Commentary by Dave Grohl
* Tawn Mastrey of KNAC interviews Penelope Spheeris
* Never-before-seen original footage, performances and interviews
* Mark Toscano of the Academy Film Archive interviews Penelope Spheeris
* Theatrical trailers
* 40-page booklet featuring rare stills and text by Domenic Priore