Mega-promoter Colin Beverly plans to sabotage the New Year's 1983 concert of small-time operator Max Wolfe. Wolfe's assistants Neil Allen and Willie Loman find romance while trying to save t... Read allMega-promoter Colin Beverly plans to sabotage the New Year's 1983 concert of small-time operator Max Wolfe. Wolfe's assistants Neil Allen and Willie Loman find romance while trying to save the drugs, violence, and rock and roll from Beverly's schemes.Mega-promoter Colin Beverly plans to sabotage the New Year's 1983 concert of small-time operator Max Wolfe. Wolfe's assistants Neil Allen and Willie Loman find romance while trying to save the drugs, violence, and rock and roll from Beverly's schemes.
The rest of the cast includes even more colorful characters, namely: Daniel Stern as the overtaxed organizer of the star-studded New Year's Eve concert; Allen Garfield (billed as Goorwitz and portraying Stern's employer who is struck down by a mild heart attack); Miles Chapin (as Garfield's overly ambitious and treacherous nephew); Ed Begley Jr. (who, made up to resemble Andy Warhol, plays greedy billionaire Colin Beverly and is looking to buy off Garfield and take over his property); 1960s teen idol Fabian (unregonizable as one of Begley's monosyllabic henchmen!) Lee Ving (as an animalistic punk rocker, prone to head-butting anything from car booths to stone walls, and fronting an all-girls band!), Paul Bartel (as the proverbial "doctor in the house" who, overtaken by enthusiasm, eventually leaps off the balcony into the audience below!); and Robert Picardo (as an overzealous fire marshal); ubiquitous character actors Dick Miller (as Stern's father) and Mary Woronov also have cameos. As if all of the above were not enough source of entertainment already, we also have a Jewish Blues band, an electric ghost-cum-drug pusher(!), a motorcycle gang and Stern's overeager younger sister (to whom Reed croons "My Baby Sister" – a song later retitled "Little Sister" and issued in a Reed compilation album – over the film's end credits, a performance only witnessed by her, a dog and a human joint!); on the debit side, I do not think it was such a great idea to have all of the bands performing at the New Year's Eve concert doing their own take on the same song i.e. Willie Dixon's Blues number, "I'm Your Hoochie Coochie Man".
Apparently, McDowell had not read the entire script before accepting the role of Reggie W**ker and hence was not aware that he was expected to, at one point while inadvertently high on acid, conduct a conversation with his own dick (who is subsequently appointed the band's new manager!)...not that this should have unduly troubled the lead of Tinto Brass' infamous star-studded epic CALIGULA (1979)! On the other hand, while Lou Reed's character may have ostensibly been channeling Dylan (in its clear reference to those eight years in the wilderness following his 1966 motorcycle accident) but Auden (a reference to poet W.H. Auden, perhaps?)'s lifestyle and working methods – living with what looks like a transsexual (a reference to Reed's 1970s relationship with "Rachel") and composing lyrics right off of the streets (he spends most of the film stuck in a taxicab that takes him all the way out to the desert while strumming his guitar and coming up with lyrics) – is pure Lou Reed!
I had previously seen the film via a pan-and-scan screening on the MGM Cable TV channel but I eventually upgraded my copy to a Widescreen one in time for my mini-Bob Dylan tribute. From the director's other works, apart from ROCK'N'ROLL HIGH SCHOOL I am also familiar with DEATHSPORT (1978) and have just gotten hold of Hollywood BOULEVARD (1976) which he co-directed with Joe Dante. Curiously enough, Arkush had also directed the video for Bette Midler's cover of The Rolling Stones' "Beast Of Burden" - originally from their ground-breaking disco-tinged SOME GIRLS (1978) album!
- Jun 5, 2011