This is a documentary series that starts to highlight where the LA scene came from. We all pretty much know the scene of the 80’s, but this DVD starts from the 60’s and goes through a period particularly from 1975 to 1981 with candid one on one interviews with the LA scenes bands at the time.
You will find some familiar names, Lars Ulrich and Dave Ellefson rear themselves, but the more inclusive notorieties of the scene includes Joey Vera of Armored Saint, Dave Meniketti of Y&T, Don Dokken (Dokken) and Jack Russell (Great White). Some of these bands here though have never made it out of LA, I certainly don’t know much about some of the bands mentioned and it would be nice to hear some of the music, but unfortunately bar one band (Sound Barrier – one of, if not the first, all black/African American hard rock bands – apart from Black Death from Cleveland), there is no live clips, mainly stills which is the major drawback of this series I find.
There’s some interesting options of the late 70’s glam scene (relating to the UK influence of The Sweet and David Bowie – not the 80’s scene just yet) and its interaction with the punk explosion and new wave, I won’t spoil it etc… Ann Boleyn is more famous for her singing in Hellion, but guess what band she was asked to play bass for? View and find out!
Clubs come and go, but the main features of the 70’s that would lead into massive well-known names of the 80’s includes the antics at clubs like the Rainbow, The Troubadour, the Starwood and eventually The Roxy, remarkably a result of a clean-up of the sunset strip by the mayor who got rid of all the strip joints…..little did he know eh! The DVD also highlights that LA was not all about Hollywood, Pasadena played a big part and members of Armored Saint and Stryper state why so (long before those two bands got started). Of course, there is a big feature of Van Halen here, lots of people telling stories of their impact on the scene and their ethos, although no band members contribute to this DVD which is a shame and of course, the LA scene wouldn’t exist without bands such as Quiet Riot too – long before their first couple of hit records when they featured future legend Randy Rhoads.
All in all, it serves as a nice history lesson, you can see where it came from as the story of the next decade has been well played for years. There is a part 2 coming, so check that out when it arrives, I only hope that one includes some live footage.