I had heard of this band before and knew they were an influence on Slayer and Metallica but that was about it. I never really gave much thought to them because I was concentrating on the big names (Slayer, Metallica, Megadeth, Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Anthrax etc.)
So, when Will recommended Story Of Anvil, I thought, since I like VH1 documentaries, I would give this whirl. And oh boy, did I whirl!!!
The documentary is an amazing story of perseverance and friendship and a strong belief in yourself and your abilities. There are highs and lows. I mean you feel so sorry for the band as they play in front of 5 people in a club in a basement somewhere in Bulgaria! And how their peers basically ignored them at some festival even though Lips knew details of how they met 30 years ago! Another low point, some of their own family dismisses them as has been and dreamers.
The highs include how some of their own family comes through for their passion with their own resources in spite of 30 years of bottom-scrapping. Bought tears to my eyes. And then there was the moment the strong friendship between “Lips” Kudlow and Rob Riener is put on display. Lips is explaining how he wants to become a rock star and would do it because it would be so much easier to jump off the cliff and at this point Rob, who has been nodding his head all along suddenly says nonchalantly “no you wouldn’t. I would stop you.” I would stop you. Wow! If that is not friendship then I do not know what is.
Watch the trailer.
A few negative points.
Spinal Tap was everywhere in this movie. That’s what the story was…..a band that almost made it to the top but never could and just as they were about to give up, they make it big in Japan. That’s Spinal Tap AND The Story Of Anvil. Having said that, Anvil actually went through the low and high points where as Spinal Tap was just a movie. Also, I could not help but feel the director (the screenwriter for The Terminal – Sacha Gervasi) added a few syrupy moments at the end just to give the movie a happy closure.
But on the whole, highly recommended and you do not have to be a metal fan to like this movie as the music is in the background, it’s the passion for the music that is the story.