7/17/2006

Oscillate Wildly

At the end of May or early June, I read a piece that Holly wrote about the film New York Doll. She very eloquently described the documentary and the effect it had on her.

I didn’t know anything about New York Dolls bass player Arthur ‘Killer’ Kane, or much about the band either and so I put it on my mental to see list. I stayed up too late last night watching it but I’m glad I did.

Long after the band had broken up and several forms of despair had visited him, Arthur suffered a fall from grace that landed him smack on his head sending him to hospital.

While recovering and hoping for someone to answer his call, the Mormons happened to be home and picked up the phone. They took him in and before long, he was quietly serving in their family records office.

One day, a Dolls reunion show was arranged by none other than Morrissey, well known for his Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows persona. I love Morrissey and The Smiths but am now convinced that he can only speak with his head canted to one side . As he spoke with a great deal of reverence and affection for Arthur and the band, I did occasionally tilt my head to listen during some of his interview portions.

The reunion show gave Arthur the opportunity he needed for some reconciliation, healing and perspective.

Along the way, there were interview clips from musicians, fans, writers, Church co-workers and friends, and Arthur’s ex-wife. They helped paint an interesting portrait. That's all I'll say in case you'd like to see it.


My own emotional reaction to the end of the film was magnified as my brain quickly placed the opening strains of the song Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want into context. By the time Morrissey had sung the first few lyrics, I was a mess.

17 comments:

Coaster Punchman said...

Mormon??? Did someone say Mormon? I'll be there!

Bored Dominatrix said...

I love Morrissey and The Smiths but am now convinced that he can only speak with his head canted to one side .

This is a prominent detail the significance of which somehow eluded me. You are right: he always cocks (the word I would use over cant) his head before he speaks. At least he's not cockeyed.

I'm glad you liked the movie, and glad I convinced you to watch it.

Dale said...

Go get it Coaster P.

Bored D. - I didn't want to put a cock too close to his face so I used cant.

I'm glad you convinced me too. Imagine if I ever found time to sit and give Buffy a try? It's item 341 or so at this point.

justacoolcat said...

Maybe Morrissey cocks his head when he speaks because he is part parrot. As for being a song bird his new material is for the bird.

(I will not drive spikes under my fingernails for reminding myself of Ebert)

Melinda June said...

How on earth is it possible that I missed a NYD/Mormon connection???? This speaks to two major hobbies. This is perfect!

Dale said...

Hey Coolcat, I haven't actually heard any of his new stuff so I'm relying on things I've already enjoyed. If you need help with the spikes, let me know.

MJ - You'll really enjoy this then. The director is a Mormon and appears on camera as well.

X. Dell said...

I'm afraid that I gave the Dolls short schrift in my dissertation, instead concentrating on the UK punkers. Maybe if I saw this documentary, I'd rectify the oversight in the book.

It seems that the best documentaries about rock and roll are about punkers (e.g., "The Decline of Western Civilization," "The Great Rock and Roll Swindle," "Afropunk," etc.

Dale said...

There was discussion in the film about how the dolls impacted and influenced a lot of UK punks X. Dell.

I'm curious about your dissertation/book now. Hand it over.

mellowlee said...

Dale, I've been sucked into the Smith's website from the link u posted. I think I will be here for a long long time. Thanks for that link.

I really want to see this movie now too!!!!!!

Beth said...

I keep hearing great things about that New York Dolls doc. I'll have to track it down this weekend. Thanks for the recommendation.

Dale said...

Lee, glad you liked the link, I just searched for one in case someone didn't know about The Smiths. I thought it was an interesting film so look for it at the video store.

Hope you find it and enjoy it too Beth.

gizmorox said...

I've had this near the top of my netflix list for a while but I always find something else to get first. Perhaps I'll let it rise to the top.

And x.dell - the fact that you wrote a dissertation on punk is quite possibly the best thing I've heard all day.

Dale said...

Let it rise and if it doesn't work out, blame me Gizmorox. I'm intrigued by the idea of X. Dell's punkertation too.

Saviour Onassis said...

To cant or to cock?.... Now that is a question!

Dale said...

That's a loaded question Saviour!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Thanks for letting me know about your review, Dale. Head cocked or canted, I am intrigued to see this even if just to watch Stephen Patrick go all fan-girly.

Dale said...

Haha, glad to help out Barbara. Definitely worth a look.