General, Music, Strange, Trends, Vids

The 18 Best Rockumentaries of All Time

Thank the music gods for lists like this one by Screen Junkies–music history is best told by the people involved in the actual scene and timeframe, and that’s what The 18 Best Rockumentaries of All Time are all about.

Through the miracle of home DVD, you can now enjoy your favorite bands in the coolest of dive bars, “Your Couch”. These magical discs carry backstage interviews, a biography, and occasionally a sound check. These are rockumentaries. And they rock. Enjoy them at your leisure at home, where the bathroom isn’t blanketed with an inch of urine.

18. Wattstax (1973)

“A soulful expression of the Black experience,” comments Richard Pryor in the first of many personal interludes on this disc. Shot at the Los Angeles Convention, the ’72 Wattstax Music Festival commemorated the seventh anniversary of the Watts Riots. Funk, Soul, Blues, Gospel, or R&B, the tickets were a buck and was the “African-American answer to Woodstock”. The Bar-Kays get my vote for “Best Band Wardrobe Ever.”

Check it out to remind you that Blues is where Rock came from.

17. The Decline of Western Civilization Pt. II: The Metal Years (1988)

The second installment of director Penelope Spheeris rock-u-trilogy explores the glam-metal scene of Los Angeles in the mid 80s. We are talking teased hair, tight pants, jangly jewelry, and plenty of eye shadow. And that’s just the guys!

This is an era of excess: sleazy chicks, monster riffs, and doped-up dudes. Watch this film for an interview with Ozzy where he’s cooking breakfast and actually speaking coherently.

16. D.O.A. (1980)

Chronicling the formative years of punk, this one is a bit hard to come by. Much like a shower is hard to come by for anyone in this film. Containing mostly footage of the Sex Pistols (their only North American tour before disbanding), this is a grimy, low-budget glimpse at the turning tide of the punk movement. And that low budget reality is the exact reason why it’s worth watching.

The 15 Best Rockumentaries of All Time at Screen Junkies.