“It’s gotta be rock-and-roll music, if you wanna dance with me.” —C.B.
Once upon a time, someone could say the word “rock star,” and you would immediately get a mental picture of what that looked like. Dark shades. A leather jacket. Impossibly tight pants. All hung on a skinny, heroin-addict-y, borderline-malnourished frame.
Yeah, it was pretty great.
But at some point in the ’90s, rock stars… well, stopped being rock stars. They either looked like off-duty grad students (Radiohead, Weezer) or guys who spent too much time in the weight room (Limp Bizkit and so on). Bono cut his hair, the Rolling Stones became an oldies show, and grunge passed its expiration date.
In the ’60s, Sopranos creator David Chase was the worst kind of suburban brat: he played drums in a basement rock band in suburban New Jersey. While his musical aspirations never really took off (“We were so good, we never left the basement”), Chase turned his recollections of the era into his first full-length movie, Not Fade Away, which screened last week at the New York Film Festival.
In the movie, a Dylan-esque college kid named Doug (newcomer John Magaro) forms a band with some high school friends. Sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll ensue. Unfortunately, Not Fade Away doesn’t bring much of anything new to the (already cluttered) table of coming-of-age films. Fortunately, it’s still full of lots of our favorite things: mod-ish girls in Pucci dresses. Curmudgeonly fathers. Shaggy-haired band members smoking makeshift bongs in bathrooms. All in some really great ’60s clothes.
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