Bad Brains Documentary Trailer

Check out the interesting music doco Bad Brains: A Band in DC (2012) for a look into the punk legends Bad Brains, and for a glimpse into all the troubles they faced over their 30+ year career.

I caught the documentary when it aired in Australia at the 2012 Melbourne International Film Festival alongside an audience packed with renowned musicians and punk aficionados. I thoroughly enjoyed the documentary style which infused a blend of live performances, interviews with the artists and comic book animations to depict stories from their past. If you’re a punk fan you need to see it.

It features fellow Washington DC hardcore punk icons Ian MacKaye (Minor Threat & Fugazi) and Henry Rollins (Black Flag) who provide insights into their love of Bad Brains as fans. It also captures opinions from Dave Grohl, Michael Franti, Anthony Kiedis, Ric Ocasek and the Beastie Boys (RIP Adam Yauch).

In fact, the behind the scenes access into the Bad Brains world over 30 years is such a highlight of the film. I have not seen a music documentary include as much great archival footage as A Band in DC.

You could almost feel a part of their early performances by watching the live footage some 30 odd years later! It’s a great example of the DIY punk mentally that someone with a video camera recorded these pivotal performances to capture a monumental band in the raw.

The footage was sourced from the Bad Brains fans themselves – so it’s a credit to the fans who handed over their amazing video archives as we have been rewarded in the form of a fantastic music documentary.

The film also takes you on a rollercoaster ride of emotions when the band reform and break-up again and again, even though as a fan you know full well what’s going to happen next! There are great stories about the band getting their equipment raided, and HR recording a song from prison!

I personally felt the relationship between HR and his brother Earl Hudson the most heartening part of the bands 30 year tale. Only a brother could endure years of torment and just keep trying to make things work.

Further Exploration:

Other samples you might enjoy:

Q. Have you seen Bad Brains live before? Do you have a favourite music documentary? Let me know.


About noisynoodle

I am a noisy noodle hailing from Melbourne, Australia who loves listening to noise in all forms, but preferably in music, TV and film. I’ve moonlighted on community radio at SYN-FM many years ago when I was still a “youth”. My mission is to promote live music (get off your bum and see something!), highlight interesting TV shows that are ignored by the ratings, expose some cool films and to not go deaf trying!

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