The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years

Last updated
The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years
Metalyears.jpg
Dave Mustaine of Megadeth is featured on the movie poster.
Directed by Penelope Spheeris
Produced by Jonathan Dayton
Valerie Faris

Guy J. Louthan
Starring
Cinematography Jeff Zimmerman
Edited byEarl Ghaffari
Distributed by New Line Cinema
Release date
‹See TfM›
  • June 17, 1988 (1988-06-17)
Running time
93 min.
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$500,000
Box office$373,743 [1]

The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years is a 1988 documentary film directed by Penelope Spheeris. Filmed between August 1987 and February 1988, the film chronicles the late 80s Los Angeles heavy metal scene. It is the second film of a trilogy by Spheeris depicting life in Los Angeles at various points in time as seen through the eyes of struggling up-and-coming musicians. The first film, The Decline of Western Civilization (1981), dealt with the punk rock scene during 1979–1980. The third film, The Decline of Western Civilization III (1998), chronicles the gutter punk lifestyle of homeless teenagers in the late 1990s.

Contents

The film features a mix of live concert footage and interviews with established heavy metal performers such as Lemmy, Ozzy Osbourne, Aerosmith, Alice Cooper, Kiss, Megadeth, and W.A.S.P.. Several unsigned club bands are also prominently featured, such as Odin and Seduce.

Synopsis

The film chronicles the heavy metal club scene in Los Angeles during the 1987-88 time period, with an emphasis placed on the glam metal subgenre. While many established artists such as Alice Cooper, Aerosmith, Ozzy Osbourne, Dave Mustaine, and Paul Stanley are featured in interviews, members of several unsigned L.A. club bands are also given a share of the spotlight, including London and Odin, and Detroit's Seduce. The film also features interviews with members of Poison, Tuff, Vixen, Faster Pussycat, and W.A.S.P.. Many of the struggling, unsigned acts appear convinced that worldwide stardom awaits them, and most appear to have no backup plan in place should this success fail to materialize.

The film includes several interview segments with Darlyne Pettinicchio, an Orange County probation officer, discussing the dangers of metal culture on children.

The film is well known for its many scenes featuring rock star excess. The scenes include:

Musical performances

Influence

It has been claimed, most notably in the VH1 documentary series Heavy: The Story of Metal , [4] that this film was partially responsible for the death of glam metal, and the subsequent rise of thrash metal and grunge. The suggestion in the documentary is that fans, disgusted by the scenes of excess, decided to turn elsewhere. A similar claim was made by Dave Mustaine in his autobiography and in the book Hell Bent for Leather by British author Seb Hunter. [5]

Some of Spheeris' featured musicians and live footage of Sunset Strip clubs ended up as part of the 1987 MTV Music Awards, broadcast around the world from Universal Studios in Los Angeles. In addition to a clip of the band Foxx performing onstage, the awards show that year had several presenters who were stars of The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years.[ who? ]

Faked footage

In a 1999 interview for The A.V. Club , Spheeris admitted that the scene with Ozzy Osbourne spilling orange juice was faked, and the kitchen was not Osbourne's. [6] A more complete version of the interview, in which Osbourne does not spill juice, is included as a bonus feature on the DVD.

Soundtrack

The soundtrack was released on Capitol Records/I.R.S. Records. However, the soundtrack does not attempt to feature all the performances that were in the movie.

The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Decline of western.jpg
Soundtrack album by
various artists
Released1988
Genre Heavy metal, thrash metal
Label Capitol/I.R.S.
Producer Various
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar half.svg [7]

Track listing

No.TitleWriter(s)Performed byLength
1."Gene Simmons Speaks"  Gene Simmons 0:03
2."Under My Wheels" (originally performed by Alice Cooper ) Michael Bruce, Dennis Dunaway, Bob Ezrin Alice Cooper featuring Axl Rose, Slash & Izzy Stradlin from Guns N' Roses 3:16
3."Bathroom Wall (Live)" Taime Downe Faster Pussycat 3:51
4."Cradle to the Grave"  Motörhead 4:07
5."You Can Run But You Can't Hide"  Armored Saint 3:03
6."Born to Be Wild (Live)" (originally performed by Steppenwolf ) Mars Bonfire Lizzy Borden 4:30
7."Alice Cooper Speaks"  Alice Cooper 0:20
8."Rikki Rockett Speaks"  Rikki Rockett 0:08
9."In My Darkest Hour"  Megadeth 6:17
10."Prophecy"  Queensrÿche 3:50
11."The Brave"  Metal Church 4:26
12."Foaming at the Mouth"  Rigor Mortis 3:45
13."Colleen (Live)" Seduce2:58
14."Steven Tyler Speaks"  Steven Tyler 0:24

CD track listing

No.TitleWriter(s)Performed byLength
1."Under My Wheels" (originally performed by Alice Cooper ) Michael Bruce, Dennis Dunaway, Bob Ezrin Alice Cooper featuring Axl Rose, Slash & Izzy Stradlin from Guns N' Roses 3:16
2."Bathroom Wall (Live)" Taime Downe Faster Pussycat 3:51
3."Cradle to the Grave"  Motörhead 4:07
4."You Can Run But You Can't Hide"  Armored Saint 3:03
5."Born to Be Wild (Live)" (originally performed by Steppenwolf ) Mars Bonfire Lizzy Borden 4:30
6."In My Darkest Hour"  Megadeth 6:17
7."Prophecy"  Queensrÿche 3:50
8."The Brave"  Metal Church 4:26
9."Foaming at the Mouth"  Rigor Mortis 3:45
10."Colleen (Live)" Seduce2:58

See also

Related Research Articles

Lemmy British rock musician; singer-songwriter

Ian Fraser Kilmister, better known as Lemmy, was an English singer, songwriter, and musician. He is best known as the founder, lead singer, bassist, primary songwriter and only continuous member of the british rock band Motörhead.

Ozzy Osbourne English heavy metal vocalist and songwriter

John Michael "Ozzy" Osbourne is an English singer, songwriter, and television personality. He rose to prominence during the 1970s as the lead vocalist of the heavy metal band Black Sabbath, during which period he adopted the nickname "Prince of Darkness".

Penelope Spheeris

Penelope Spheeris is an American film director, producer and screenwriter. She has directed both documentary film and scripted films. Her best known works include the trilogy titled The Decline of Western Civilization, each covering an aspect of Los Angeles underground culture, and Wayne's World, her highest-grossing film.

Michael Schenker German musician

Michael Schenker is a German rock guitarist who has played in UFO and led the Michael Schenker Group. He was an early member of Scorpions, the band co-founded by his elder brother Rudolf Schenker. In the mid-1970s, Schenker joined UFO, playing lead guitar. He left the band in 1978 to found the Michael Schenker Group. He has rejoined UFO three times, producing an album each time. Schenker continues to perform and record. He has been called "a legendary figure in the history of metal guitar."

<i>The Decline of Western Civilization</i> 1980 film by Penelope Spheeris

The Decline of Western Civilization is a 1981 American documentary filmed through 1979 and 1980. The movie is about the Los Angeles punk rock scene and was directed by Penelope Spheeris. In 1981, the LAPD Chief of Police Daryl Gates wrote a letter demanding the film not be shown again in the city.

Lee Ving American musician

Lee James Jude Capallero, known professionally as Lee Ving, is an American musician and actor.

Lizzy Borden (band)

Lizzy Borden is an American heavy metal band formed in Los Angeles in 1983. To date, the band has charted on the Billboard 200 four times. Lizzy Borden is eponymous of the band's lead vocalist.

<i>The Decline of Western Civilization III</i>

The Decline of Western Civilization III is a 1998 documentary film, directed by Penelope Spheeris, that chronicles the gutter punk lifestyle of homeless teenagers. It is the third film of a trilogy by Spheeris depicting life in Los Angeles at various points in time. The first film, The Decline of Western Civilization (1981), dealt with the punk rock scene during 1980–1981. The second film, The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years (1988), covers the Los Angeles heavy metal movement of 1986–1988.

Charles Conrad "Chuck" Behler is an American musician who played drums for the heavy metal band Megadeth from 1987 through 1989, recording the album So Far, So Good… So What! with the group in 1988. He also appeared in the 1988 rockumentary The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years.

Riki Rachtman

David Alan "Riki" Rachtman is an American television and radio personality.

Joe Holmes American heavy metal guitarist

Joe Holmes is an American heavy metal guitarist best known for his stint with Ozzy Osbourne between 1995 and 2001. He has also played with Van Halen frontman David Lee Roth and the L.A. band Lizzy Borden in addition to leading his own bands, Terriff, and currently, Farmikos.

Rudy Sarzo

Rudy Sarzo is a Cuban born American hard rock/heavy metal bassist. Sarzo remains best known for his work with Quiet Riot, Ozzy Osbourne, and Whitesnake, and has also played with several well known heavy metal and hard rock acts including Manic Eden, Dio, Blue Öyster Cult, Geoff Tate's Queensrÿche and Devil City Angels. He is currently the bass player for The Guess Who.

Mike Clink is an American record producer. Clink began his career as an engineer at Record Plant Studios, recording such bands as Whitesnake, Triumph, Guns N' Roses, Mötley Crüe, Megadeth, UFO, Jefferson Starship, The Babys, Heart, Eddie Money and many others.

Gazzarris Los Angeles Nightclub 1960s-90s

Gazzarri's was a nightclub on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood, California, United States. The Doors and Van Halen were featured house bands there for long stretches before being discovered. It was also the L.A. club featured in Huey Lewis and the News' music video for their hit "The Heart of Rock and Roll."

Kurt Lockwood

Kurt Lockwood is an American pornographic actor and director, model, and musician.

Angry Again

"Angry Again" is a 1993 heavy metal song by Megadeth, written by frontman Dave Mustaine. The song was written exclusively for inclusion in the 1993 satirical action film Last Action Hero, directed by John McTiernan which starred Arnold Schwarzenegger, and appeared on the film's soundtrack. "Angry Again" never appeared on any of the band's official studio albums, but appeared first on their 1995 EP Hidden Treasures and several later compilations.

<i>Dudes</i> (film)

Dudes is a 1987 American independent film directed by Penelope Spheeris, written by Randall Jahnson, and starring Jon Cryer, Catherine Mary Stewart, Daniel Roebuck, and Lee Ving. A Western revenge story in a contemporary setting, its plot concerns three punk rockers from New York City who attempt to make their way to California. When one of them is murdered by a vicious gang leader, the other two, played by Cryer and Roebuck, find themselves fish out of water as they pursue the murderer from Arizona to Montana, assisted by a tow truck driver played by Stewart.

Foundations Forum was the first exclusively heavy metal music industry convention, held annually from 1988 to 1997 in Los Angeles. The convention was set up by Concrete Marketing who had in January 1988 created the first industry trade magazine for the heavy metal world – Foundations. Realizing there was little or no attention or focus on this growing market, and having seen the far reaching distribution of the trade magazine, they decided to put together an annual meeting, bringing together key industry personnel, vendors and artists offering advice on surviving the industry, discussing the changing climate of the scene and business, and allowing people to network.

<i>Lemmy</i> (film)

Lemmy: 49% motherf**ker. 51% son of a bitch. is a 2010 documentary film profile of the English rock musician Ian "Lemmy" Kilmister, the founder, bassist, and lead vocalist of the heavy metal band Motörhead.

The Classic Rock Roll Of Honour is an annual awards program established in 2005 by Classic Rock Magazine. Winners of the awards are chosen by the awards team and voted on by readers of the magazine. Winners are announced at an annual awards show and featured in the magazine.

References

  1. The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years at Box Office Mojo
  2. 1999 A.V.Club interview with Spheeris
  3. Kilmister, Lemmy (2002), White line fever : the autobiography, London u.a.: Pocket Books, p. 210, ISBN   0-671-03331-X
  4. VH1 Heavy: The Story of Metal official website
  5. Hunter, Seb (2005), Hell bent for leather : confessions of a heavy metal addict, London: Harper Perennial, ISBN   0-00-716176-X
  6. 1999 A.V.Club interview with Spheeris
  7. "The Decline Of Western Civilization, Part II: The Metal Years - Various Artists | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 2018-06-10.