Tag Archives: unauthorized biographies

“History Of Fear” by Iron Maiden

Artist: Iron Maiden
Title: “History Of Fear”
Label: Locomotive Records
Release Date: 1/30/2007
Genre: Documentary
Rating: 2/5

If you have read any of my reviews on these “unauthorized documentaries” in the past you already know that I am not much the fan of them. I mean how can any self respecting music fan enjoy a piece that has not one note of the music from the band being discussed or relevant commentary from people in the bands history that truly matter in the larger scheme of things. Let’s face it, how many people care about the guy who knew the drum roadie the band had before they were signed (and I apologize for the absurd example, but I needed to stress the point). Then I saw this one and while it was guilty of some of the same transgressions of its predecessors it also offered some time for the viewer with two of the bands former members from their formative years. This instantly made it a different piece and a little easier to tolerate for the hour that I often felt I would lose at the sake of getting to the end of these things. The members who they talk to are Dennis Stratton, the bands guitarist before Adrian Smith, and his comments are interesting since they fall so much on the bands formation years. Stratton would be fired for personal and creative differences in 1980. The winning commentary comes from the bands original lead singer, at least on record and that is Paul DiAnno. Paul’s unique voice graces both the debut “Iron Maiden” and “Killers” and as far as history is concerned he is part of some of the most important Iron Maiden songs that were ever recorded. Paul comments on the beginning years according to his memory as he sits in a pub sipping on a pint of beer. They do talk to some of the other Iron Maiden members but it is not new footage and seems to be more public domain stuff or archive, while the Stratton/DiAnno stuff is very recent. I think this would have kicked serious ass if it had more new commentary from the bands lineup in 2007, or at least some healthy content from Nicko McBrain who is an absolute riot in interviews.
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“Maggots” by Slipknot

Artist: Slipknot
Title: “Maggots”
Label: Locomotive Records
Release Date: 11/7/2006
Genre: Nu-Metal
Rating: 1/5

Once again I have the displeasure of watching one of these unauthorized documentaries from the folks at Locomotive Records. They are hard to sit through as no matter which artist they focused on, they feature no original music from the artist on the documentary and the people interviewed are often so far removed from the band and what makes them unique that one wonders why there is any need to hear from them. I can admit to liking a moment or two which explained how there was nothing going on in Iowa compared to what Slipknot would unleash on the unsuspecting world as well as the few minutes of discussion about how the group ended up being signed and gaining interest from the record label. There are shots of the band mainly in photos that are dated and any real group footage is so old that it is trivial. This might not find any interest for a casual listener, but perhaps a diehard can see a little deeper into it. As a fan of most band documentaries I felt that the lot of them in this series are ponderous and far from any level of recommendation. Even if you are among the most hard core fans of this band, let the buyer beware.
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“Steal This DVD” by Korn

Artist: Korn
Title: “Steal This DVD”
Label: Locomotive Music
Release Date: 7/18/2006
Genre: Documentary
Rating: 6/10

Continuing their series of unauthorized biographies about some of Hard Rock and Heavy Metal’s icons, Locomotive Music brings us “Steal This DVD”, the unauthorized story of Korn. Due to licensing restrictions the film does not include any Korn music but does have a similar sounding music playing across the background. Musically Korn is not everyone’s cup of tea but you cannot take their unique contributions lightly. Born in Bakersfield California, hardly the limelight of Los Angeles this DVD takes you deep into their origins and what sort of trials and tribulations the group went through in their formative years. I found this a little more interesting than some of the other documentaries that the label released as the area where Korn is from was never the hotbed of musical attention. Learning what a band faced coming out of this area might prove an education to other up and comers should they be from small towns or other remote areas. Several pieces of Korn footage are presented but it is older footage and detailed histories on how each member became part of this phenomenon. This DVD is a pretty good watch and should sit well with the Korn alliance for despite a lot of more current footage and music I was able to take some good knowledge of the group from it. Many contend that “Nu-Metal” began with bands like Korn, so this will be fun for those fans to watch most specifically.

Track Listing:
1. n/a

Official Website: www.korn.com

“Bon-Jovi: The Story Of My Life” by Bon-Jovi

Artist: Bon Jovi
Title: “Bon-Jovi: The Story Of My Life”
Label: Locomotive Music
Release Date: 6/27/2006
Style: Documentary
Rating: 4/10

I cannot argue about the level of appeal that Bon Jovi has had on commercial Hard Rock music. The sales that most of his back catalog has achieved is absolutely mind boggling. If you grew up in the Hair Rock 80’s and leaned to the more commercially appealing Rocker then there is a good chance that some of his songs will bring back special memories to you. Taking all of this into consideration I approached this DVD documentary with a little bit of interest until I got deeper into watching it. For starters there is no Bon Jovi music present on the entire thing and instead some other band performs a relatively tepid music score as the documentary runs. The footage of Bon Jovi himself seems to be primarily stock footage you have seen before and the few interviews with John and Richie are from 20 years ago. It makes the commentary about relatively recent releases a little confusing based on the visuals. The film does talk to people from around Jon’s hometown of Sayreville NJ and even some who cite that they were an early part of his and the bands life yet I really didn’t take any useful information from these contributors. I felt I learned more from VH1 Specials or Classic Album shows than I took from this DVD. To be brutally honest I have a problem with “unauthorized” releases like this because they really don’t give the viewer the goods.
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