Making a feature film based on one of the most iconic locations of the punk movement was never going to be an easy gig, and unfortunately the upcoming film based on CBGB, the legendary live music venue, leaves a lot to be desired – or so says The Nails frontman Marc Campbell.
Having experienced the venue, it’s crowds and the iconic bands that performed there firsthand, Campbell has launched a scathing assessment of how accurately the film portrays it all. In an entry posted on Dangerous Minds, Campbell has hit out at the film’s director Randall Miller labelling him as “clueless”, while pointing out several glaring errors peppered through out the movie, which he claims “is an insult to every band that played there”.
Campbell has taken particular beef with the film’s portrayal of The Ramones. Rather than being clueless musos, Campbell explains The Ramones were in fact the total opposite:
“They were smart, they knew what they were doing and their sense of rock history was deep and profound, the movie treats them like losers, takes them at face value and totally misses out on the passion and brilliance of their concept.”
On top of that, Campbell points out that of the multiple bands to contain non-white members, such as Bad Brains, Living Colour, The Dead Kennedys and his own band The Nails, not a single black musician is featured in the movie:
“To add a bit of harsh racial reality (not too much) to the all-white mix, some knife-wielding Hispanic street creeps, whose sole dramatic purpose is to bum everybody out, stab a swastika-wearing punk rocker in the only scene intended to yank a tear in the entire fucking film. Yeah, tears get shed for the Nazi youth while rock ‘n’ roll niggers get no fucking recognition at all,”
Television’s Richard Lloyd has sided with Campbell, stating he’s looking forward to the film but thinks “the reviewer in many cases was dead accurate”. However The Dead Boys guitarist Cheetah Chrome (played by Rupert Grint) has said has Campbell “axe to grind” and “misses the point entirely”.
The film has become the object of ire from many who were around at the time ever since the family-friendly, cheesy trailer first aired. Watch, if you dare.
Watch: CBGB – Official Trailer