Skum Rocks!

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Skum Rocks!
Directed by Clay Westervelt
Produced by Michael Walker
Clay Westervelt
Written by Hart Baur
Clay Westervelt
Starring Kevin Bacon
Matthew Broderick
Fran Drescher
Ron Jeremy
Narrated by Alice Cooper
Release date(s)
  • September 26, 2013 (2013-09-26)
Running time 77 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Skum Rocks! movie poster 2014

Skum Rocks! is a 2013 independent rockumentary film about Skum, a 1980s rock band with "a near-crippling lack of musical talent."[1] The film is directed by Clay Westervelt, a veteran documentary filmmaker, and features the living members of Skum along with various celebrities commenting on the band. The film is dedicated to Jerry Mann, a former bassist for Skum who died in 2011.

Background[edit]

Skum was formed in early 1984 by a group of students at the College of William & Mary. The founding members, Hart Baur, Todd Mittlebrook, and Scott Bell, were all on the men's soccer team at William & Mary. Their initial performance consisted of cover versions of contemporary rock songs played at a local Williamsburg bar. None of the initial members of the band had any background in music, though they soon recruited Jon Tarrant, who had studied at the Royal Academy of Music. The band members considered their own music to be of poor quality, but persisted in playing for their own enjoyment. Skum sabotaged some of their own gigs rather than have their lack of talent exposed. For example, they distributed beer at an early show and then called the police, who broke up the gathering before the conclusion of their first song; later, they quit a battle of the bands due to the venue's supposedly poor sound quality.

The band used an improvised road crew by offering beer to homeless people in Williamsburg.[2]

Skum Records at Sun Studios in Memphis TN April 2013

Despite these beginnings, Skum relocated to the Miami area, the home town of Baur, after some its members graduated. The band had a brief life in Miami but split up after the recordings of Lost at the Circus, their debut album, were lost.[1]

Description[edit]

Skum Rocks! consists of interviews with band members along with commentary from celebrities, with a format similar to that of the TV series Behind the Music.[3] Kevin Bacon, Matthew Broderick, Fran Drescher, and Ron Jeremy were the top-billed celebrities featured; others included Steve-O, Brooke Hogan, and Phil Donahue. Jon Stewart, who was in the film, was also on the William & Mary soccer team. He graduated in 1984, whereas the original members of Skum graduated between 1985 and 1987. Skum Rocks! was partially funded by Kickstarter.[4]

Skum Rocks! premieres at Raindance Film Festival September 2013

The film premiered September 26, 2013 in London, at the 2013 Raindance Film Festival. Some surviving members of the band attended the premiere and held a question and answer session afterward. Skum Rocks! was apparently enjoyed by Manchester United players Ryan Giggs and Wayne Rooney.[5]

Skum Rocks! premieres in Hollywood at Dances With Films Festival in May 2014

Skum Rocks! was also a selection of Dances With Films17, and held its Hollywood premiere on May 30, 2014 at the Chinese 6 Theatres on Hollywood Boulevard. Producer Clay Westervelt of Imaginaut Entertainment was in attendance, along with Skum members Hart Baur, John Eaton, and Tommy Craig. Notable guests at the premiere were Frankie Banali, Phoenix Benjamin, Monique Parent, and Angela Dodson.

Skum Records at Abbey Road Studios in September 2013

In connection with the film, a new iteration of Skum played a show on January 17, 2014, in Melbourne, Florida.[1] The reunion show was filmed as a "final scene" for the documentary.[6]

Among many rock journalists who followed Skum, Michael Wench of Rock World Magazine (1984-1990) wrote, "Despite a complete lack of talent and ambition . . . they owned the media and avoided playing at all costs. If I hadn't been there, I wouldn't believe it myself."

Cast[edit]

Skum members
  • Hart Baur – Vocals, guitar
  • Todd Mittlebrook – Bass
  • Pat Burke – Bass
  • John Eaton – Guitar
  • Tommy Gunn - Drums
  • Tommy Craig - Drums
Others

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Kennedy, Ben (Winter 2014). "Skum: The rise and lies of a notorious W&M rock band". William & Mary Alumni Magazine (College of William & Mary). Retrieved 7 January 2014. 
  2. ^ Rolland, David (16 January 2014). "Skum, the Band "No One Really Heard," Reunites for Documentary". New Times Broward-Palm Beach. Retrieved 10 February 2014. 
  3. ^ Hazell, Lee (October 2013). "Skum Rocks! (Film Review)". Vulture Hound. Retrieved 7 January 2013. 
  4. ^ "Skum Rocks!". Kickstarter. Retrieved 7 January 2014. 
  5. ^ "Mittlebrook Scores with Manchester United". Skum Rocks!. 12 November 2013. Retrieved 7 January 2014. 
  6. ^ "Entertainment best bets for Friday". Florida Today. 16 January 2014. Retrieved 10 February 2014. 

External links[edit]