Friday, April 17, 2009
Anvil - The Story Of Anvil
I've just come back from seeing the Montreal premiere of Anvil - The Story Of Anvil.
I've been waiting over a year to see this.
Back in the 80s, I was in charge of press and promotion at Attic Records, the label that signed Anvil. It was unbelievable timing as they appeared just as Kerrang and Sounds heralded the new wave of metal (Anvil was on the cover of Sounds and Kerrang). As a publicist, they were a gift from the heavens. Everything was over the top; Ross Halfin and Pete Mankowski flying in from Sounds; Paul Suter from Kerrang, etc etc. I wasn't that much older than they were and I can honestly say, of all the bands I have worked with over the countless labels I've worked for; Anvil have always meant a lot to me, in no small part to Lips himself; then, as now, an extremely inspiring character. And the live shows.... the vintage videos barely scrape the full power of a full set. Years of playing 4 sets a night in the Quebec backwoods had made them a killing machine - good luck to any band following them on stage.
I was pretty relentless in those days; in many ways it was all a more innocent time. I could actually phone up Arthur Fogel at CPI and ask if Anvil could open for Dio at Massey Hall and he said, sure! hahahaaa... good luck trying that today.
They had no management so it was all on the fly. Seeing them open for Motorhead at the Hammersmith Apollo was a highlight.
I wasn't really privy to what led to their split from Attic but even when I compiled the posthumous Backwaxed lp, I made sure Lips had full input into the track listing.
Anyway, this movie is fantastic. I am not ashamed to say I was bawling halfway through and I looked over at my wife and she was crying also. Since my Attic days, I have pursued the "dream" as a musician and a record label so I felt every victory and defeat. Sometimes music is the only way to deflect all the shite thrown at you. When the credits rolled, the audience applauded.
I wiped my tears, now tears of joy as Anvil take the stage again in Japan (I won't spoil it).
Take your band to this film. Laugh. Cry. But most of all... learn.... and stay firm to your dream.
I have also attached the original press release I wrote about the Forged in Fire sessions and Chris Tsangerides. I hope you enjoy it. I will put up some vintage promo pix shortly when everybody still had hair.