This amazing documentary by Adam Small and Peter Stuart documents a tour of the US and Canada by LA punk bands Youth Brigade and Social Distortion during the summer of ’82. It follows the tour from its idealistic DIY beginnings and charters the steady decay as they cross the continent whilst somehow remaining positive and inspiring. It captures so many aspects of being in a small band, albiet slightly magnified. Beginning with fixing up an old school bus with makeshift bunks they soon have to deal with being ripped off by promoters, frequent breakdowns, fraying loyalties and spiralling poverty.
Of course many things have changed since the 80s but most of the themes still chime. There are so many incredible scenes/images that it’s hard to pick highlights: the NY Christian shelter for ‘saved’ punks rockers, eight punks pushing a broken down school bus uphill towards the imposing grandeur of Washington DC, Minor Threat powering through ‘In My Eyes’ in the Dischord House basement, a teenage Mike Ness earnestly composing the film’s title track. Possibly along with Dig! I think this film should be prescribed to anyone who wants to play in a band (regardless of whether you like punk or not). If it doesn’t put you off, you know you’re on the right track.
You can buy it here.