This week’s column kicks off with my review of a recording from Matthew Curry, followed by a look at the 1971 racing film “Le Mans” and how that film affected the career of the late Steve McQueen.
Thoughts on a DVD about the doomed relationship of Sid and Nancy wrap things up.
‘Shine On,’ Matthew Curry (Independent Release, ☆☆☆1/2)
This 2016 release was part of a three-pack that I didn’t finish dealing with for some reason. Guitarist/vocalist Matthew Curry, who also composed or co-wrote the six songs on this CD/EP is supported here by bassist Tim Brickner, keyboardist Mark Masefield and drummer/percussion/backing vocalist Francis Valentino, as well as bassist Matt Shaw and vocalist Alexis Saski.
My favorite tunes are the Black Crowes-flavored opener, “Blink Of An Eye,” the sassy “Caroline” and the hope-inspiring title song. The playing of Curry and his cohorts is tight and fluid; hopes are high for a full-length album as soon as possible.
‘Steve McQueen-The Man & Le Mans,’ (Filmrise/MVDvisual, ☆☆☆☆)
This October 2016 DVD is a documentary about how movie star racing enthusiast Steve McQueen (March 24, 1930 – Nov. 7, 1980) wanted to make a racing movie and how the production of same would be his personal/professional undoing.
Steve McQueen ruled Hollywood by 1970 thanks to movies like “Bullitt” and “The Thomas Crown Affair,” so he began production on his passion project about the 24-hour French race. What happened would strain the limits of “The King of Cool.”
“Great Escape” director John Sturges was retained, then ended up bailing because no script was being used, just documentary footage. Modern interviewees include McQueen’s widow Noelle and son Chad, the “Thomas Crown Affair” screenwriter and many others.
Some too-small captions hampered my enjoyment, but this is an overall good program.
‘Sad Vacation: The Last Days Of Sid And Nancy,’ Directed by Danny Garcia (MVDvisual, ☆☆☆1/2)
This Jan. 13 DVD is a no-holds-barred examination of the stormy relationship of Sid Vicious (Simon Ritchie) and Nancy Spungen, which ended in Room 100 of NYC’s Chelsea Hotel. Interviews with photographer Bob Gruen, New York Doll Sylvain Sylvain, Heartbreakers’ guitarist Walter Lure and others help frame the story. Dee Dee Ramone, who was Sid’s bass-playing inspiration, might have commented if he were still around.
The rest of the film covers Sid’s arrest for Nancy’s stabbing on Oct. 12, 1978, and the opinions of many NYC and British folks about that unfortunate event. Nancy’s heroin addiction, which worsened Sid’s tendency to same, the Sex Pistols’ predictable U.S. implosion and Nancy’s “management” of Sid, are all explored. A poster and other bonus footage is included.
Ricky Flake, a former punk rocker and current music fan, lives in Biloxi. Reach him at email@example.com.