Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone

January 01, 1970

(Cinema Guild; 107
minutes)

 

www.cinemaguild.com

 

BY JOHN B. MOORE

 

It’s a sad reality when ska/pop bands like No Doubt or Reel
Big Fish are better known than Fishbone, a band that helped create the genre.
Lest you forget just how many obstacles have been put in front of this band,
filmmakers Lev Anderson and Chris Metzler have managed to distil them all into Everyday Sunshine. And damn, there were
a lot.

 

Let’s start with a
group of teens living in a tough South Central Los Angeles neighborhood
listening to punk when all of their peers were listening to, well, anything but
punk rock. Once the group formed a band they had to convince club managers and
eventually record labels that kids would listen to an all black group with a horn
section playing a mix of funk, punk and classic ska. There was plenty of fallout
along the way, but when they hit the stage, Fishbone created something amazing:
a raucous party with unforgettable songs that managed to sound entirely
original.

 

The most surprising thing about the doc is how the directors
were able to cover so much ground in just 107 minutes- including the odd story
of a founding member leaving the band after falling in with his father’s cult and
then being rescued (or kidnapped, depending on whose side you believe) by his
former bandmates. Narrated by Laurence Fishburne, the movie includes plenty of
interviews with those influenced by the band like Flea, Gwen Stefani, Ice-T and
other.

 

Everyday Sunshine concludes with the band, still soldiering on, now loading and unloading their
own equipment in tiny clubs and festivals across the globe without the backing
of a big label. It’s a harsh commentary on the fickle nature of fans and the
music business, but that seems to be the last thing on the band’s mind as they bash
out “Party at Ground Zero” in front of a small, but enthusiastic crowd of diehards.

 

Special features: none.

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