“F**k Woodstock” – Rob Zombie
[ OZZY!!! ^ OZZY!!!!! ]
Last year at Sundance, the documentary “My Generation” explored the debacles known as Woodstock ’94 and ’99. I think I’d much rather hang with the crowds in the subject of this documentary — the traveling heavy metal festival known as Ozzfest. The mostly-annual roadshow has long been a home for Ozzy Osbourne and many of the bands he inspired. Penelope Spheeris, (known for directing the documentaries “The Decline of Western Civilization” parts 1 to 3 and “Wayne’s World”) decided to follow the tour during the recent edition featuring a reunion of Ozzy with his old band, Black Sabbath. If this means nothing to you, stop reading right now and go watch one of your suck-a*s French films. For the rest of the faithful, this film is a fun look at multiple generations and permutations of metal music, as the tour also includes the likes of Godsmack, Primus, Slayer, System of a Down, Slipknot, Rob Zombie, and several other of the Ozster’s acolytes.
If one figure here looms above the others, it would be Ozzy’s wife and manager, Sharon Osbourne. Everyone involved in this 12+ hour music event so fueled by testosterone is answerable to what would appear to be a typical middle-aged mother of two. Ozzy states that he could care less about all the h***y girls desperate to meet him. He apparently gets lonely if Sharon is away for more than a few hours. The domestic spell backstage gets even weirder once you find out that Rob Zombie and his girlfriend have become sort of the de facto babysitters for the two Osbourne kids.
The most enlightening aspect of the film is the ability to examine bands that represent most of the different eras and styles that heavy metal had taken on in the last 30 years. The big lesson is that heavy metal, like its loopy godfather, isn’t going anywhere. The music is really just a healthy way for the fans to get out their aggression and anger. It’s easy for religious types and the tabloid press to blame the bands every time some teenager goes postal, but they probably just needed more comfort than the music could provide. After the complete meltdown of the last bogus Woodstock, it’s good to not that this gigantic festival hit 30 cities around the country without any apparent major problems. In the end, it’s still only rock and roll and it looks like the kids just might be alright.