YORK – A documentary that should be required viewing for any of the
thousands of wannabes looking to become rock stars.
“Won’t Anybody Listen” is a valuable cautionary tale that
serves as a handy correlative to the many fictional films in which the
biggest problems are depicted about the music biz are the pitfalls of
having too much drugs and sex.
The low-budget effort should be a natural addition to rock fests
like this months CMJ Festival.
Dov Kelemer’s film chronicles nearly a decade in the career of the
aggressive but tuneful rock group NC-17.
Haven’t heard of them?
That’s exactly the point.
Founded by brothers Frank and Vince Rogala in their small
hometown of Mackinaw City, Mich., the group now consists of five
musicians, including a violin player.
Years ago, like many before them, they relocated to Southern
California in search of fame, fortune and, most specifically, a record
Now based in Orange County, the band has made several recordings,
but not only haven’t they made it big, they’re struggling for
Alternating between color with black-and-white footage and largely
composed of interviews with the musicians and various agents, lawyers
and record label A&R execs – not to mention disgruntled family
members, wives and girlfriends – the film effectively documents the
difficulties and the Catch-22’s involved in the current rock music
As several performance sequences illustrate, the band is not without
talent and musical proficiency:
But, as is made abundantly clear, especially by the plain-talking
A&R guys, talent alone is not enough to guarantee success.
Particularly troublesome are the details revealed regarding the
financial burdens placed upon musicians themselves by their record
Needless to say, this is one showbiz tale without the requisite happy