Thanks to Shock, we were finally able to see Hans Fjellestad’s documentary about the iconic L.A. street, Sunset Strip. We first heard about the film during an interview with our friend Matt Sorum, who also was one of the producers of the film (View Interview here).
Sunset Strip was known for its importance to movies and in rock ‘n’ roll history. The film gives us new insight into the popular spot, from the 60s through to today, and includes a rich variety of never-before-seen footage. A-listers, including Johnny Depp, Keanu Reeves, Mickey Rourke, and Sharon Stone, all give their opinions and share their stories of living there.
It is fantastic to see that the film doesn’t only focus on the bands who were born or played there; it also looks at how the landscape itself has changed over the years. We are shown some iconic places that are still in existence, such as the popular tattoo place owned by the legendary Mark Mahoney, the Rainbow, the Schwab’s pharmacy and the Whiskey, to name a few.
The documentary also shows the social changes ‘the strip’ faced, including the days of mob wars. The name Mickey Cohen is still fresh in the memory of many locals, in part thanks to the film based on him (“Gangster Squad”), but also because the guy was so respected and virtually untouchable. Stunning footage of protests to save the strip are also included.
Comedians are also featured, with great footage of Richard Prior at his best, as well as Robin Williams and Richard Lewis. In addition, there are some minutes dedicated to the first burlesque stars and how this became part of the strip as well.
Obviously, this documentary would not be completed without rock and roll. Club owners and musicians, such as Slash, Billy Corgan, Duff McKagan, Tommy Lee , Alice Cooper, Dave Navarro, Lemmy, Ozzy , Steel Panther, and many more, share stories about the bands they saw back in the day, including Jimmy Hendrix, Bob Marley and The Doors.
Overall, Sunset Strip is a solid documentary, featuring rich historical information and great, all-star guests, from club owners to journalists, comedians, actors and, of course, rock stars!
A must watch!
Sunset Strip is now available on DVD and Blu-Ray.
You can also stream or purchase a digital version via sunsetstripthemovie.com