Detroit Hardcore doc out now ft. members of Negative Approach, Meatmen, Minor Threat, more
In addition to the new Minnesota Hardcore docu-series and other great hardcore documentaries (like American Hardcore, the DC-based Salad Days, and the LA-based The Decline of Western Civilization Pt 1), there's a new Detroit hardcore doc out now called Dope, Hookers and Pavement: The Real and Imagined history of Detroit Hardcore.
You can purchase a $10 ticket to watch it on-demand for 24 hours, and they've got a poster up for sale too. The synopsis reads:
"Dope, Hookers and Pavement" is a lively and unfiltered account of the early days of the Detroit hardcore punk scene, circa 1981-82, in the notorious Cass Corridor, arguably one of the worst neighbourhoods in the city at the time. It took a small, seriously committed throng of white, suburban teens and skater kids to get down there and make that scene happen — but not without first doing a few one-off gigs in Detroit's gay bars and a critical stint at the Coronation Tavern in Windsor, Ontario before converging on the Corridor for their now-mythical residency at the ramshackle Freezer Theatre.
Featuring over 70 in-depth interviews — including John Brannon (Negative Approach), Tesco Vee (Meatmen, Touch and Go), Ian MacKaye (Minor Threat, Dischord Records), pro skater Bill Danforth, scene kids, and members of the Necros, The Fix, Violent Apathy and Bored Youth — and never-before-seen Super8 footage of the Freezer, "Dope, Hookers and Pavement" is both hilarious and reflective, and an overdue record of a nearly invisible but magic little moment in the long history of Detroit rock'n'roll.
And here are some reviews by some very trustworthy people:
Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth):
The early ‘80s Detroit hardcore scene, which played out at the Freezer, was the true epicentre of total punk in the USA. With a bunch of creative, alien kids in working-class Michigan finding one another and unleashing a catalog of totally amazing tunes, it was the blueprint for radical punk that’s still going strong today. Dope, Hookers and Pavement lets everyone who made the scene state their case and connects the dots. This is anti-fascist, anti-authority collective energy as real as a stick of dynamite.
Brendan Benson (The Raconteurs):
In the mid-1980s, I was fortunate enough to catch the latter-half of the storied Detroit hardcore scene. That’s where I met Otto, the filmmaker. Our bands sometimes played together. He always had his shit together.
Tesco Vee (The Meatmen, Touch and Go):
In 1981, our reaction to the punk rumblings around the globe would be encapsulated in a wondrous little stinkbox called the Freezer. Though it was in the D proper, that pirated and skeevy shithole really belonged to a tribe of kids from all over the Midwest bent on fun, not fisticuffs. Dope, Hookers and Pavement does the impossible and captures the true essence of a time. I saw it from all angles -- as writer, performer and fan -- and I’d like to think we wrote another chapter in the glorious history of Detroit rock'n'roll... Fuck, I know we did!
Armand Majidi (Sick Of It All):
I always say that New York hardcore was born in Detroit!
Tony Rettman, author (Why Be Something That You’re Not, NY Hardcore 1980-1990, Straight Edge):
After writing Why Be Something That You’re Not, I figured I knew everything I needed to know about the early Detroit hardcore scene. I was wrong. Dope, Hookers and Pavement brings it all back to life through the words of all those involved with this lost chapter of the American underground that is still relevant today.
Scott Crawford, filmmaker (CREEM: America's Only Rock 'N' Roll Magazine, Salad Days):
This isn't just a film about Detroit hardcore, it's a film about the power that comes from youthful frustration, self-discovery and hope. Dope, Hookers and Pavement is funny, touching, honest and a well-written reminder of the value of music and community. Loved it!
Watch the trailer and a few outtakes/clips below, and check out the whole thing at detroithardcoremovie.com.
As mentioned above, author Tony Rettmann also has a book out on Detroit hardcore, Why Be Something That You’re Not - Detroit Hardcore 1979 - 85. If you watch the film, you'll be eligible for a discounted signed copy of Tony's book.