Plenty of great music 

The trailer for the upcoming CBGB movie has just gone up and not surprisingly, people who were there are already complaining.
Roger Friedman’s Showbiz411.com entertainment news site reports that “everyone who ever went there is ducking and hiding,” notably including Linda Ramone, widow of Johnny Ramone. She doesn’t like the casting for Johnny (he’s played by Puerto Rican actor Julian Acosta, who apparently “looks nothing like” the “Irish and pale” Johnny).

Linda’s also miffed about not being consulted by the producers, but most grievously, that there’s no Ramones music on the soundtrack—though she says she approved only one song. True, The Ramones were the paramount CBGB band (trust me, I wrote the first book on The Ramones), but there were plenty others—Blondie, Talking Heads, The Police, Television, to name four who apparently did make the soundtrack cut.


CBGB_PosterOn Facebook, yesterday some posters who are likewise in the know were already quarreling with everything from the casting (“What’s with Alan Rickman’s accent?” one wondered of the great English actor’s representation of CBGB owner Hilly Kristal’s laconic, low energy manner) to the production (“The only way this movie could be authentic is if it were filmed in Odorama,” another volunteered, citing the club’s legendary smell of “stale beer, staler sweat and Camel cigarettes with a soupcon of urine”).


But from the trailer, my guess is that the movie will be a hoot, if not a scream. Looks like there will be plenty of great music whoever plays the players, and the set looks exactly as I remember it. Rickman’s so good to begin with that accent notwithstanding, maybe he’ll get the Oscar nod he deserved for the Harry Potter flicks, whose key kid actor Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley), by the way, is also in as the Dead Boys’ Cheetah Chrome.


But really, so long as they focus on music and period detail—plot, dialog and portrayal only get in the way.



Jim Bessman


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