by Carl Macki

(A Maverick Platinum Film) Suggested Retail Price:$16.95

King of Punk (DVD)
The Relevance of a 3-Chord Revolution
USA:70 min
Kenneth van Schooten


Julie van Schooten
Kenneth van Schooten
(idea) DVD

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Narrated by Joey Keithley of DOA, this documentary ostensibly is about an all-girl teen punk band from Fayetteville, NC that started playing "for fun." Not very surprisingly they get gigs and release their music on a CD, and get some publicity. The other track in the story line concerns Patrick Clement, owner of FNS Records, who is also the publisher of a fanzine, and promotes punk groups.

This piece of Americana might drag at times, bit it is not at all a drag overall. Narrator Keithley recites from his best-selling book, I, Shithead, and member of beloved 80s bands like UK subs and Stiff Little Fingers try to assess the movement in perspective. Also included are interviews with Marky Ramone, Jayne County, Cheetah Chrome, Penelope Houston, Robert Lopez (aka El Vez), and others who were active in the initial punk scenes from the mid-seventies to the mid-eighties. Unlike other documentaries that focused almost exclusively on males in the punk/hardcore music scene, "King of Punk" is notable for its focus on women in the genre.

Wayne County is pithy and quotable--she likens the Ramones to "the Beach Boys on speed" 
I didn't really gather the purpose of the focus on OBGYN, and FSN. That's alright. The players lend an immediacy and practical bent to the story tracking, and complement the segments with Wayne County, Cheetah Chrome, Stiff Little Fingers, El Vez, Dave Dictor, etc. which really shadow the fresh homey naivete of the other parts.

Kenneth van Schooten made this work with his wife, Julie, about three years ago. They are currently working on a documentary about Gene Vincent, and one on unusual coffee houses in the US.

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