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80’s UNDERGROUND In L.A. … SCENESTERS: “Music, Mayhem & Melrose Ave. 1985-1990”


SCENESTERS: “Music, Mayhem & Melrose Ave. 1985-1990” 

By: Lester Harvey

LOS ANGELES, California — When people think of eighties rock bands from L.A. they probably think of the likes of Van Halen, Motley Crue, RATT, Great White, Quiet Riot, Poison, & the many “hair” bands who tried emulate them. But there was a lot more going on in L.A. during this decade.

Scenesters_80s_Doc_Hollywood_2There was also an amazing underground scene on which this documentary focuses on, as around the mid-eighties a musical crossover was happening with goth/glam/punk/garage/alternative & hard rock bands all appearing together on bills at clubs such as Scream, & Raji’s.

The documentary has interviews with people from the scene, members, and former members, of such bands as Motorcycle Boy, Faster Pussycat, Kommunity FK, Human Drama, The Little Kings, Lock Up, Decry, Shanghai, Pirates Of Venus, Junkyard, The Hangmen, The Joneses, Jetboy, The Pandoras, Love Razors, Damn Yankees – not the Nugent/Blades band that came later, 45 Grave, The Screamers, The Germs, Celebrity Skin, Feline, L.A. Guns, Black Cherry, The Mau Maus, The Fuzztones, The Miracle Workers, The Nymphs, The Broken Homes, Izzy Stradlin And The Ju Ju Hounds, Buck Cherry, Funhouse, Jesters Of Destiny, Jeff Dahl Group, Haunted Garage, Kix, Johnny Crash, The purple-haired Zeros, & Eagles Of Death Metal.

Donnie_Vie_Enuff_Znuff_2017_June_5If you were there at the time, or have an interest in the L.A. underground rock scene, this is highly recommended viewing.

There is a whole segment on a street called Melrose Ave. which had the fashion and the music stores that influenced the whole world as a whole and not only Los Angeles at the time. Major act like The Cult, Stray Cats, Prince and Michael Jackson were using that street as a backboard for their fashion in the 80’s.

The spotlight acts in this documentary who would later go onto world wide fame were Guns N’ Roses and Jane’s Addiction. The interviews focus on the early stages of those bands and how they became the household words that we know now.

This is a must see movie for anyone who was part of the LA music scene in the mid-80’s and any fan of the bands it documents. Great coverage and historical perspective of this vibrant time of LA nightlife and the emergence of trend-setting bands that shaped the future

This is the real deal as real as it gets. Scenesters takes one on a Hollywood musical journey to new territory and the other side of the tracks. The Strip is well documented ad nauseum. This film gets into clubs and bands that have never been covered on VH1 or any other film. 100 percent honest accurate accounting of the true movers and shakers that made Hollywood what it is.

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One sheet info:
It was the 80s: Hardcore punk got too violent and started getting banned in clubs and venues, new wave died as well as the clothes and the first wave of metal became stale; we were looking for a new sound and a new look. Bored with what we knew, we ushered in Bands that lived harder and drank more than we did – bands like Hanoi Rocks, Guns N Roses, Jane’s Addiction. It was freeing to be young and rock’n’roll – we changed the fashion and its rules, ran the town, set the scene and remade Melrose ave. inot our street. It was OUR time, Scenester’s in Los Angeles. This 120 minute documentary goes back to the clubs, the scenesters, and the “mover and shakers” of the time – the bands. A non-judgemental look at a musical movement that defined a generation and explained a culture.

80 minutes
Projected release date: May 5, 2017
Directed by: Desi Benjamin

“The greatest time, musical of my life in Los Angeles” Dave Navarro Jane;s Addiction, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Ink Master

“It was the 80’s on 11” Don Bolles The Germs, 45 Grave

“It was a great place to meet girls” Taime Down Faster Pussycat

About Desi Benjamin:
Scenester, Manager, Club Promoter, A&R Executive, Desi Benjamin, L.A. native, started out in the music business as a young kid with an attitude about music, location and style.

One of the first promoters to support the early days of the LA metal scene, he was profiled in the movie “Decline of Western Civilization 2: The Metal Years” and was known as the ‘guy’ who took shots on bands even as they got off the Greyhound from Iowa.

An A&R executive who worked with Virgin Records and SBK/EMI Records, Benjamin parlayed his passion for telling the untold stories of the 80s into this documentary. Be forewarned, it was a time of sex, fashion, drugs and rock’n’roll.

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