Dewey Finn

#975: The Artwork of Sarge

RECORD STORE TALES #975: The Artwork of Sarge

As I’ve learned more about my friend Sarge since his passing, I’ve discovered something that comes up over and over again.  Sarge just wanted people to be happy.  He didn’t have to agree with them.  Whatever made them happy, made him happy.  He encouraged people to be individuals and find joy in their own skin.  I guess that’s one reason why he was such a great body piercer.  He was also an artist, as some of these pictures I’ve rediscovered prove.

During the period I knew him, I had a couple different online handles.  One was “Purpendicular” or just “Purp”, and I don’t need to explain to you where that came from.  After a brief hiatus I used Dewey Finn, a reference to Jack Black’s character in School of Rock, before reverting back to Purp.  Sarge made all sorts of art in that period for me, without me asking at all.  There were the infamous “Purp Ate My Balls” shirts.  There was also the artwork he made below.

My face on a Wheaties box, and why not?  The other day someone asked me if I’d ever wanted my face on a Wheaties box, and I said with a wink, “Already been there, man!”

And below, my face on a British tabloid.  And again why not?

With Sarge gone I’m so happy to be able to resurrect these bits of art that he did just for a laugh.  His laughs, and mine too.

Rest in peace my friend.

MOVIE REVIEW: School of Rock

I originally had this review scheduled for later. I pushed it up in light of recent events. #biebersucks

SCHOOL OF ROCK (2003 Paramount)

Directed by Richard Linklater

Do you have kids?  This movie should be compulsory viewing for all parents who want their children to kick their Justin Bieber or Miley Cyrus habits. In this surprisingly family-friendly rocker, Jack Black turns a group of school kids on to the greatest sounds known to man: classic rock!  Funny with great songs, School of Rock is among my favourite Jack Black films.  Even those who aren’t particularly into classic rock have been lured in by this movie, such is its charm.

Down-and-out rocker Dewey Finn has been kicked out of his metal band, and replaced by a shirtless guitar player named Spider. Desperate to pay his share of the rent to his substitute teacher roommate Ned Schneebly (Mike White), Dewey steals a teaching gig at a private school. He pretends to be “Mr. Schneebly”, but is barely literate himself. Of course, Dewey’s a bit of a burnout, but he has never let go of his dream. He believes that the world can be made a better place by performing the public service of rocking out. He believes that he has what it takes to rock out. All he needs is some money and a new band….

Starting at the school, he is under the watchful eye of the principal, perfectly played by Black’s High Fidelity castmate Joan Cusack. When Dewey hears the kids play classical music at the school, he realizes he’s found his band. He just needs to teach them a little bit about rocking.

Black is infinitely quotable in this movie, and the music is top notch. The original songs are all stellar, particularly “Way Hard Core”. The classic rock soundtrack are some of the best ever assembled: Metallica, rare Kiss, The Ramones, and even Zeppelin who gave special permission for “The Immigrant Song,” which is used to full effect. The cast is more than good, and lots of very talented young people all appear. And these kids all play their own instruments, too.

Bonus features are generous, and include Black and the kids begging Zeppelin to use “The Immigrant Song”. Insightful behind-the-scenes features concentrate on the kids, and they seem so happy to be taking part in this film and the music.

This film is fun for the entire family, perhaps the only Black film that is appropriate for that. Most importantly, it will give kids an appreciation for the greatest music in the world: rock and roll. And a healthy dose of stickin’ it to the man!

5/5 stars

special features

Jack Black as Dewey Finn (lead singer, guitar)
Joan Cusack as Principal Rosalie Mullins
Mike White as Ned Schneebly
Sarah Silverman as Patty De Marco
Miranda Cosgrove as Summer Hathaway (band manager)
Joey Gaydos Jr. as Zack Mooneyham (guitar)
Kevin Clark as Freddy Jones (drums)
Rebecca Brown as Katie “Posh Spice” (bass)
Robert Tsai as Lawrence “Mr. Cool” (keyboard)