Not being one of the few whomever saw the ‘80s band Fishbone live in concert I suspect that my commentary as follows could be considered meaningless.

But then I have always followed “alternative” music, and I have always appreciated bands like Fishbone. After watching the documentary I recently saw called Everyday Sunshine , I recognized the poverty of my own life for never having seen this band play live.

I come at this post from watching the excellent “rockumentary” about this band Fishbone. It is good that someone was there to record in film the history of something as idiosyncratic, eclectic and bizarre as the band Fishbone.The film was so good that when there was no video of the early years, the film maker substituted Fat Albert and the Junk Yard Band style animation to tell his story of Fishbone. It was brilliant.

Fishbone was (and is) a band that simultaneously played ska, reggae, funk, rock, punk, and metal. They deserve a shelf of their own in the so-called pantheon of rock that only recognizes what is understandable as indescribable. Fishbone is indescribable, but understandable. The fact that they never had a hit is something that should be shameful to record company executives—like (in a different way) the fact that the band the Replacements never had a hit.

Regardless, this documentary (Everyday Sunshine) showed the troubled relationship between band members Angelo Moore and Norwood Fisher as one which wished to make excellent music—and on occasion made excellent music—no matter how non-stereotypical they would wish it to be. As African American musicians living in LA in the ’80s and ’90s, it must have been a struggle to make their music on their own terms. This documentary showed how they were and still are their own, in both the good and bad sense. Here is a live (but not too good version) of what they can do. These men made music that is not classifiable in typical Simon Cowell terms, but at the same time here is a band that makes music that music that you want to listen to it. Fishbone plays and performs eminently listenable music—bizarre as it is. They’re one of the truly good ‘80s bands that typically gets forgotten in the histories of the era.

But then you had to see them live, which I never did. But after seeing this documentary, I look forward to the chance to see them live in future, as they continue to tour—even if it is a new lineup.

But, if I never see Fishbone live I will be fine too. This documentary showed a creative, and I think influential, band.

More on: Etcetera

Articles by John Presnall

Loading...

Show 0 comments