You Weren't There | 2007



You Weren't There: A History of Chicago Punk 1977 to 1984 (2007): You Weren't There: a History of Chicago Punk 1977-1984 is a documentary that looks back on the impact that the Punk movement had on the Windy City.
Directors: Joe Losurdo, Christina Tillman
Writers: Joe Losurdo (creator), Christina Tillman (creator)
Stars: Steve Albini, Vic Bondi, Scotty Brown
Though overlooked in the annals of Rock history (compared to media centric LA, NYC and London), Chicago served as an important early supporter of the Punk movement in America. "You Weren't There" talks to the DJ's, musicians, promoters, artists and fans who were pivotal in creating the Chicago Punk scene. It also showcases classic archival footage of great Chicago bands such as, Effigies, Naked Raygun, Strike Under, Articles of Faith, as well as lesser known greats like Silver Abuse, DA, The Subverts, Savage Beliefs, Negative Element, Rights of the Accused and many, many more.
Yet still to me THIS like all the other PUNK docs seems to miss the point. Or maybe it gets it, it's either a documentary can NEVER be punk or to get capitalist funding for a punk doc you must take ALL THE PUNK OUT OF IT. I want folks to see this film and I dug it, I watched it all and all the extra's and learned a lot. Also folks who know nothing about the Chicago really get a treat as well as those who are drawn to this, and to me THAT is what makes a great doc. However though YES I was not there, I did grow up in Wheaton il, and did start bein punk and going to shows since 1985 in the burbs and Chicago. I of course felt it LAME for the filmmakers to stop where they did and leave out so many bands like, the plague-later naked raygun, life sentence, screeching weasel, I.d. under, political justice, the leeches, Bhopal stiffs, and so on. Even bigger on my poo list is that they like all the other punk documentary filmmakers yet again leave out the heart of scene, the politics! The music as stated by Ian mackaye was just a vehicle to express what they were thinking and feeling about, I could of used more perspective on the time- Reagan, the threat of nuclear war the end of the nuclear family. There was no mention of capitalism or imperialism or even how hard it was to think and ask questions and just be yourself back then, sure we got beat up but why, what was going on politically and socially the great communicator Reagan turning the WE generation into the me generation the climate of FEAR the strength thru superior fire power, so much of the reason for the movement was left out, the ideology was gutted, and Vic Bondi was made fun of. Anyway I think another one should be made, but I loved all the rights of the accused interviews they were one of my first shows and were AMAZING live I still have the set list from that show at dirty nellies!