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  1. #1
    Good Enough Vince G.'s Avatar
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    09.21.15 @ 03:44 PM
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    Default Kids Channel Van Halen, Zappa in Rock Documentary

    LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A psychotic music teacher cajoles by any means necessary his misfit students into becoming pint-sized rock stars.

    Sound familiar?

    Jack Black played the teacher role with magisterial mania in the 2003 film "School of Rock." That was fiction, but it struck a chord with Philadelphia youngsters enrolled in the Paul Green School of Music.

    Their story -- and that of their slightly terrifying teacher -- is told in the documentary, "Rock School," which opens in limited release across the United States on Friday.

    Green, 36, is an energetic never-was rock star who hurls abuse when his students fall short of his demanding standards, but he loves them all the same.

    He's mortified when his star guitarist looks at the frets while playing. "Do you want to be in the Bangles?" he asks him, referring to the female pop group.

    Green ridicules one girl's Quaker beliefs. But he's also a softie, at one stage complimenting a student on her "future heroin addict look." He bonds with his charges by asking them, "Do you love Satan?"

    It's all in jest, for the most part, as his nervous laugh indicates. And Green appears to deliver the goods. The kids, who range in age from 9 to 17, rock like heavy metal maven Ozzy Osbourne or rock guitarist Eddie Van Halen. The film climaxes at a Frank Zappa festival in Germany, where they wow the hardcore crowd with their mastery of the late rock composer's complex music.

    "Rock School" was directed by Don Argott, who also produced the film with his girlfriend, Sheena Joyce. They spent nine months following Green and a group of students. Among the stars is Madi, the Quaker whose love of Sheryl Crow offends Green; C.J., the guitar prodigy who channels Santana and Van Halen; and Will -- "a piss-poor musician," according to Green.


    Will, a troubled Brian Wilson lookalike, sagely counters that Green "can't be an adult in real society."

    For his part, Green is not uncomfortable with his depiction in the film.

    "If I've got to be a bit of an ogre to get them to not be scared and lazy, and to really accomplish things, then for me it's worth it," he told Reuters in a recent interview.

    The customers seem satisfied. Green now has nine schools, five in Philadelphia, two in New York City where he moved his family, and one each in San Francisco and Salt Lake City. Tuition costs between $150 and $250 per month.

    For the booming business maybe he can thank "School of Rock," even though he did not care for the movie and its implication that all a budding rock star needs is a good hairdresser. Like the Jack Black character, he teaches his students that rock music existed before MTV.

    "For about six months, all my good guitar students were listening to Django (Reinhardt, the influential jazz guitarist who found fame in the 1930s)," Green said. "It got a little infuriating after a while. A lot of our kids are into Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf and things like that."

    For his part, C.J. Tywoniak, now a 15-year-old who gets extra tuition from a professor at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, credits Green with saving him from modern bands like Blink 182 and Staind, and turning him on to Led Zeppelin, Queen and Pink Floyd.

    "He is kind of a nutty character, but I really like him as a teacher," he said in an interview.

    The school can only arouse envy in adults who shudder at memories of learning "Home on the Range" or "Kumbaya" with fuddy-dud school teachers.

    "You know how they always say there should be more music in schools? There should be less music in schools," Green says. "Take it away from the schools. Give me the money."
    "Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that."

    "This is a lttle prayer dedicated to the separation of church and state. I guess if they are going to force those kids to pray in schools they might as well have a nice prayer like this: Our Father who art in heaven, and to the republic for which it stands, thy kingdom come, one nation indivisible as in heaven, give us this day as we forgive those who so proudly we hail. Crown thy good into temptation but deliver us from the twilight's last gleaming. Amen and Awomen. ."

    "I think it's the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately."

    -George Carlin 1937 - 2008

  2. #2
    Casting Shade
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    05.04.08 @ 04:05 PM
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    That's awesome! Sounds like it will be a pretty cool movie.
    "Rehab is for Quitters"

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