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Remember the 80's? Remember music in the 80's? Remember all the psycho-sexual interplay of men not afraid to be androgenous, of girls with overly inflated hairstyles, tight jeans and lace gloves and veils. And the tunes, from new wave to faux metal to AOR rock-drivel about everything from "scarecrows" to "refugees." Well stop the romanticizing and pay attention to me here. What Cameron Crowe and his film "Almost Famous" did to renew early 70's rock nostalgia in all us dipshits 30 and over is absolutely nothing like this film even though it really is basically the exact same type of movie. THUNDER ALLEY was made in 1985...Directed by J.S. Cardone, who believe it or not is still hacking them up in 2001 and is best known to schlock fans for directing Terror Island, which was banned in England before they chopped 14 seconds of Terror to get it in. But to be honest, the direction, the filmwork, the live music sequences, the actors performances are all handled very capably by Mr. Cardone...then why does no one care?

Talking about movies like this is something we don't do around BOF much, but it makes for an interesting topic. What makes us love some reall shitty movies, and loath some very fine films and then have totally no feeling whatsoever about many flicks that roll down the pike. Thunder Alley brings the last description to mind. No feeling.

Thunder Alley is about a band...Magic, I believe they are called, they are a bunch of buddies, nice boys, Leif Garrett is the singer, but he is not the star. A friend of the keyboardist is just a country boy who happens to jam on Les Pauls when he is not dirt farming. Sure not very original but look at Almost Famous, a nerdy kid writes for his school newspaper and gets discovered by Lester Bangs and later by Rolling Stone magazine... see what I mean neither premise is that original or dynamic. Scott McGinnis is the famer guy, he joins the band on a lark just by the keyboardist draggin' him in for one song. So it is on, they are playing locally, doing okay, they get discovered by the local music honcho, he sends them on a regional tour and walla' we are privvy to the horrible undebelly of live music,

From redneck good ol' boy bars, to club managers who try and cheat you out of cash, to groupies, ultimately to drugs and even death. Along the line we got nudity, bad over processed 80's rock, incredibly bad fashion sense from one Leif Garrett, who at this point in his career was, get this, 8 years past his prime...his alcohol and drug abuse was at its height and if you watched the gripping "Behind the Music" he came mighty close to killing his best friend, ultimately paralyzing him and not talking to him or his family for over 20 years. Well Leif is dying to be Simon Lebon is this movie but unfortunately did we all in 1985 and like the rest of us, Leif fails.

Watching this movie and just looking at clips of the film really reminds me how fucking "gay" rock music was...the "metal" band in the film "Surgical Steel" is a Judas Preist ripoff and they are playing with actual Rainbow flags on each side of the stage. I cannot believe I never sucked a cock in the 80's. I mean the "rockin" was so damn "non-rock" Keyboards, pastel colors, big hair, frozen coctails, I am pretty sure if I had had the misfortune of a gay guitar teacher I would have ended up bent over a Marshall Half-Stack, studying the bridge to Red Barchetta while a warm load landed in the small of my back and tangled my rat tail. Fortunately, I discovered a gal named Missy and she reminded me that she had boobs and saved my future from the possiblity of denying my homsexual tendencies by playing in a Christian Rock Outfit. Hey not that there is a damn thing wrong with being gay, but hey, beard burn on my thighs just doesn't seem fab and I hate the smell of shit. Not to mention that Christian Rawk is neither. Show me some love for God sake guys...shut the hell up.

This movie supposedly wants to take you down the road to ruin and redeem you in the end...just exactly like Almost Famous. It even uses original music instead of rehashed "classic rock" but still never gets it done. I sound shocked, well not really, but after watching Thunder Alley, you realize that the similarity between a lot of movies and their succes may ultimately lie in the amount of jazz oxfords on the screen. Whatever that means. Hey Leif is still around, check out the Melvins album, The Crybaby, where Leif and the Mels cover "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and Scott McGinnis, well, he is directing....get a load of this, "Angel" the Buffy, spin-off. Hmmm, I might watch this again, fuck I think I have some leg-warmers in my underwear drawer. Oh yeah, before I forget, Clancy Brown plays the roadie, he has been in everything from Bad Boys, to Buckaroo Banzai, to voices on everything from SpongeBob Squarepants to the new JLA cartoon, and he my good friends, is the shit.
Leif fans click here
Clancy Brown...he's the shit

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Leif Garrett, he almost killed his best friend...he's hot.

Damn, I Tried to Get My Hair Like That For 2 Fucking Years and He jJust Gets Out Of The Bed With That Look. I Love Him.

Leif Garrett Exploring The Underbelly Of Rock And Shirt Customizing.

I Truly Dig This Dude, He Is A Badass. He's Clancy Brown

Rock Star Life Can Be Extremely Difficult. Look At The Size Of That Tiny Television.

Ohhh That Rocker Life, With Its Decadent Neck Rubs, I Want You Oh Man Of The Rocka.

Leif Garrett, bloody, oh now I got a woodie.

More Decadent Rock Life...Ice Cream.

David Geffen ponders "the next big thing."

Check out Leif on The Crybaby, with the Melvins...Smells Like Teen Spirit, I'm Serious.
Brains On Film 2003