The Front Man
directed by Paul Devlin
starring Jim Wood and the Loaded Poets
Here’s the key to living the rock and roll suburban lifestyle: Get a decent day job. Jim Wood does some sort of medical promotional writing; it’s given him a nice house in a decent neighborhood in Brunswick NJ. No addictions, no TV sets thrown out of hotel windows, just a cute wife and a solid band of friends. His band is called “Loaded Poets” and they’ve been playing and recording for years. There’s no chart topper, just a long career of writing and performing and loving it and each other. Their sound is somewhere between new wave and classic rock, it’s just the sort demographic guys like me love.
But there’s more to this story. Interviews with other semi famous musicians including Glen Butrick (Styx, Natalie Merchant) and Graham Maby (Joe Jackson), they talk about making a living in the business and not just getting famous. These are all real people, Wood and his wife Christy debate having kids by making an intricate list of reasons for “Pro Baby vs. No Baby.” When the Pro Baby list wins, Christy says “Well, I’m ovulating right now.” At least they don’t agonize.
We also meet zero-budget film maker Don Dohler (Alien Factor, Fiend, Night Beast), he, too holds a day job and makes feature films for love. They suck, but he still makes them, relishing their suckiness and when Wood and his wife audition, it’s mutual love on all sides. So what do we take home? Maybe you don’t have to grow up, but you do have to achive some level of adolescence so you can get a job that pays on a regular basis. Is this the rock and roll lifestyle? Well, you don’t hear about Jonathan Coulton trashing hotel rooms, and at 40 the prospect of a stable housing situation looks pretty good.