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We Jam Econo: the story of the minutemen.

ALL RIGHT, BEFORE I EVEN GET INTO THIS I know what you're thinking: another fucking story about San Pedro and Mike Watt by that guy with the beard. That's all this dude writes about right? Well, yeah, this one is about Pedro and Watt, but damn it was a good night--so stuff it.

The premiere of We Jam Econo, The Story of the Minutemen was thrown at the classy old Warner Grand Theatre right in downtown Pedro at the end of February. The documentary follows the times and exploits of the ever-lovin' trio of Watt, Georgie Hurley and the late, great D Boon from their beginnings in this working class town on the Pacific tight up to the demise of Boon as the result of a van wreck back in '85. Great archival footage of the band playing live and old interviews

are weaved together with a bunch of new interviews with Watt, Hurley, and a who's who of early '80s punk rock. Particularly great are the rambling monologues by Watt as he drives around town in his van, showing us the locales that play directly into the story of the band. His whimsical wit and laid back driving-while-talking spiel is pure comedy.

The old Warner Grand was literally stuffed with people that night. The geriatric division of punk was representing, but the scene was fairly bouncing with young bucks and does, most of whom weren't even born when the Minutemen were jamming econo. I guess you could say that's a testament to their music, it has stood the test of time or something like that. After the film some DJ dude hosted a Q-and-A sesh up on the stage. People from the audience were asked to come to the front if they had any questions for Watt, Hurley, producer Keith Schieron, and director Tim Irwin. It was a weirdly awkward and nerdy affair. Director Tim Irwin, who first experienced the music of the Minutemen through old Santa Cruz skate videos, was fairly overwhelmed by the turnout for his movie and was barely able to talk. Hurley was all smiles and one-sentence answers with a crying son on his lap, and Watt just rambled in that way only Watt can ramble. Most people just wanted to thank the guys, and not a few young chaps with mall-bought punk gear came up with posters to be signed. God damn Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth popped up and said a few words of gratitude, and I think the only real question was something about what the song "Felt Like a Gringo" meant. Oh yeah, and some chicks wanted to know what Watt and Hurley were listening to these days. Hurley avoided the question and Watt paused, then smiled, and raising his fist yelled, "John Coltrane!"

We Jam Econo, The Story of the Minutemen should be available on DVD by the summer of '05. In the meantime, Keith and Tim will be hosting screenings all over the country. To get the latest, hit up their site:
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Author:Beardo, El
Date:Jun 1, 2005
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