Available on DVD from director Chris Metzler and Lev Anderson comes a documentary on the history of one of the world’s most influential bands with “Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone”
This film follows Angelo Moore, one of the founders of Fishbone and Norwood Fisher the other founder of the band who still have faith in the dream.
The band came from Los Angeles, California and narrated by Lawrence Fishburne, he tells the story of African Americans in the town. Telling how the black community kept there “funk on” during some of the most harshest times in the town’s history.
In 1979, a band came together at Hale Junior High. In the 9th grade Norwood and Angelo came together after a persimmon incident and they have been friends since. Playing together in the low-income area – they boys loved what they did.
They played and eventually evolved! Winning the local battle of the bands, it gave the boys the confidence they needed to move forward. But after graduation – things became to change musically. Fishbone knew they wanted to crash into punk with a flair!
In 1982 Los Angeles, they experience the punk rock scene and mosh pits seeing them as a form of expression. Norwood says, “We loved out black culture and were influenced by everything that was coming up at our time. We wanted to be distinctive, be original. We saw that as how success was”.
After seeing a performance, Roger Perry signed them immediately. They played with renowned bands and took audiences by surprise. Angelo says, “We were playing music, funk and dancing – that’s all”. Signed within a year of graduating high school, they got a record deal with Columbia Records.
Angelo became the front man for the band and their first album received rave reviews with fans all over the world. Jumping off the stage, the boys opened for bands like The Beastie Boys and Red Hot Chili Peppers.
The “Truth and Soul” album was more serious music. Gangs and cocaine were taking over the streets. Ice-T says, “Listen to the words of the music and you’ll know what they are singing about”. The band wanted to promote unification among the people.
In 1991, the band called for the “joining of the Fishbone family-hood”. They appeared on Saturday Night Live and had “Sunless Saturday” directed by Spike Lee to get their music out to the masses.
With everything going up for the band, the release of “Everyday Sunshine” didn’t find its audience. In 1993 the band begins to have personal issues with band mate Kendall and not so soon after Chris and the band would never be the same. In 1994, Fishbone was released from their recording contract. Things began to get more sour for the band members as Walt and Dirty Fish also leave the band. Now its Norwood and Angelo as the last original members.
But life has a way of coming around and so do those that have been there since the beginning.
Giving their thoughts on Fishbone are: Mama Fish (Fishbone’s mother), Ice-T, Tim Robbins, Eugene Hutz, Branford Marsalis, Gwen Stephani, Les Claypool from Primus, Dirty Walt – trumpet player, Chris Dowd – keyboard player, Kendall Jones – guitar player, Fish Fisher – drums, Flea from Red Hot Chili Peppers, Roger Perry, Perry Farrell from Jane’s Addiction, David Kahne, Anna Loynes, George Clinton, Lauren Jones, Tony Kanal Adrian Young, Vernon Reid, Bob Forrester.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give “Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone” four tubs of popcorn out of five. It is a raw and realistic look at a band that came from the harshness of Los Angeles to take the world by storm. It is an unabashed look at the rise and fall of a group of men who had a idea that wreaked of brilliance.
It is well shot and the concert footage is memorable. This DVD is something all fans of Fishbone should see to appreciate the lives these musicians live in the reality of the music business.
In the end – the musicians get it, others don’t.