View more photos of metal legends and celebs in the Anvil premiere slideshow.
And then, out of nowhere, a rock documentary that feels real. A story of determination, devil horns, banging heads, rock, friendship, love, glory, metal … on metal. Anvil: The Story of Anvil, the documentary about Canadian 1980s hair metal band Anvil, had its Los Angeles premiere last night at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood. Directed by Sacha Gervasi , a screenwriter best known for his work on Steven Spielberg's The Terminal, the film follows the two founders of Anvil, frontman Steve “Lips” Kudlow and drummer Robb Reiner, as they passionately continue to rock 30 years into their career — despite epic failures and a general ambivalent rock population. (LA Weekly's Siran Babayan writes about the film and interviews Anvil for a feature published in this week's issue. Read it here.)
Keanu Reeves introduced the film, and he wittily and with calm enthusiasm chronicled the epic moments that went into making the film. He spoke of director Sacha Gervasi, who met Anvil when he was 14, and became an Anvil roadie when he was 16.
Anvil screamer/guitarist Lips is a natural, the engaging, emotional star of the film. His passion in front of the camera as he talks of dreams, metal, family and love is infectious (we teared up at least three times during the screening last night — and had already seen the film twice). After the showing, the band came out to perform.
They tore through a few songs, the crowd went wild, drummer Robb Reiner, whose work on those early Anvil albums is cited in the film as influencing a generation of metalheads, did a monumentally impressive drum solo. Then Lips summoned Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian for a version of Anvil's “Metal on Metal.”
A host of rockers and famous types showed up, including Ryan Gosling, Tommy Shaw of Styx, Duff McKagen, Quantum of Solace/Monster's Ball director Marc Forster, all around cool dude/KCRW DJ Henry Rollins, Dustin Hoffman and (we're pretty sure, but don't quote us on it) Catherine Keener. Oh and Mark McGrath.
Anvil: The Story of Anvil, opens at the Nuart Theater this Friday, April 10. Following the showing, LA Weekly music editor Randall Roberts (i.e. me) will conduct a Q & A with Lips, Gervasi and Reiner.