[UPDATED with Slideshow:] We Were Feared, Punk Rockumentary on Cuckoo's Nest, Has Hollywood Close-Up

Categories: Film
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UPDATE, NOV. 10, 10:43 A.M.: The Cuckoo's Nest documentary We Were Feared rolled on a screen at ArcLight Cinemas in Hollywood Wednesday night, and contributing photographer John Gilhooley was there, just as he had been for the world premiere at the 2010 Newport Beach Film Festival.

Click here to see Gilhooley's shots from last night's event that drew some punk rock royalty to a film about Costa Mesa's tiny (and notorious) 1970s-'80s nightclub.
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Photo by John Gilhooley/
OC Weekly
Jerry Roach
ORIGINAL POST, NOV. 7, 9:32 A.M.: "We Were Feared is playing in a documentary festival at the Cineram-- . . . the ArcLight on the 9th. Wednesday. At Sunset & Vine. Wednesday at 7 p.m. You can give me a call if you like, and I'll give you a few quotes. I haven't been abused for awhile, so I'm signing up for that."

--Jerry Roach, selling us via voicemail on previewing this week's Hollywood screening of the documentary on the late '70s-early '80s rock club he owned, the Cuckoo's Nest on Placentia Avenue in Costa Mesa.

I don't believe I would have scored a more beautiful quote had I actually got Roach on the horn.

We wrote about the selection process for the festival the punkpressario referred to here:


The ArcLight posted on a Facebook page trailers from dozens of indie documentaries. It was up to visitors to vote on the 10 films they'd want to see in the lineup. We Were Feared jumped to an early lead and cruised to victory as a fest pick.

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Voters will not be disappointed. Jonathan W.C. Mills' film features vintage and/or modern interviews with the likes of Rikk Agnew, Tony Alva, Duane Peters, Steve Soto, Jello Biafra, Rodney Bingenheimer, Tony Cadena, Chuck Dukowski, Joe Escalante, Jack Grisham, Casey Royer and many, many more. Beyond belonging in an Orange County time capsule, We Were Feared is just a solid documentary on a sliver of time that deserves more recognition from an American Idol-dominated music industry.

You'll see performance clips and images by nationally known acts from that time such as Iggy Pop, the Ramones and the New York Dolls. You'll meet the possible inventor of the mosh pit (then and now) and the real Pat Brown immortalized by the Vandals. And you'll glimpse then-budding Orange County and South Bay groups like that one and TSOL, the Adolescents, Black Flag and the Circle Jerks. The Cuckoo's Nest may not have been the birthplace of punk rock, but you can make the argument it was an incubator for hardcore punk.

Don't be surprised if the ArcLight event, like the We Were Feared world premiere at the 2010 Newport Beach Film Festival, is more like a Cuckoo's Nest reunion than a typical Wednesday night film screening in La-La Land. As Mills himself put it in a comment about our previous post, "Now drive through the curtain to Hollywood and see the show." And don't forget the safety pin through your cheek.



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