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  • You Weren't There: A History of Chicago Punk 1977-84
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You Weren't There: A History of Chicago Punk 1977-84

18 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: UNM
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002IJQ2YY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #115,940 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "You Weren't There: A History of Chicago Punk 1977-84" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By SteveBailey on February 19, 2011
Format: DVD
I bought this one on a whim while parusing through the musical docs at Newbury Comics, and having gained some interest in what Chicago was up to after reading some of the literature on the topic (Our Band Could Be Your Life: Scenes from the American Indie Underground 1981-1991, American Hardcore (Second Edition): A Tribal History). I had not heard about this documentary coming out and was kind of excited to see one that wasn't just reiterating the overwhelming opinion that the only good music from the period came out of NYC and LA.

Having watched it, I give it three stars. "Decent, but not great."

Why?

Let's start with the positives.

The interviews were pretty great, Albini is as usual highly quotable (albiet incredibly irritating, so the story about him getting dropped on his head is hilarious for anyone who's ever had the desire to do so themselves to the much-lauded/hated personality)and Vic Bondi of Articles of Faith was also well spoken. It was kind of funny to see that old local rivalries (i.e. between Articles of Faith and The Effigies) apparently still exist for some reason, as Bondi and his counterpart in the Effegies John Kezdy made some Bird/Johnson style jabs at each other during their respective interview segments. Old habits die hard apparently.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By John L. Roberts on September 1, 2011
Format: DVD
The most appealing thing about punk/hardcore to me, aside from the aggression, is its never ending supply of scenes. Seventeen years after discovering punk I still find myself saying "_____ had a scene? Get outta town!". It's interesting to see how different locations interpreted the music. Like petri dishes, no two scenes were the same after the seeds had been planted. Chicago has always seemed to have really taken the ball and run in a lot of different directions...from the Mentally Ill to Naked Raygun, there was a lot of variety. This is how a punk documentary should be done(I'm looking at you American Hardcore). Concentrating on one town makes it easier to hit all the important, and notable unimportant, bands that came up.

You Weren't There covers how the bands came to be, where they played, how '77 style punk fell into hardcore, strong personalities/egos clashed, everyone hated Albini, he still doesn't care etc. The filmmakers do a great job in picking non musicians to give even greater insight. It's a well made documentary that ties everything and everyone in that time and place together very well. Rare and early footage of all bands (only Mentally Ill footage I've ever seen) in great abundance should be a sell for most. Watch this film if you have even a passing interest in any of the bands, or punk/hardcore at all.

.....but stop the DVD when you see "Punk Rock Today" title segment pop up on your screen. I agree with previous reviewer SteveBailey here. It's obvious that none of these guys (and girl) have any idea where punk and hardcore are today. For people who seemed so open minded earlier in the film, that only applies to "their" time and place. I honestly think they get there impressions from mall punk and have no idea about underground music at all anymore.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jordan T. Allen on February 15, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Movie's great for anyone interested in punk rock history, especially if you come from the midwest. At times the people spotlighted can seem a little immature as they vent their still fuming feuds on camera but the information passed on makes up for it. Bonus features rule! And are hilarious!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By punker in Chicago on May 31, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is where it all began as far as Chicago punk goes. I think that they did the best job possible. If you like punk and if you are from Chicago buy it. This is for real, the people interviewed I have seen at punk concerts. If you are not from Chicago buy it as well. It will give you a different view from a different city.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Janet Peters on April 28, 2013
Format: Amazon Instant Video
...from this film is that all middle aged former punks have left after they've lost the passion for music is a general anger about the world they have nowhere to direct and a hatred towards everything that's come after them. Relax guys. It's ironic that music that stood for anti-elitism spawned a gaggle of whiners who have become elitists themselves. Ragging kids of today for wearing shirts of old punk bands? The beauty of music is it's ability to reach across generations and remain relevant long after it was recorded. But the majority of this little clique seem to forget that simple fact. Makes me wonder if these guys were actual musicians or just the hipster douches of their day.
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Format: DVD
Growing up in rural Illinois about 50 miles south of Chicago, this was a neat expose of a scene I barely knew. I was 14 in 1984 and Naked Raygun was really the only band whose music had come my way through badly dubbed mixtapes that included better known bands from the coasts like Black Flag and Ramones, until I took a trip to Wax Trax in Chicago to pick up some vinyl. But trips to Chicago was rare to me. By the time I had left IL for AZ in 1988 I had heard a few names like The Effigies and Big Black, but it would be years later until I had heard of Articles of Faith. Naked Raygun continued to be one of my favorite bands of all times, so it was nice to know about all these bands that came before and during the NR era. The video footage of punk performances vary in quality, so it's best to bet that there wasnt much to choose from. The quality is good enough to allow many songs to be shown in their entirity. Some of the OZ footage appeared to be overdubbed by the actual mastered recordings from the Busted at Oz album, which was smart as it still displayed a raw live quality that was very audible.
The interviews of the various "where are they now?" participants in the early scene are entertaining and compelling. I am not sure when the filmmakers actually conducted these interviews, but may actually look too young to had been there, so I guess most Chicago punks keep their age well. The interview segments of the Rights of the Accused singer are priceless and you can tell he is a sincerely funny guy and a riot to hang out with. In fact, all interview segments come off sincere and comfortable, even behind some of the aforementioned attitudes and moaning of current fads and past rivalries.
Some things that were missing. 1.
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