As a rule, I tend to steer clear of “band documentaries,” especially when they’re made without the artists or their music. Color Me Obsessed is different, though. After taking a couple spins through the recent Replacements EP Songs For Slim, I found it tough to not at least give this one a spin and see how this particular film-maker was able to give such a great outfit a fair treatment without any band member interviews or even song clips to bolster the tale.
Could you possibly tell the tale without those above-mentioned items? A 2-disc DVD hosted by Gorman Gechard (who, himself, is refreshingly honest) manages to tell the 12-year tale (with ‘Mats original manager Peter Jesperson’s full approval) of what he dubs in the label notes as a band that’s “rock and roll defined” in just that manner. OK, I’m colored impressed!
By taking the story by the throat from the day Paul Westerberg shyly left a ratty tape labeled “The Impediments” for Jesperson to that infamous moment when a shambles-of-a-band loosely called the Replacements threw their beers at the crowd and dropped their instruments to the stage, calling it quits during a live gig in 1991, Bechard’s re-telling of the band’s history is made all the more interesting by interviews with the group’s then-contemporaries right on down to your average fan.
Some of the more recognizable local rockers caught on camera include Babes In Toyland’s Lori Barbero, Husker Du (Greg Norton, that band’s bassist, had tasty words of wisdom to impart, while drummer/singer/songwriter Grant Hart lays down some heavy truths, both in the film proper and on the Bonus Disc.)
Other recognizable rockers caught on the first disc include musical artists such as The Decemberists, The Goo Goo Dolls (whose lead singer, Johnny Rzeznik, admits to opening a ‘Mats disc and throwing it out the van window- not long after, he ended up working out a deal with ‘Mats frontman Paul Westerberg and scoring a hit with the Westerberg-penned “We Are The Normal.”) Archers Of Loaf, writers such as PD Larson, Jack Rabid, Legs McNeil, Robert Christau (who was behind the band all the way) Jim DeRogatis, and Greg Kot.
Other actors involved include Tom Arnold and Dave Foley. The most interesting voices of all, though, come from the casual to the rabid fans. As the liner notes tease, “Follower or not, after taking in Color Me Impressed, you’ll be ready to run home, gather some ‘Mats albums, and design a perfect soundtrack of your own.” Yep, it’s that good. Do yourselves a favor- find this movie at www.colormeobsessed.com and have your mixin’ machine ready to work overtime!
– Tom Hallett