Our band could be your life, real names be proof….
I watched We Jam Econo: The Story of the Minutemen on DVD tonight (Thank You Netflix!). This is a 90 minute documentary about the how the band came about, its D.I.Y. philosophy, and the void left by the untimely death of D. Boon in a traffic accident on December 22, 1985. It features interviews with Mike Watt and George Hurley as well as a long list of punk rock icons. Disk 1 Contains the 90 Minute Documentary and 2+ Hours of extras and Disk 2 Contains 62 live songs from 3 full performances.
Growing up in a small town in the pre-internet days of the 70s and 80s, I didnt have a lot of exposure to anything that wasnt mainstream pop or country on the radio stations in the area. I first heard of the Minutemen through R.E.M. which I had just started listening to after I had stumbled upon someones taped copy of their Murmur album. I happened to read in Rolling Stone that R.E.M was going on tour with the Minutemen and so I figured if R.E.M. liked them enough to tour with them, that they must be good. So next time I went to “the big city” (actually a small town but they did have Dartmouth college and an awesome record store) I dug around until I found Double Nickels on A Dime. It took a few listens before I began to appreciate the genius that is that album as it was nothing like what I was expecting. I have since worn out to cassette copies but have finally secured a digital copy so I wont have to worry about that again. I also purchased everything else that I could find by them in the meantime. Their unique style of music combined with overt politics, and their passion for life and the music just struck a chord with me that has kept me listening to them for 20 years. Tonight I finally got to hear their story as told by them and their friends and it kept me transfixed for several hours.
This little spiel (to steal Mike Watt & D. Boons term) doesnt do this film or the band justice, but if you like the Minutemen or even if you have never heard of them check it out, it will be good for you.
You can read more about the movie and buy the DVD here: We Jam Econo