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:: Prey For Rock And Roll

The punk scene hit Los Angeles in the 1980s and proved that chicks could rock as hard as the boys. Bands like Hole and L7 had their beginnings here, playing the same clubs as Jane’s Addiction and Guns N’ Roses. One by one, the record labels snapped them up and turned them into superstars. Though, for every band that made it big, ten bands just like them didn’t.

In Prey For Rock And Roll, it’s the late nineties and an all-girl group called Clamdandy is still playing gigs on Sunset Strip. Lead singer Jacki (Gina Gershon) has devoted her life to her dream of being a rock star, but at forty years old is it just too late? She finds herself facing the reality that she could be fifty or sixty and still hauling her guitar on stage. The big break just isn’t coming.

While she is struggling to decide her future, her band members are ‘prey’ for the rock and roll lifestyle of sex, drugs, and hanging with the wrong crowd. Bassist Tracy, played by Drea De Matteo (The Sopranos’), is a poor little rich girl with a drug and alcohol habit and a possessive violent boyfriend (Ivan Martin). Faith (Lori Petty) is the lead guitarist and an optimist, who strives for the best in life but keeps losing out.

The real victim in the saga however, is Sally. Abused as a child, raped and beaten as a woman, she thrashes out her fears and anger on her well-worn drum kit. When her brother, known only as Animal, shows up after serving ten years in prison, he brings to mind all the terrible memories of her childhood and it takes all her strength to face them.

Animal (Marc Blucas) is an unlikely hero in the story, sometimes violent, but with an innocent understanding of right and wrong that stands out amid the sin of Hollywood and holds the band together.

The real story behind Prey For Rock And Roll belongs to the film’s writer, Cheri Lovedog. She has changed the names of course– her band was, and is, called Lovedog– but admits it’s mostly autobiographical. This affords a nice sense of honesty and harsh reality that saves this film from being another cliched rock movie.

In allowing her play to be adapted to film, Cheri Lovedog demanded authenticity. As a result, Gina Gershon sang all the tracks live during the filming and the band members were coached in their respective instruments to avoid cheesy miming.

Due to its origins as a Broadway rock musical, the film is very character driven and the music is paramount. It gives the audience a peek into a way of life, rather than a formulated story with a beginning, middle and end. Prey For Rock And Roll has the voyeuristic appeal of 24 Hour Party People with a really personal touch that will fascinate muso’s as well as rock devotees.