Western Reserve PBS (WNEO/45 Alliance-WEAO/49 Akron) has been showing the 2005 documentary If You’re Not Dead, Play! The documentary is an awesome look back at Akron’s 1977-1983 era of New Wave and Rock bands that caused a bit of a sensation throughout the USA and Europe with some media back in the day dubbing Akron the “new Liverpool”. Lots of great insights, stories, reminisces with video and photos pack this documentary. You may even see yourself if you were a regular at JB’s, the Bank, Filthy McNasty’s, etc…
From the Western Reserve website:
“University of Akron documentary maker Phil Hoffman is rocking Akron again. His new production for Western Reserve PBS If You’re Not Dead, Play!! is a sequel to It’s Everything and Then It’s Gone, Hoffman’s documentary that chronicled the rise of Akron rock legends like Devo and The Waitresses.
If You’re Not Dead, Play!! documents the second wave of Akron “garage bands” that continued in the tradition of “the Akron sound” that began with bands like Devo, Tin Huey and The Waitresses. In the wake of this first wave of rock bands, whose story Hoffman told in It’s Everything and Then It’s Gone, a second group of bands formed and took over an old dilapidated bank in downtown Akron, which they dubbed The Bank. Soon, bands such as Unit 5, Chi Pig and Hammer Damage were drawing larger crowds than the first bands ever did, and it looked like the road to rock stardom would run right down Akron’s Main Street. “
Both documentaries are worth watching and even purchasing. Great fun! Great Memories!
Check the documentary out online at Western Reserve Public TV.