In the recently released DVD version of Another State of Mind-a documentary tour film featuring Social Distortion and Youth Brigade, circa 1982-you'll get to see a tragic, punk-rock comedy that commits the cardinal sin of anything claiming to be "punk." It lies, and gets away with it.
The film, shot by two Beverly Hills High alums and friends of Youth Brigade, wants so badly to frame the principal punks in positive ways that the writer-director-producers went out of their way to make sure entire situations were recreated or staged just to get the right shots. Mike Ness (you won't believe how fucking young he looks) and others are actually acting some of those very funny and insightful scenes. They look damn real but were actually scripted to look like other locations-such as Detroit.
In filmmakers Adam Small and Peter Stuart's defense, no one ever thought there would be a market for this kind of film, and they were told as much constantly. So just for finishing the flick-which boasts some of the most intense moshpit footage ever caught on film-they're hereby acquitted of all charges. The tour's inevitable hardships and cruel social ironies are faithfully intact, and the music is sufficiently raw, rocking and rare.
Time served.Now, let's talk about how Ness and his band Social Distortion once looked and acted like bad Adam Ant wannabes....