“Don’t Ask Me Questions: The Unsung Life of Graham Parker and the Rumour”
Directed by Michael Gramaglia
(Virgil Films), 2013
Available on iTunes now
Available on DVD on Tuesday, April 8, $19.99
Funded in part through a Kickstarter campaign, documentary director Michael Gramaglia has captured an intimate portrait of veteran rocker Graham Parker’s journey from England to Woodstock, from the days of his early success with his band the Rumour, through his long and varied indie solo career, to the recent Rumour reunion – more than three decades after the band’s break-up.
In addition to a delicious array of vintage performance clips, there are a number of insightful talking heads in the film, most notably Bruce Springsteen, Nick Lowe, Judd Apatow and Joe Jackson. Naturally, the members of the Rumour also weigh in with some frank commentary, and Parker himself reveals a calm, comfortable and confident side of his personality that’s a far cry from his days as one of the guiding lights of the Angry Young Men of the British New Wave.
And for Local 518 music fans, yes, the Figgs – who have frequently been Parker’s backing band between the Rumour years – make an appearance as well. Only one song – “Broken Skin” from the 2010 album, Imaginary Television – is included, so there’s nothing from the legendary The Last Rock and Roll Tour, recorded live at Bogie’s in Albany in 1996. But both Pete Donnelly and Mike Gent (sporting as Incredible Casuals t-shirt) appear in brief interview clips.
AND, YES: The Figgs – minus Parker – are back in Nippertown tonight (Friday, April 4) for the grand opening show of the Low Beat in Albany. Chalaque opens the show at 8pm, and advance tickets are $10. You can bet that it’s gonna get mighty crowded, so if you want a good spot for the show, why not head over to the Low Beat at 10am today (Friday, April 4) for the official ribbon cutting, and then just hang out all day?