Tuesday, April 12, 2005

F***them -- ha!

Another pic from the very first Rock School tour, Richardson Texas, June, 2002

In today's Philadelphia Daily News:

Dan Gross | Two schools of rock

'YOU WANT a quote? F--- them."

This is how Paul Green responds to VH1's announcement that the network will bring "Rock School," a series starring Kiss' Gene Simmons, to the United States.

Green, who's been churning out pint-size rockers for about eight years, is the subject of a documentary by local filmmaker Don Argott. It's also called "Rock School," and Argott is concerned about the series' possibly being confused with his film.

Green is believed to be the inspiration for the Jack Black film "School of Rock." Producers of that film have denied that.

Green says he and Argott met with VH1 to pitch the network on the movie, later bought by Newmarket Films.

British production company RDF Media is behind the new series, already airing in England. The six episodes featuring Simmons are due on VH1 by summer.

Argott's film, a hit at the Sundance Film Festival, premieres in New York on June 1, and opens two days later in New York and in L.A., and possibly in Philadelphia. If not, it'll open here on June 10.

Green meanwhile continues to open rock schools nationwide and is moving to New York next month, having already sold his Jenkintown home.

As for Argott, his company 9.14 Productions is about to start filming "Buddy Goldstein Live," a comedy about a singer on tour.

Neither VH1 nor RDF Media returned calls yesterday for comment.

Here's a really cool review of Rock School which was published subsequent to its screening a few weeks ago at South by Southwest in Austin, TX:

Don Argott's "Rock School" played to capacity crowds who generated a vibe more like a concert than a movie. People laughed, hooted, clapped; many flashed the devil sign with raised hands. They were responding to Paul Green, the demanding dean of the School of Rock Music in Philadelphia, where kids ages 5 to 17 learn the notes, moves and collaborative dynamics of playing in a rock band. Green is mean, shouting expletives and slamming doors when a student fails to make her mark. Yet it's this flamboyant, John Belushian passion, at once crude and caring, that spurs his young charges to play their best, nailing even the most byzantine Frank Zappa compositions at a major festival in Germany. With a trajectory of pain and triumph and a compelling cast of hobbit-height headbangers, the film makes an immersive, exhilarating experience that leaves you giddy.