Rebel Beat: The Story of L.A. Rockabilly

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Rebel Beat: The Story of L.A. Rockabilly

Rebel Beat: The Story of L.A. Rockabilly
EAN/UPC 634457182790

“They tried to kill our music but they just can’t kill our soul.”

Los Angeles might be the corporate music capital of the world, but it’s also the home to America’s longest-running underground music scene, a scene that has survived 50 years thanks to diehard musicians, promoters and fans of a rebel rock you won’t see on MTV. A scene hidden in Hollywood, but never caught on film. Until now.
Rebel Beat: The Story of LA Rockabilly is the first documentary to chronicle LA’s original underground music, from the 50s cowboy rockers like Glen Glenn, to the revivalists like Ray Campi who invaded LA punk with his slappin’ bass, to LA’s own legends like Big Sandy and Dave Gonzales, to the young Barrio-Billy boys spicing up the mix with cumbias and sultry strolls.
The laid back cousin of the more commercial psychobilly, LA Rockabilly remains a low-fi, sexy culture with a passion for its retro roots. Rebel Beat captures LA Rockabilly’s small town soul at car shows, swap meets, barbecues, barrio cafes and hidden juke joints – far from the Sunset Strip – before pulling up to the West Coast’s biggest rockabilly party of the year, Viva Las Vegas.
“Rebel Beat” includes interviews with over 40 people, including promoters such as legendary Rockin’ Ronny Weiser of Rollin’ Rock Records, musicians, car customizers, DJs and dancers. It features rare archival photos, vintage TV clips, pinups from Bernie Dexter, and music montages of the fashion, cars, pomps, ink and dance moves of the pussycats and hound dogs of LA Rockabilly.
“Rebel Beat” was produced and directed by Betty B., contributing editor to “Documentary” magazine. Betty also writes about travel and film for outlets including Fine Living and USA Today.


17,50 EUR

Produkt-ID: 12597  

incl. 19% USt. zzgl. Versand

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- LA-Based Music History/Subculture Documentary
- Running Time: 104 minutes (not including bonus material).
- Features 20 tracks from SoCal rockabilly artists including vintage rockabilly, western swing, garage strolls, Mexican rock n’ roll and doo-wop.
- The only movie to give an historical overview of rockabilly as an LA music culture.
- Features over 40 interviews with a multi-generational, multi-ethnic cast.
- Features rare archival photos from personal collections plus vintage TV clips.
- Independently produced as a special interest documentary for DVD, shot entirely on miniDV.
- Shot between 2002 and 2004 with the majority of filming in 2003.
- Shot on locations throughout Los Angeles and at a rockabilly convention in Las Vegas.
- Bonus material includes outtakes, vintage 1970’s Ray Campi music video, the show that got ‘Rockin’ Ryan banned from the Viva Las Vegas, and a vintage version of the Mexican hat dance.


“Rebel Beat” is a light-hearted look at the 50-year survival of an LA underground music culture known as “rockabilly”. After a short history of rockabilly music and aspects of 1950s American culture that influence the scene today, the film features a passionate rockabilly devotee who revived the genre in the 70s with the tiny label Rollin’ Rock Records that achieved a cult following in Europe recording original rockabilly artists as well as a few emerging bands, including The Blasters. An overview of the “roots” values of the scene follows, touching on local promoters, young bands, car clubs, fashion and dance moves. The film next spotlights the influence of LA’s barrio Latinos who helped rockabilly outlive the swing fad. The film wraps with a visit to an LA promoter’s large annual Las Vegas music festival, Viva Las Vegas.


Musicians interviewed: Glen Glenn, Ray Campi, Janis Martin, Dave Gonzales (The Paladins), Big Sandy, Skip Heller, DJ Bonebrake (X), Tony Conn, Luis Arriaga (Los Wild Teens), Tony Pelaya (The Moonlight Cruisers), Omar Romero (The Stringpoppers), Graham Tichy.
Promoters/Publishers Interviewed: Ron Weiser (Rollin’ Rock Records), Reb Kennedy (Wild Records), Tom Ingram (Viva Las Vegas), Marc Bristol (Blue Suede News), Bob Timmers (Rockabilly Hall of Fame).
Scenesters Interviewed: DJ Tony, DJ Chuy, Jaynelle Cici (pinstriper), Joseph Garcia (car customizer), Isaiah Villarreal (dancer), Aaron Kahan (Burbank Choppers car club), Max (Victorville Emperors car club), Rudy Camacho (car guy), Damen Robinson (Praise the Lowered), Javier Estrella (dancer), Erica Sanchez (dancer), Christian Ortiz (dancer), Rick Garcia (scenester), Bill Acton (Fender), John and Jillian Cox-Villanueva (dancers), Celia Funez (dancer), Al Betancourt (scenster), Giovanni Verduzco (teen scenster), Nicole Marrujo (scenster).


Writer/Director/Editor: Elizabeth Blozan. Freelance magazine, TV and PR writer. Contributing editor, International Documentary Association’s “Documentary” magazine. Graduate UC Santa Cruz American Studies program. This is her first film.
Director of Photography: Bryan Donnell. Veteran film and TV cinematographer. MFA, USC School of Film & Television.
Music & Music History Consultant: Skip Heller. Noted jazz guitarist, film & TV composer, record producer and author of liner notes on over 40 albums.
Pinup Model: Bernie Dexter. One of SoCal’s best-loved pinup models and wife to rocker Levi Dexter in San Diego California.
Original Illustration: Shawn Dickinson, Noah Snodgrass, Untamed Highway Underground Comics.
Additional Camera: Jeff Scott, Robert Davidian, Rob Cammidge, Sandy Bangasser, Café, Betty Addams.
Premier Pro Technical Editing: Michael McCarthy of Jacob Rosenberg’s Formika Films.


“Johnny’s Jive” (Ray Campi, 1957)
“One Cup of Coffee” (Glen Glenn, 1958)
“Please Tease Louise” (Rockin’ Ryan and the Real Goners, Golly Gee Records, 2004)
“Major Label Blues” (Ray Campi, Rollin’ Rock Records, 1976)
“Spanky Goes to Hollywood” (The Moonlight Cruisers, 2004)
“That Certain Female” (Charlie Feathers, Rollin’ Rock Records, 1973)
“Loretta” (Ray Campi, 1958)
“Rockabilly Man” (Ray Campi, Rollin’ Rock Records, 1981)
“Don’t Ya Lie To Me” (Rip Carson, 2001)
“Caged Heat” (Rockin’ Ryan and the Real Gonners, Golly Gee Records, 2004)
“Power Shake” (The Paladins, Live 2003)
“Stay Away from Me” (Omar and the Stringpoppers, Live 2003)
“Boogie Boogie Boo” (Ray Campi, Rollin’ Rock Records, 1974)
“Feelin’ Kinda Lucky” (Big Sandy, HighTone Records, 1998)
“Baila” (The Moonlight Cruisers, 2004)
Traditional Mexican Song (Vintage mariachi band, Live 2003)
“Rebel Donna” (Little Luis y Los Wild Teens, Live 2003)
“What A Dream It’s Been” (Big Sandy, HighTone Records, 1999)
“I’ve Got a Gal” (The Lonely Blue Boys, Live 2003)
“That Rockabilly Music” (Ray Campi, Rollin’ Rock Records, 1980)
“Skeletor” (DVD Menu Music: The Moonlight Cruisers, 2004)


1954 to 1956: Rockabilly. 3 years on the pop charts…50 years underground.

Glen Glenn, original rocker takes a road-weary guitar out of a closet in his home in Ontario, California, and strums a bit as members of the cast explain why they were inspired to become “rockabillies”. Opening credits roll over footage of the crowd gathering at Spikes, a dive bar in Rosemead, as Glen arrives to play with the vintage Ray Campi instrumental “Johnny’s Jive” in the background.

Part One: California Cowboy Rock
The cast introduce the original artists of rockabilly as DJ Tony shops for records at the Pasadena Swap Meet. Glen Glenn’s rockabilly classic “One Cup of Coffee” plays under a montage of vinyl being bought and played. Rockabilly is explained by LA promoter Reb Kennedy, Glen Glenn, Ron Weiser, Janis Martin, Tony Conn, Elvis of the Three Bad Jacks and others, with a demonstration of the slappin’ bass by Ray Campi and classic rockabilly guitar licks from Graham Tichy (son of John Tichy of “Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airman”). The American cowboy, country music, early R&B and doo-wop are noted as inspirations to today’s rockabilly enthusiasts. “Please Tease Louise” by “Rockin’ Ryan and the Real Gonners” plays under a montage of original rockers and madcap 50s kids along with a listing of the lesser known rockabilly musicians. Bob Timmers, founder of the “Rockabilly Hall of Fame” explains his website and how rockabilly faded from the charts.

Part Two: Bringing Back the Beat
Ray Campi’s “Major Label Blues” plays over footage of Hollywood Boulevard’s Walk of Fame and Sunset Boulevard. Laurie Weiser explains how she met her husband, Ron Weiser, founder of Rollin’ Rock Records. The Moonlight Cruiser track “Spanky Goes to Hollywood” plays as Ron, guitarist Skip Heller and Ray Campi explain Ron’s history growing up Jewish in repressive 1950s Italy, looking to America as the land of dreams, and his move to America in the 60s where he found hippies had replaced the cowboys and sexy artists like Elvis. Skip, Ray and Ron describe the origin of Ron’s obscure Rollin’ Rock label and how Ron was the last person to record Gene “Be-Bop-A-Lula” Vincent with Rollin’ Rock’s “That Certain Female” by Charlie Feathers (made famous by Tarantino’s “Kill Bill”) in the background. Rollin’ Rock star Ray Campi is introduced with photos from Ray’s hellion days as his vintage track “Loretta” plays. A clip from the documentary “Blue Suede Shoes” helps illustrate how Ray stormed Europe in the 70s. Skip, DJ Bonebrake of X, Dave Gonzales of the Paladins and footage of The Blasters explain how Rollin’ Rock influenced LA punk in the 80s. Various cast pay their dues to Rollin’ Rock and over Campi’s “Rockabilly Man”.

Part Three: You Gotta Have Grease
A wannabe rockabilly gets a lesson in grease and the fame the Stray Cats brought to rockabilly is discussed, along with some distain for their giant gelled pompadours. Scensters Al and Javier explain why “You gotta have grease.” The cars scene is introduced as “Don’t You Lie to Me” by Rip Carson plays over a montage of hot rockabilly boys and cars. Female pinstriper Jaynelle and her father, a funny car painter from the 60s, explain how Von Dutch and his Maywood cronies created LA’s custom car culture in the 50s as Aaron of the Burbank Choppers and car customizer Joseph Garcia and others explain the inspiration for the current car scene. The Paladins play “Power Save” at a car show and Dave Gonzales describes being in a band supported by this underground scene.

Various cast describe hot rockabilly boys and girls and Rockin’ Ryan’s “Caged Heat” plays over a montage of rockabilly ladies. Javier gives us his do’s and don’ts of rockabilly fashion and explains the inspiration of his father, whose fine fashions helped him slip past immigration at the Mexican border. Promoters Charles and James along with Reb describe their efforts to keep the scene alive for all the young bands coming up. Omar Romero plays “Stay Away from Me” over a montage of young artists.

With an intro provided by Ray Campi’s quirky “Boogie Boogie Boo”, rockabilly lovebirds John and Jillian tour of their vintage love nest in Pasadena and explain how the vintage aesthetic reinforces their old-school love for hearth and home. John, Jillian, Javier and Skip introduce Big Sandy as man who brought romance to the scene and as the host of the LA rockabilly. Big Sandy’s “Feelin’ Kinda Lucky” plays over a montage of rockabilly dancers. John proposes to Jillian on stage at a Big Sandy show.

Part Four: Los Rebeldes
Introduced by vintage clips of 50s greasers on the verge of a troubled youth and a travel reel of historic Olvera Street, musician Tony Pelaya of The Moonlight Cruisers gets his car blessed at a rockabilly car show. The Moonlight Cruisers track “Baila” plays over a montage of barrio-billy culture. Rockabilly DJ Chuy gives a tour of East LA. An old-school mariachi band plays over Chuy’s tour from Olvera Street to Whittier Boulevard where Chuy stops teen-a-billy Giovanni, then drops him off at his home near the Lorena Bridge. At the bridge (a popular location for movies about LA Latino gang life) Chuy explains that he chose a rockabilly over his life as a would-be hoodlum. Chuy and Luis Arriaga of Lil’ Luis y Los Wild Teens define Mexican rock n’ roll as Luis performs “Rebel Donna” live over a montage of Latino rockabillies enjoying a backyard BBQ and a rockabilly coffee shop jam session.

Part Five: Viva The Billy!
The story wraps at the annual Viva Las Vegas convention hosted by LA promoter Tom Ingram. Big Sandy’s “What a Dream It’s Been” plays as an international crowd shops, mingles, and get autographs from original artists. Glen Glenn plays “One Cup of Coffee” to a packed room. The story closes with various upbeat cast bites. Young (and slightly nervous) doo-wop artists The Lonely Blue Boys perform their original song “I’ve Got a Gal” to a screaming audience. Closing credits roll over a late, late night Vegas hotel party over Ray Campi’s track “Rockabilly Music”. Music credits roll over a rockabilly coffee shop jam of traditional Mexican folk music.