Sweet Jesus. The 30th Anniversary Edition of Roger Corman’s Rock N’ Roll High School. Sure, I may have been one and change when it was originally released, but as I consider myself the Riff Randell of my former high school, I have eaten this movie’s face several times. I was a big haired rock n’ roller who not only camped out for concert tickets but earned the senior-in-high-school superlative “Most Likely To Skip School.”
This flick continues to stand the test of time by way of rebellion and attitude and horny teenagers. Somewhere in every high school across America lies the feeling of an oppressive administration and dream of meeting your favorite band. Sure, now it may be a shitastic band like Mudvayne, but some aspects of growing up never change. Every school still has an Eaglebauer dealing out ID’s and drugs or something teens want but can’t get their hands on. The cross section of Vince Lombardi High was the same as every person’s school even if your desired dealings or genre was different.
I do not find it coincidental the high school in the movie was VLHS and mine was LVHS or that our colors were both dark green, yellow and white. Those weren’t the only similarities between Vince Lombardi and Loudoun Valley High School. Valley was also full of rockers biding their time until the next rock show. I also dreamed of getting songs to my favorite band to play rather than doing them with my band, even though we were pretty badass for the time. I cannot tell a lie, watching this movie again brought back the sentiment pretty hard. If only…
My memories of rushing off to rock shows are saturated by the 9:30 Club and not so much by the Roxy. That happened years later when I ran off to Los Angeles to achieve rock stardom. That really worked out. Still, I feel like I’m in the crowd jumping up and down and losing my bowels during the concert scene in the movie.
While you may shrug and feel this reeks of another repackaged oldie, if you’re a fan or a rocker who just plain missed the boat on this one, it’s worth the visit. The extras include commentary from director Allan Arkush, interviews, outtakes from the Roxy and a bunch of other cool shit to make this DVD even more worth it.
Reflecting upon the parallels of this movie and my own life, I may be wrong about some things. I’ve accepted the stinging realization that I was and am not nearly as cool as Riff Randell but at least I have bigger boobs. I did however, much to the dismay of the late Johnny Ramone, get him to sign a bootleg vinyl at the now defunct Tower Records Sunset. You guessed it. It was “Live at The Roxy.”