John Roecker is a fucking rarity. He somehow skirts the line of being one of the best humans I've ever met on the planet and yet, one of the more depraved. A sweet man who's been incredibly supportive of my career, but also the man that insisted I touch his original painting by John Wayne Gacy. He has an active Facebook presence, yet is extremely proud to have never sent a single text message to anyone. When we once spent an hour trying to gently guide a humingbird out of his house, we had to move his actual human skeleton out of the way to do so. I suppose it's through these types of clashing duality that his art and films are able to perfectly capture the low-fi, punk rock aesthetic that so many people constantly fail at.
How I met John: Live Freaky, Die Freaky
In 2004 I was still living in Middletown, Ohio and paying extra attention to anything cool taking place in Southern California as I was plotting my inevitable move there. Around this time the name John Roecker and his film Live Freaky Die Freaky began to pop onto my radar. As soon as I read the cast list and description of this incredibly fucked up premise, not only was I sold, but I immediately purchased a LFDF shirt for myself via the Machete Mfg website.
Flash forward a few years and I was living in Fullerton, CA while attending CSUF. Though I should have been studying, I spent most of my time working and hanging around Black Hole Records. It was then that I began to hear rumblings of LFDF actually coming out. In early January the store received some publicity material announcing the release date of January 17th, 2006 and I immediately took to the internet to see if there was to be a premiere. Because if so? There was no way in hell I was going to miss it.
Finally, I hit the jackpot. I got hold of the social media manager of the show and told him that I represented Black Hole Records and that we were interested in promoting the hell out of the DVD sales. He bought it and invited my then-girlfriend and I to the premiere.
The night started when John Doe (from X) and Rancid came out to do some acoustic songs. They played everything from classics from their back catalog to Ramones, Clash, and Green Day covers. It was pretty epic to see the biggest band in punk rock on such a small stage with the who's who of Punk royalty watching them. Then they played Live Freaky, Die Freaky. A gross, drug-addled, account of the Manson murders drenched in stop-motion puppet-sex and musical numbers. It was fucking genius. I sat there and watched these people bask in crude, John Waters' style humor and love it. Standing there was legitimately the first time it occurred to me that I could make my own movie.
|Rodney Redbottom Premiere|
Heart Like a Hand Grenade:
|My Green Day CD Collection|
Now, I do remember talk of John shooting a Green Day documentary while the band was recording their album American Idiot, but when I didn't hear anything about it for a few years I assumed it had fizzled out. I couldn't have been more wrong. Evidently not only was the doc done, but it had actually screened in a (to my understanding) four hour cut at The Egyptian on March 25th, 2009. How that slipped under my radar I still haven't figured out. A few people have reported that night that John mentioned that it may be released on the album's 10th anniversary. That ended up not being too far from the truth.
|Green Day Wall|
|Everywhere Oct 15th|
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