New York has CBGB, Boston had The Rat.
This is a story that's been waiting almost 20 years to be told! I've been working on it for more than 3 years... but got derailed by an accident that stole more than a year of my life to physical therapy and doctors... So now I'm trying to KickStart it back to life!
We're collecting stories told by people who went there, musicians who played there, people who worked there. These are Real Stories by Real People. We've already interviewed many band members that played there, representing the rich local music scene: Willie Alexander, Asa Brebner (of "The Mezz" and Robin Lane), Dave Minehan (of "The Neighborhoods"), Billy Connors (of "Boize"), Carl Biancucci (of "Classic Ruins") and more.
We're hoping to incorporate a wide variety of live performance videos from the 1970s to the 1990s, to really show the sweaty, sexy, dark mystique that epitomized the scene. There was nothing else like it, then or now.
The "Rathskeller" restaurant/bar/nightclub was more commonly known as "The Rat" in and around Boston. EVERYONE in the music business played there: the Cars, Joan Jett, the Ramones, Sonic Youth... thousands of bands, from local to national to international stars. If you were in a band in the Boston area from the 1970s to the 1990s, you had to play there. It is a Landmark in Music History.
We have approximately 1/2 the interviews we need for the project... But we need help to get more interviews shot and vintage videos released, as well as final editing... So we're reaching out to you all.
We're not just looking for money. We want your input: Spread the Word, and let me know if you have any Photos, Videos, stories, contacts with musicians that played there, anything that could help us tell the story. And Spread the Word.
Be in the movie! If you played at the Rat, or just went there and have stories you'd like to tell, contact me.
Here's how your money would be spent:
Filming interviews (including equipment and travel), editing, obtaining releases (for vintage footage from bands), more editing, and printing DVDs.
I'll be posting updates at TrueAgeMedia.com with video clips, photos, etc. as we go along.
The project is being produced and directed by Andrew Szava-Kovats, producer of the documentaries:
"Grindstone Redux: the Story of the 1980s Underground Music Network" (awarded Official Selection at the West Hollywood International Film Festival)
"The Last Farm in Lowell" (awarded Massachusetts Cultural Council Grant)
"The Last Pow-Wow Oak" (awarded Massachusetts Cultural Council Grant)
Risks and challenges
Although we have a variety of interviews, we have been challenged in our efforts to obtain videos of bands who performed at the Rat. They have been hard to find. This is obviously a hurdle, as video content is important to creating the Energy and Historic Feel we need! If we cannot get enough videos, then we may have to abandon the project.
Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Our goal is to create a 90 minute Documentary Movie, which may or may not get TV or Internet distribution. But if we get the material we need, then we will definitely produce a retail-ready DVD package.