When the Antenna opened in March, 1981, Memphis had never seen anything like it. Created as a video club before MTV was available here, it was the first place many Memphians had ever seen a music video. It was the place where this city had its first exposure to a huge array of artists who would go on to achieve worldwide fame: REM, Black Flag, The Minutemen, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Green Day, and a host of others too numerous to name. But most importantly, it provided a place for the nascent Memphis underground music scene—the punkers, the New Wavers, the jangle-poppers and the uncategorizable—to play. it was the place where at least two generations of musicians got their start, and that birthed the scene that still carries the DIY torch to this day. It was, for more than a decade, the coolest place in Memphis.
Our documentary traces the origins of the Memphis underground, from the garage rock of the 60s through the fallow period following the commercial failure of Big Star to the birth of punk rock and the Alex Chilton orchestrated creative explosion of the late 70s, early 80s. We'll tell the stories of the Klitz, Panther Burns, Neon Wheels, The Modifiers, Angerhead, Metro Waste, Pezz, Sobering Consequences, Distemper, Neighborhood Texture Jam, Impala, The Oblivians, The Grifters, and dozens of other bands whose creative output far exceeded their public profile. We'll remember Frank and Jackie Duran, the owners of a rough-and-tumble bar called the Well who gave the musical pioneers a place to play, despite the fact that they really didn't like punk rock. And we will tell the story of the founding of the Antenna club and its15 year history of music, rebellion, and heartbreak.
We have already come a long way, but we need your help. The funds we raise through this project will be used to complete principal photography, allowing us to continue work towards our 2011 premiere. Please help us bring this forgotten chapter of Memphis music history to light. Now, the story can be told.
- (40 days)