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$45,490
pledged of $75,000pledged of $75,000 goal
281
backers
15days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Thu, October 3 2019 4:02 PM UTC +00:00.

Born Innocent: The Redd Kross Story

There's a case to be made that Redd Kross is the seminal Los Angeles band of the last 40 years. And BORN INNOCENT is gonna make it.

Born Innocent: The Redd Kross Story

There's a case to be made that Redd Kross is the seminal Los Angeles band of the last 40 years. And BORN INNOCENT is gonna make it.

$45,490
pledged of $75,000pledged of $75,000 goal
281
backers
15days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Thu, October 3 2019 4:02 PM UTC +00:00.

About

ABOUT THE FILM

Formed in 1978 by brothers Jeff and Steve McDonald, and still actively playing and recording today, Redd Kross are the ultimate rock and roll lifers. They have influenced independent music in ways that beg to be acknowledged. From helping invent Beach Punk to influencing the Grunge and Glam Metal movements, Redd Kross have maintained the highest level of musical integrity, originality and quality for over forty years. 

Born Innocent will introduce a wider audience to two of the coolest people alive. The McDonald Brothers embody Southern California, rock and roll, and what it means to be an artist.

ABOUT REDD KROSS

In 1978, in the Southern California beach suburb of Hawthorne – home of The Beach Boys – two brothers, Jeff McDonald, age 15, and Steven McDonald, age 11, started a band called The Tourists. They wrote a set of songs including “Annette’s Got the Hits” and “Clorox Girls” that would become classics and define the genre known as “Beach Punk”. The first time The Tourists played in front of anyone was at Black Flag’s legendary rehearsal space, The Church in Hermosa Beach. They got the older band’s seal of approval, along with a new name – Red Cross. They were so young that their first studio recordings were financed with money from Steve’s paper route. 

But when Jeff saw hardcore being codified into a set of musical and fashion rules, he rebelled. Red Cross was the first band from the hardcore scene to grow their hair long, and their second record, Born Innocent, was unlike anything that had come out of the underground. It’s a record drenched in 70’s pop culture references: Linda Blair, Tatum O’Neal, Beyond the Valley of the Dolls… even a cover of a Charles Manson song. Steven Malkmus of Pavement listed it as one of his top five biggest influences, and Mark Arm of Mudhoney has said that it was the record that got all the Seattle grunge bands started.

Red Cross fought back against hardcore’s anti-rock star stance, dressing in outlandish thrift-store-glam stage costumes like their idols, The New York Dolls. 

The high school-age McDonalds received a letter from the International Red Cross threatening legal action if they continued to use the name “Red Cross”. Jeff’s response was to change their name to “Redd Kross” in an homage to comedian Redd Foxx. With their new name, Redd Kross continued to evolve their sound. Their Neurotica record would prove to be one of the crucial influences on the Grunge scene in Seattle that changed music in the 1990’s. 

 In 1987, Redd Kross played a show at the Crescent Ballroom in Tacoma that was attended by members of Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden. They proved that a band could have a heavy guitar attack and still have great pop melodies, an approach that Nirvana would take to world domination.  

When pop music caught up to what they were doing and grunge was on the rise, Redd Kross pivoted again, making a sugary bubblegum record for their major label debut, Third Eye, which sported a nude Sofia Coppola on the cover. And while they had previously starred in the cult classics Desperate Teenage Lovedolls and Lovedolls Superstar, the 90’s saw them star in their first studio movie. Before there was The Brady Bunch Movie, there was The Spirit of 76, a 70’s nostalgia movie that saw Jeff and Steve starring alongside David Cassidy, Leif Garrett and Devo

Their next evolution had them perfecting a beefy power pop sound, with their records Phaseshifter and Show World. This was the phase that garnered them fans from Robert Plant to Joe Elliott of Def Leppard to Dave Davies of The Kinks.

While chart-topping success in America eluded them, they have toured the world to massive acclaim, treated like rock gods in the UK, Spain and Japan. Steve has played with Beck, Hole, Sparks, and Tenacious D. He currently plays in both The Melvins and Off! Redd Kross have always followed their artistic muse, wherever it led. Forty years later, they are still going strong, heading out on tour in support of their seventh studio album, Beyond the Door.

 Redd Kross has long been a cult band, a band’s band, a secret code word among music fans that signifies taste and cool. But unlike many cult bands, their music is eminently accessible. If you like The Beatles or The Ramones or Cheap Trick, basically if you’re a rock and roll fan, you’ll like Redd Kross. 

Update! New Reward Tier! 

For those of you asking how to get more than one of our great rewards, simply send us a message and we'll walk you through the process. We don't want you missing out on that rare album or backyard concert!

Speaking of rewards.  We've got a new one. Back in the 90's the coolest of the cool people belonged to the official Redd Kross Army Fan Club. Jon Krop of atomicpopmonkey.com has redesigned the classic Redd Kross Army logo for this Kickstarter campaign. Check it out!

We are offering a Redd Kross Army Bundle. For $125 you get an exclusive Redd Kross Army t-shirt, plus a Redd Kross Army sticker, plus a DVD of the finished film.  If you want to snag this bundle and already pledged, send us a message. If you haven't pledged already..... what are you waiting for?

By the way, Jon from atomicpopmonkey.com also designed our thank you postcards, which are super cool in their own right.

So don't wait, pledge today. And tell everyone you know! Thanks again for helping us tell the amazing story of Redd Kross.  We couldn't do it without you.

WHO WE ARE

Director Andrew Reich is an Emmy Award-winning television comedy writer/showrunner, best known as an Executive Producer on Friends. He has written and produced television pilots featuring stars such as Zac Efron, Candice Bergen, and Zachary Levi. He discovered Redd Kross as a punk rock teen in Morristown, New Jersey, and has been a lifelong fan. He has waited years for someone to tell their story before deciding he needed to do it himself.

Producer Julian Cautherley is an Emmy-Award winning filmmaker whose projects have participated at Sundance, Berlin, South By Southwest, and TriBeca Film Festivals and have twice been shortlisted for an Academy Award.

INTERVIEWS WILL INCLUDE

We have been blown away by the cooperation and enthusiasm from Jeff and Steve McDonald and have already filmed hours of interviews with them over the last 2 years as well as researched and found hundreds of archival material. We have also interviewed Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth) Buzz Osbourne and Dale Crover (The Melvins) and original Red Cross member Greg Hetson (Bad Religion, Circle Jerks). With your support we hope to film additional interviews with most if not all of the following fans of the band and key figures in the Redd Kross story:

  • Keith Morris (Black Flag, Circle Jerks, Off!)
  • Charlotte Caffey (The Go-Go’s)
  • Anna Waronker (That Dog)
  • Rodney Bingenheimer (KROQ)
  • Mike Watt (The Minutemen)
  • Chuck Dukowski (Black Flag)
  • Pat Smear (The Germs, Nirvana)
  • Kim Gordon (Sonic Youth)
  • Jonathan Poneman (Sub Pop Records)
  • Mark Arm (Mudhoney)
  • Kim Thayil (Soundgarden)
  • Jeff Ament (Pearl Jam)
  • A.C. Newman (The New Pornographers)
  • Dave Markey (Director, Desperate Teenage Lovedolls and The Year That Punk Broke)
  • Jordan Schwartz (We Got Power fanzine)
  • Milo Aukerman (The Descendents)
  • Lee Burger (Burger Records)
  • Anthony Kiedis (Red Hot Chili Peppers)
  • Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers)
  • Mac McCaughan (Superchunk, Merge Records)
  • Gibby Haynes (Butthole Surfers)
  • Steven Malkmus (Pavement)
  • J. Mascis (Dinosaur Jr.)
  • Greg Dulli (Afghan Whigs)
  • Mark Lanegan (Screaming Trees)
  • Jack Antonoff (fun., Bleachers)
  • Ron and Russell Mael (Sparks)

We  also plan to film interviews with current or former Redd Kross band members: Brian Reitzell, Robert Hecker, Gere Fennelly, Dez Cadena, Janet Housden, Tracy Lea, Roy McDonald, Ron Reyes, and Jason Shapiro.

Risks and challenges

WHAT HAPPENS IF WE DON’T REACH OUR GOAL

Kickstarter is all or nothing. If we don’t raise our goal, we don’t get any of the funds. Donors pledge the amounts, but don’t actually pay until the goal is reached and the funding deadline has passed. Everything helps! When we meet our goal we will be able to film the remaining interviews and get us deep into editing.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

This film is only going to be possible with the help of you (Redd Kross fans, punk fans, power pop fans, bubblegum fans, Los Angeles history fans, 70’s “trash” culture fans, rock doc fans, independent film fans, and anyone who loves rock and roll!). We want this to be your film just as much as it is ours. The more people who participate, the more chance we have of getting the story out. To help out, please Twitter it, “Like” us on Facebook, email this Kickstarter link to friends or people who you think might like Redd Kross and this film.
We are also actively looking for any archival footage of the band. If you've got video or photos from any era of Redd Kross, send it our way!
Thank you for reading this and for your support!

CAN WE EXCEED OUR GOAL?

Absolutely! Every penny we receive is going towards making the best film we can possibly make. Therefore, anything we can make beyond or goal can be put towards covering all of the many unexpected costs that will no doubt occur along the way.

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    Your Name in the Credits

    Maybe you're not into material things. Good for you! Experience the full magnitude of our gratitude by seeing your name on the movie screen. You will also receive a link to a digital download of the film.

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    Signed Poster + Blu-Ray + Postcard

    A copy of the movie poster, signed by Jeff and Steve McDonald PLUS a copy of the Blu-Ray or DVD PLUS a thank you postcard from the director

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    Redd Kross Army T-Shirt Bundle

    Back in the 90's the coolest people belonged to the Redd Kross Army Fan Club. We've got a t-shirt with an exclusive redesign of the classic Redd Kross Army logo. See campaign update for an image. You not only get a t-shirt, you get a Redd Kross Army sticker and a DVD of the finished film. Join the Army!

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    Signed Ltd Edition Poster + Blu-Ray

    A signed, numbered, limited to 100 copies edition of the poster PLUS a Blu-Ray

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    Jeff McDonald Handwritten Lyric Sheet

    Jeff McDonald handwritten lyric sheet of your favorite Redd Kross song, signed and personalized to you by Jeff! Recipients of this offering will receive a backer update with information on how to submit your favorite song and the name you want Jeff to dedicate the lyric sheet to. You'll also get a special 'Thank You' with your name in the rolling end credits of the film!

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    Rare! Hot Issue Test Pressing

    An amazing find. Jeff turned up 3 test pressings of Hot Issue from the original release on RK Fashion Records. Non-test pressings have sold for $100, so this is a steal.

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    Rare! Mis-print Teen Babes LP Covers

    Jeff found a batch of misprinted record covers from the Teen Babes from Monsanto reissue on the band's RK Fashion label. They have photos, but no text. Jeff will personalize each one with his artwork so they are one of a kind. Won't find these anywhere else!

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    Lunch with Jeff and Steve!

    Your own private hang out with the McDonald Brothers. The Redd Kross founders will meet you at Bob's Donuts at the Original Farmers Market at 3rd and Fairfax in Los Angeles for two hours of stories and answers to your burning questions. Bob's Donuts is a very special place for the brothers. Want to know why? Pledge and find out!

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    Punk Rock Tour of the South Bay

    Truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! Jeff and Steve McDonald will give you a driving tour of key sites in the history of Los Angeles punk rock, complete with stories only they can tell. Want to see the location of The Church, the legendary Black Flag rehearsal space featured in Decline of Western Civilization? How about the childhood homes and rehearsal spaces of members of The Circle Jerks, The Descendents, The Minutemen and Black Flag? And they will throw in some key historic sites related to that other great band from Hawthorne, The Beach Boys. Your chance to spend an unforgettable day with Jeff and Steve.

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    Private Redd Kross Concert!

    If you are within a 50 mile radius of Los Angeles, your dream of a private Redd Kross concert could come true. We're not talking some acoustic shit either. We're talking full-electric. You consult on the set list. You experience the rock and roll ecstasy of Redd Kross playing in your backyard or living room or treehouse for your closest friends. A once in a lifetime opportunity!

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