We all have our dreams, right? Some of them come true, some of them don’t, but we should remember one guy most rockers loved even if he was a fictional character. His name was Chris “Izzy” Cole, the second lead singer of popular band Steel Dragon. Love that guy had for that one band is unexplainable. It led him to even become their lead singer and to see what is really going on in the world of sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll. Yes, it’s the movie called “Rock Star”, directed by Mister Stephen Herek in 2001. The movie has the best reviews, score 9 out of 10 and it’s one of the first movies that showed us the real life and a little bit of bad side of rock stars’ lives. I think most of us watched it and everyone knows that one song, “Stand Up and Shout”. I know it better than some songs of my favourite bands, really.
The story starts in a small town with rehearsal of a real tribute band to Steel Dragon. In that scene we see a band that looks like just a regular band in the ’90s, but when they come to their show in LA, we can see that they look exactly the same as the major heavy metal band Steel Dragon. Some will say they are just a cover band, some would say it’s sad to look like others like “copy / paste” but that devotion they had to image and music of that band was beyond those stories.
Problems in the band started on the concert of Chris’ tribute band, with an expected fight between the guitar player and singer. Chris Cole was expelled from the band, but then the real story begins. I am not going to tell you what happened next. Most of you already know. But here are some important parts.
This story is not just about a guy whose dreams come true. To be honest, Chris has never thought someone can replace his idol Bobby Beers. This is a story about life, growing up and the other side of metal culture. As every major music culture, metal also has its jet set, its tabloids, dirty stories and lies. Chris became a part of it. One important scene is their really big concert where Chris for the thousandth time said his famous sentence he really believed in the beginning of his shining career. It says: “I am just a regular guy who grew up with posters of these guys on my walls. Now I am one of them. So dreams do come true, follow your dreams man, follow your dreams ’cause we all die young“!
And regularly, the schedule of songs said: “We All Die Young”. The song began but he didn’t cheer to that as he always did. He said it so fast and without soul. In that moment he realised that nothing can replace his home, girlfriend, friends who always stand there supporting him… Yes, there were tons of girls, money, drugs and booze but it never fulfilled him. He left peacefully. Only their manager understood and he wasn’t even mad. They looked at each other and that was it. One emotional scene, I admit.
That’s a strange thing about those major bands that were popular in the period of 80s and 90s. Most of them had some kind of spiritual awakening. They didn’t even care about how they look in public, what they are going to say or how they are going to play. Most of them came back to old pathways of rock star life but without much cameras and tabloid front pages. Chris didn’t. He came back home and sang in a grunge band, without long hair, money and star attitude. He grew up and continued a normal life.
What we all loved were the songs from this movie. When you type it on YouTube it also says Steel Dragon but it wasn’t like that. Most of the songs on the soundtrack were made by Zakk Wylde (the lead guitar of Steel Dragon in the movie) but not many people know who was actually singing these songs. Us kids thought that they found a really good singer / actor, Mister Mark Wahlberg, and that he was the singer we know it but not with those vocal abilities. In most concerts and the audition scene, the voice was taken by Mister Miljenko Matijević, the lead singer from the popular band called Steel Heart. “We All Die Young” was his song but after the movie they even had big popularity, of course. “Stand Up and Shout” or “Blood Pollution” were sang by him in the beginning of the movie but replaced by Jeff Scott Soto who played with Wylde for years.
Some inner stories circled. There was a story about Steel Heart and there was a story about Jeff but no, it was dedicated to those who will understand this story full of adrenaline and honesty. Some less important facts are the participation of Jennifer Aniston as Chris’ girlfriend, who first understood all the lies and the bad sides, but her role was important because she just let him be what he thought he is in that moment and, of course, he came back to her.
I always recommend this movie especially to younger rockers because if you are not falling in love with the movie, it’s cruel to say, but you are not a part of rock ‘n’ roll world. So, watch “Rock Star” and enjoy.