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DID YOU READ

Lou Adler on “Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains”

Lou Adler on “Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains” (photo)

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How did you decide to cast Lane?

I liked her in “A Little Romance,” which showed that she could act. She had a certain quality about her in the meetings that was tough and vulnerable at the same time, which is unusual for a 15-year-old. That was what we were looking for. We were looking for that vulnerability, but also somebody who could be very tough when she had to be. Diane seemed to have those qualities.

How tough was it convincing punk musicians to take part in a big studio film?

Surprisingly easy. When I look back at it — to be able to get two of the Sex Pistols, and Simonon from The Clash, they were just coming from the right environment from the music scene, to understand what we were trying to do within [the story’s fictional] groups. I look back and am sort of surprised that it was fairly easy to get them. I’d only done one film before that, so it’s not as if I was a director that they knew. Fee Waybill, who is really great in the film, he was an easy choice for that, because of the work that he did with the Tubes.

What compelled you to make a film about punk rock?

You know, I was making a movie about the music industry. Even though the film was probably originally written as a punk film, the film that I saw in it was much broader than that. It also took in the exploitation throughout the industry, and also the media. Those were the things that attracted me to the script.

It strikes me as particularly cynical about the industry.

I didn’t realize I was that cynical until I made the film.

So you didn’t set out to make a critique?

No. As I said, it was the second time I had ever directed a film. I was pretty much going on instinct and knowledge of the music business and knowledge of the different types of music groups. My interpretation of the script probably was a little softer than the script itself, but it was much more from an insider perspective, seeing those things happen from the inside. And not with a cynical attitude towards them, but just wanting a chance to explore them — or expose them. But I wasn’t trying to make a statement that it was wrong or right. I just wanted to show it.

How did your experiences working in the music business inform the film?

I think I was on both sides of it. I think I was probably one of those that exploited, and one of those that had seen exploitation. It was just the way the industry ran, and it’s not to say that it’s right or wrong. It’s like I said — I was probably a part of it. I produced and managed groups, and I probably did some of those things. That’s why they were easy for me to put on film. Or, at least, I was accused of doing some of those things.

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What was the music industry’s response?

I don’t think anybody knew I made the film. [laughs] I don’t think there’s been a comment until now. Really, the film was probably screened in a theater once, and then really late night cable. So the people that found it definitely weren’t the executives at record companies.

Did you always plan on ending the film with the Saints music video?

No. [laughs] And if you ask me today why I did it, I don’t know that I can answer the question except to say that I could have ended the film before that, and probably had a more subtle way of showing that the group had some success when it came over the boombox. But sitting around for a length of time, I just decided to really show it. It might have been that I had the idea of the Andrews Sisters. I don’t know. A lot of it is so far back, I don’t recall why I did that. But obviously, it was to show the success of the group. It was sort of tailored after The Go-Go’s, who were big by that time.

Do you feel any differently about the music industry today?

There’s a very thin line between promotion and exploitation. My son, Cisco Adler, is in a group called Shwayze, which is doing really well. And I’ve watched the label, Suretone, promote that group over a year before the release, which is today’s music business. There’s a thin line, but it is promotion. It’s how you do it. Who’s doing it and what their reasons are…the person that was doing it with the Stains also did it with the group before, and he shows that he would do it with a group in the future. He had no particular passion for the group. He had passion for exploitation. I think it’s different now, although I’m not that active in the music business anymore.

To what do you attribute the film’s enduring popularity?

I think we hit a nerve with girls, and some of the girls who became rock stars, Courtney Love and others like her, were real fans of the film. If somebody connected that [Courtney Love and the film], they became fans of the film. If they could see who Courtney Love was — what she was thinking about, how she acted, how she dressed, what her attitude was — we showed that attitude in the Stains film. And that must have hit a nerve. Because I heard back mostly from women. Although Jon Bon Jovi is a big fan — I think he has a Stains tattoo, in the same way that we use it in the film. But I think he also dated Diane Lane for a while.

[Photos: “Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains,” Paramount Pictures, 1982]

“Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains” will be available on DVD on September 16th.

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Hacked In

Funny or Die Is Taking Over

FOD TV comes to IFC every Saturday night.

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We’ve been fans of Funny or Die since we first met The Landlord. That enduring love makes it more than logical, then, that IFC is totally cool with FOD hijacking the airwaves every Saturday night. Yes, that’s happening.

The appropriately titled FOD TV looks like something pulled from public access television in the nineties. Like lo-fi broken-antenna reception and warped VHS tapes. Equal parts WTF and UHF.

Get ready for characters including The Shirtless Painter, Long-Haired Businessmen, and Pigeon Man. They’re aptly named, but for a better sense of what’s in store, here’s a taste of ASMR with Kelly Whispers:

Watch FOD TV every Saturday night during IFC’s regularly scheduled movies.

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Wicked Good

See More Evil

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is on Hulu.

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Okay, so you missed the entire first season of Stan Against Evil. There’s no shame in that, per se. But here’s the thing: Season 2 is just around the corner and you don’t want to lag behind. After all, Season 1 had some critical character development, not to mention countless plot twists, and a breathless finale cliffhanger that’s been begging for resolution since last fall. It also had this:

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The good news is that you can catch up right now on Hulu. Phew. But if you aren’t streaming yet, here’s a basic primer…

Willards Mill Is Evil

Stan spent his whole career as sheriff oblivious to the fact that his town has a nasty curse. Mostly because his recently-deceased wife was secretly killing demons and keeping Stan alive.

Demons Really Want To Kill Stan

The curse on Willards Mill stipulates that damned souls must hunt and kill each and every town sheriff, or “constable.” Oh, and these demons are shockingly creative.

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They Also Want To Kill Evie

Why? Because Evie’s a sheriff too, and the curse on Willard’s Mill doesn’t have a “one at a time” clause. Bummer, Evie.

Stan and Evie Must Work Together

Beating the curse will take two, baby, but that’s easier said than done because Stan doesn’t always seem to give a damn. Damn!

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Beware of Goats

It goes without saying for anyone who’s seen the show: If you know that ancient evil wants to kill you, be wary of anything that has cloven feet.

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Season 2 Is Lurking

Scary new things are slouching towards Willards Mill. An impending darkness descending on Stan, Evie and their cohort – eviler evil, more demony demons, and whatnot. And if Stan wants to survive, he’ll have to get even Stanlier.

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is now streaming right now on Hulu.

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SO EXCITED!!!

Reminders that the ’90s were a thing

"The Place We Live" is available for a Jessie Spano-level binge on Comedy Crib.

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Unless you stopped paying attention to the world at large in 1989, you are of course aware that the ’90s are having their pop cultural second coming. Nobody is more acutely aware of this than Dara Katz and Betsy Kenney, two comedians who met doing improv comedy and have just made their Comedy Crib debut with the hilarious ’90s TV throwback series, The Place We Live.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Dara: It’s everything you loved–or loved to hate—from Melrose Place and 90210 but condensed to five minutes, funny (on purpose) and totally absurd.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Betsy: “Hey Todd, why don’t you have a sip of water. Also, I think you’ll love The Place We Live because everyone has issues…just like you, Todd.”

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IFC: When you were living through the ’90s, did you think it was television’s golden age or the pop culture apocalypse?


Betsy: I wasn’t sure I knew what it was, I just knew I loved it!


Dara: Same. Was just happy that my parents let me watch. But looking back, the ’90s honored The Teen. And for that, it’s the golden age of pop culture. 

IFC: Which ’90s shows did you mine for the series, and why?

Betsy: Melrose and 90210 for the most part. If you watch an episode of either of those shows you’ll see they’re a comedic gold mine. In one single episode, they cover serious crimes, drug problems, sex and working in a law firm and/or gallery, all while being young, hot and skinny.


Dara: And almost any series we were watching in the ’90s, Full House, Saved By the Bell, My So Called Life has very similar themes, archetypes and really stupid-intense drama. We took from a lot of places. 

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IFC: How would you describe each of the show’s characters in terms of their ’90s TV stereotype?

Dara: Autumn (Sunita Mani) is the femme fatale. Robin (Dara Katz) is the book worm (because she wears glasses). Candace (Betsy Kenney) is Corey’s twin and gives great advice and has really great hair. Corey (Casey Jost) is the boy next door/popular guy. Candace and Corey’s parents decided to live in a car so the gang can live in their house. 
Lee (Jonathan Braylock) is the jock.

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Dara: Because everyone’s feeling major ’90s nostalgia right now, and this is that, on steroids while also being a totally new, silly thing.

Delight in the whole season of The Place We Live right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. It’ll take you back in all the right ways.