HOLLYWOOD, California — There are bands that sell millions of albums but suck. There are awesome bands that never sell any albums, take the hint and vanish quickly.
And then there's Anvil.
"The origins of Anvil go back to 1973, when I met Robb at a jam session and we decided that we were gonna rock forever," Steve "Lips" Kudlow proudly explained. "And we have."
This week, the never-say-die members of the world's longest-running heavy-metal act got their just desserts: the red-carpet premiere of a documentary in their honor, attended by the likes of Ryan Gosling, Dustin Hoffman and John Mayer. And while the band is the first to admit that most people have probably never heard of them, the evening's A-list emcee insisted that the new film [url id="http://www.mtv.com/movies/movie/376925/moviemain.jhtml"]"Anvil! The Story of Anvil"[/url] will change that.
"I saw Anvil in Toronto [where] I grew up," Keanu Reeves remembered, moments before heading inside to the legendary Egyptian Theater to introduce the film. "I remember seeing Anvil posters on telephone poles. Both the film and Anvil, the guys, have just been inspiring — their life, their passion, the friendship that you see in the film, the family that you see in the film. [Their story is filled with] some really good, solid life lessons."
Including the lesson that when your life story is co-opted for a movie — which turns out to be a comedy — that doesn't mean you should give up your dream.
"When '[This is] Spinal Tap' came out, people thought it was real — and, ironically, ours is a real story and people don't believe it's real," director (and ex-Anvil roadie) Sacha Gervasi laughed, comparing his new doc to the 1984 classic that portrayed a clueless band with few fans, little money and extremely poor luck tempered only by a need to bang their heads. "[Anvil] did write a song called 'Thumb Hang,' which is about the Spanish Inquisition; their amps do go up to 11. But beyond that, which is the first few minutes of the movie, it really is a portrait of these two friends who've persevered for nearly 40 years. Yes, it's kind of funny, but at a certain point it's really about deeper things."
"I'm a fan of the film," Reeves agreed. "I love this movie a lot."
"In reality, most bands don't ever make it," former "Headbangers Ball" host Riki Rachtman marveled, who said that out of all the acts he covered on his show, Anvil was the last band he expected to get their own movie. "And even the bands that make it, eventually, are gonna have to get real jobs. Anvil never did."
"Listen, none of us would have ever imagined that a movie would introduce us to the real entire world," co-founder Robb "Geza" Reiner grinned, getting ready to head inside with Lips for the long-awaited payoff to their headbanging tenacity. "This is great."
Check out everything we've got on "Anvil! The Story of Anvil."
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