The Other F Word

You should’ve seen how high my eleven year old daughter’s eyebrows shot up when I mentioned I was blogging on The Other F Word. “There’s another one? Tellmetellmetellme!”

The Other F Word is not just a word, it’s a film. And its subjects are versed in every profanity on the planet…as evidenced in their live performances. And now they’ve been schooled on the aforementioned Other F Word as well:

FATHERHOOD.

The Other F Word film

The Other F Word

What happens when punk rockers become parents? When they go from fighting the system to becoming the system? The film follows more than twenty dad-guys from such notorious and notable bands as Black Flag, Rancid, Red Hot Chili Peppers, NOFX, Rise Against, Everclear, Pennywise, Bad Religion, Blink 182 and others. Skater Tony Hawk and BMX Rider/rocker Rick Thorne are also featured.

We learn about them growing up in the midst of the late 70s/early 80s L.A. punk scene, as products of broken homes and damaged families…and we see them emerge as the heroes, wanting to be the better fathers, the better men. Flea vows he will never be the kind of dad who lectures ‘I brought you into this world’, because it’s his kids who gave him life.

We see them tattooed and pierced while they speak eloquently about hoping to teach their children to respect people on their merit, not on what they look like. (Lars Fredrikson, Rancid)

We hear them singing “The Wheels on the Bus” in the car (Art Alexakis, Everclear) and their own songs (“Ready to Fall” Tim McIlrath, Rise Against) with their kids accompanying them. And then we hear them in front of their fans on the stage (totally NSFW!). They joke about having to buy clean versions of their own albums so they can play them in the family van (Mark Hoppus, Blink 182).

We witness them in their elements: from taking the stage…to taking their toddlers to the playground and their tweens to the Father-Daughter Dance. And we follow the progression as the children get older…and as making a living in the music business gets harder.

As photos of record stores going out of business flash across the screen, one shot really hits home: a huge gleaming new Mac store, directly across the street from a Virgin Megastore draped with a giant ‘CLOSING’ sign. Selling records has become a fantasy, while non-stop touring becomes the only viable, financial reality.

The film has both its humorous and heartbreaking moments. Jim Lindberg, the lead singer from Pennywise, admits he’s living on “Ambien and hair dye” these days. His suburban home sets the opening scene for the movie, as he is packing his bags for tour and explaining to his young daughters why he can’t take twenty Barbi dolls with him on the road. Maybe one, he tells them. (And she might get into trouble on the tour bus.) Then we follow him as he spends 81, 103, 187, 199, 208, 217 236 days away from his family. They Skype on the first day of school, the children make and mail his birthday cards to him.

Married to a 22-year veteran of the music business myself, and having worked for the last 10 years with a band that’s consistently on the road more than 100 days a year, I could totally relate. Laughing and nodding my head as Lindberg describes the tour bus’s aroma of “ass, farts and feet, with a hint of balls”, and choking up as one of the singers admits he has missed every one of his daughter’s Halloweens.

These guys started bands thinking they could change the world with their songs. Yet the message by the end of the film is clear: they have a better chance at changing the world by being better parents, by raising the future generation right. And that’s more punk than anything, after all.

Check out The Other F Word trailer here.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/adam.everhard Adam Everhard

    That looks right up my alley. I enjoy biographical films, and I like Punk, among the many genres of music that I enjoy. I’ll have to put it on my Film Bucket List. :-)

    I’m visiting from the KHEL 666 Blog Team. Thanks for your comments about our Eddie post!

    • jesstopper

      Really enjoying your blog, Adam – there aren’t that many that are focusing solely on music this year (or so it seems).

  • Cassam101

    Not heard of this but it looks interesting. I’ll keep a look out for it.

    • jesstopper

      Thanks for stopping by – I found it on Showtime this month!

  • http://twitter.com/pamelaskjolsvik Pamela Skjolsvik

    I haven’t heard of this film before. It sounds awesome!

    • jesstopper

      I found it while channel-surfing, Pam. It’s currently on Showtime, if you subscribe. Very well done!

  • http://lauramarcella.blogspot.com/ Laura Marcella

    Hello, Jessica! I haven’t heard of this film before. It seems like a fascinating look into a world most people aren’t familiar with. What a great title, too!

    Happy A to Z-ing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

    • jesstopper

      Thanks for stopping by, Laura! Yes, that’s what I love about this movie – it goes deeper than the musician persona and really captures the essence of some pretty amazing men.

  • http://twitter.com/LynneinPborough Lynne

    Not heard of it. sounds fascinating. I do wonder, when I see and hear some bands, how they’ll cope with aging and having to play their music to fans as they get older.

    • jesstopper

      we see so many musicians (jazz, blues) living to ripe old ages and I cam only assume it’s because they’ve been doing what they love. Surprisingly and happily, the same with many rockers who you thought would have burned out by now!

  • Kristena Tunstall

    It is amazing when the men who don’t want to grow suddenly have a little one in their lives and for the first time really understand what it was like for their parents in some ways. I loved the post for F.

  • http://twitter.com/DeenasDays Deena Dietrich

    love it!

  • http://www.peanutbutterandwhine.com/ Connie Gruning

    I MUST see this!! Thank you!
    Connie
    A to Z buddy
    Peanut Butter and Whine

    • jesstopper

      Thanks for stopping by, Connie – hope you do get to check the film out.

  • http://www.dadblunders.com/ Aaron Brinker

    Jessica,

    Thanks for sharing this! I really want to get to see it now. I am all about being a better parent (okay it might be part of the reason I can’t seem to catch up on the A to Z challenge either….fatherhood comes first….such is the life of a stay-at-home dad)…

    Aaron Brinker aka DadBlunders

    • jesstopper

      Thanks for taking the time to stop by, Aaron. I know, isn’t it amazing to think of all the free time we had before parenthood – how the heck did we fill all that time? I agree, kids first, blogging second! You’re doing great with the A to Z – enjoy!

  • http://profiles.google.com/brtmnr Brett Minor

    I have never heard of this, but think I will be checking it out.

    Dropping by from A to Z. First year participating.

    Brett Minor
    Transformed Nonconformist

    • jesstopper

      Just checked out your blog, Brett – looks like you’re off to a great start for your first year! Thanks for finding me here.

  • jesstopper

    Very cool – definitely share it with him! I had a ton of straight edge friends in high school/college – it’s like a genre within a genre for the punk scene. Wow, that must’ve been a cool job at Thrasher. I’m enjoying your A to Z and will definitely be back to check out more. :)

  • jesstopper

    Thanks for stopping by, Melissa. It was a really cool film.

  • Jessica

    This sounds like an interesting film. I love the idea in the ending, that they change the world by being better parents.
    By the way, you totally had me hooked with ‘the other f’ word’. I feel like your eleven year old daughter.
    Have fun with a-z.

    • jesstopper

      Ah, my hook worked! I hope I didn’t give away the ending!

  • DMac

    What a great premise…F is for Fascinating!

    • jesstopper

      Thanks, currently drooling over your Garlic post!

  • http://www.facebook.com/frank.robbins.161 Frank Robbins

    Hey Jess, wow never heard of this, but now, even tho I pretty much live it (just not with that much hair goo or the tattoos!), I feel it’s a must see!! “Homework, bath, bed!” Sound familiar?! :^) Great opener BTW..interesting how different kids are: my daughter, who has certainly heard all the “bad words”, has made it her mission not to repeat them, and sticks her fingers in her ears and “la-la-la’s” her way thru any that come on the the local pop stations (“I’m Britney, b*tch!”) that she insists on listening too in the car!! But without her, I wouldn’t be hip to “Thrift Shop”, so…
    Great blog, BTW, keep up the good work, and I’ll try to find time to read it!!!
    Can’t wait for “Digger”!!

    • jesstopper

      Thanks for stopping by, Frank! Yes, you of all people will probably really appreciate this film. When’s the last time you weren’t on tour for Halloween? Check it out if you can!

  • http://www.bibsey.co.uk Bibsey Mama

    Ha ha. “I get up a lot earlier now…” Don’t we all. Going to watch this.