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Director Penelope Spheeris Explains Kiss' Gene Simmons & Paul Stanley's Scenes In Decline Doc


Jimmy Kay from Canada's The Metal Voice recently spoke to Hollywood filmmaker Penelope Spheeris about her documentaries (The Decline of Western Civilization, part 1-3) and her feature films (Wayne's World etc..) as well as her upcoming documentary that was shelved for 20 years 'We Sold Our Soul For Rock and Roll' OzzFest


Gene Simmons Photo by Perrin Wolfson

Watch Full interview here

When asked about the upcoming never released 20 year old documentary 'We Sold our Soul for Rock and Roll' OzzFest filmed in 1999

"I did go to the motion picture Academy Museum because they screened 'We sold our souls for rock and roll' recently which is a movie that I did with Sharon and Ozzy (Osbourne) 20 years ago and it was never released. It has Black Sabbath, original Black Sabbath, Slipknot, Rob Zombie, System of a Down um it's got Godsmack, Fear Factory, 10 bands in it. With Buckethead playing guitar in a cemetery. It's a great film and Sharon (Osbourne) says she's going to release it now after 20 years. I went on a tour bus and went to like 30 cities and filmed all the 10 bands. So it's really in my opinion my best documentary, no decline three is. But anyways, my second best documentary is 'We Sold ourselves for Rock and Roll' and Sharon says she's going to release it soon. It's like you are going on tour at the Ozzfest and you're seeing all these bands and I respect the bands. Slayer is in the movie. Whatever City we went to, for example San Francisco we were there and I went oh where can I film Slayer ah uh Alcatraz (prison).. okay. Slipknot we're in D.C. where I can film Slipknot? At the National Monument, so you see Slipknot walking around at the National monument in front of Abraham Lincoln. I put them (Bands) in different locations and I went backstage with all the band and Ozzy. A lot of Ozzy did a lot of stuff with Ozzy backstage. I worked three years on that movie and it never got released. I used to wake up in the morning, lay in bed and cry for a half an hour before I got out of bed because I never got the movie released. And now I mean it's a historical document at the 1999 Ozzfest. I am gonna get in touch with her (Sharon Osbourne) next week though and do whatever I can to help her get the movie out."


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When asked about Kiss' Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons scenes in The Decline of Western Civilization Part 2:The Metal Years.

"Gene Simmons is remarkably intelligent. I don't think people really understand that, he kind of acts stupid sometimes but he's really flippin' smart and so is Paul (Stanley). I thought the thing to do would be to have the subjects choose the location that they were going to be filmed in. So I said to Paul where do you want me to film you and he said in bed with three girls or was it four I don't remember? And then Gene said he just didn't want to do anything tacky and I said well what do you want to do and he said well how about we film me with a bunch of chicks walking around with trashy lingerie. I said oh great so we won't do anything tacky but we will do that. (laughs). I love those guys. They're a great team. You know they really balance each other out."

When asked if she will do a Decline of Western Civilization part 4

"You see that computer over there, it's got the makings of (Part 4) let's put it that way. I've just been really busy managing all my properties and everything. I really need to get back to doing that movie and another documentary and I also wrote a book about my movie career. I can't figure out the title, so I can't submit it to Publishers. My partner Simon Abrams, he's a New York reporter and he helped me write it and he said we should call it 'The Decline of Penelope's World'


The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years is a 1988 documentary film directed by Penelope Spheeris. Filmed between August 1987 and February 1988, the film chronicles the late 80s Los Angeles heavy metal scene. It is the second film of a trilogy by Spheeris depicting life in Los Angeles at various points in time as seen through the eyes of struggling up-and-coming musicians. The first film, The Decline of Western Civilization (1981), dealt with the hardcore punk rock scene during 1979–1980. The third film, The Decline of Western Civilization Part III (1998), would later chronicle the gutter punk lifestyle of homeless teenagers in the late 1990s.


The film features a mix of live concert footage and interviews with established heavy metal performers such as Lemmy, Ozzy Osbourne, Aerosmith, Alice Cooper, Kiss, Megadeth, and W.A.S.P. Several unsigned club bands are also prominently featured, such as Odin, Seduce, and LONDON.



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