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  • The Metal Voice

Director Penelope Spheeris Offers To Re-Pay Chris Holmes Directly For Doc Pool Scene, For Closure

Updated: Nov 12, 2023

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 never released for 20 years 'We Sold Our Soul For Rock and Roll' OzzFest 1999.

Photo of Chris Holmes Credit Duke TV

Watch Full interview here

Excerpts for the video Interview

When asked about the infamous scene in The Decline of Western Civilization Part 2: The Metal Years with Chris Holmes (W.A.S.P.) in the pool

"I knew Chris before we did the movie obviously and I knew his mom and I asked her to come along because I got along with her and I liked her. Honestly when I was shooting that scene, I thought it was just no good, it didn't work. And I took the cameraman behind a tree and I'm like dude we didn't get it. We don't have this scene. I asked Blackie (Lawless) if we could interview him and he didn't want to do it cause he is too cool or something. I then went to the financier and said after the whole thing was over with I said can we re-shoot that scene cause it didn't work. It is the scene in Decline 2 that everybody remembers and thinks of first. So you never know? "


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When asked about Chris Holmes 'claim that he was not directly paid for his participation in Decline part 2 documentary

"I feel bad that I think he feels that we didn't pay him. There was a club called FM Station over in the valley and a little while after we did the film I heard someone yelling my name and I turned around and it's Chris and he is going, "hey Penelope how come you didn't pay me for doing your movie? " And I said, "I did pay you, you were too drunk to remember, you got the check. " That was the first time I heard that I thought he did not get paid. The thing is the director doesn't pay the people in the movie. The production manager or the producers pay them. And every time we filmed the producers or production managers walked over and handed them (participants) a check. We have to do that or it's not legal to even be filming them. So we did pay him. I wasn't there but they said they paid him. What I would like to do is straighten it all out and that would be to pay him, again (with Jimmy Kay of The Metal Voice as a witness). Cause I don't want him to feel bad or think that I gypped him or say bad things cause he thinks I'm a bad person, I'm not. I would be happy to pay him $300 dollars again, no problem. I've done well in this business so I'll give Chris Holmes $300 dollars. I just don't want him to feel bad. I like Chris."

In a past interviews with Chris Holmes on The Metal Voice Holmes stated, "She (Penelope Spheeris) still owes me 300 bucks, Penelope Spheeris paid 300 bucks but it went to management (W.A.S.P.) not me. The deal was she called me personally and she should have paid me personally, so she still owes me 300 bucks. She called me up wanting to do another interview for the box set that is coming out. I told her if you want to pay me my 300 bucks I'll think about it."

Catch Chris Holmes on Tour in Europe

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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