Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Stranger Bernie Worrell on Earth|
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Documentary
This documentary, featuring interviews with some of the most notable names in modern music (Byrne, Clinton, etc), captures the life and sounds of Bernie Worrell: the overlooked and eccentric musical mastermind who has been... more »
Could've Been So Much More!!--But Kinda Dropped The Ball!
MUZIK4THAPEOPLE!! | Orlando, FL | 02/16/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Now, being an almost life-long fan of the revolutionary,
innovative and now iconic Parliament / Funkadelic,
being first turned on to them at a very early age in
the early 70's by my mother and older cousins and buying
the records and attending the "P-Funk Earth Tour" as a teenager
during the height of their success in the mid to late 70's,
I dived at the chance to buy this DVD documentary about one
of the baddest and most crucial musical alchemists
of the last 50 years!!---Bernie "Insurance Man" Worrell!!
Other than Stevie Wonder, Herbie Hancock, YES, ELO,
and maybe a small handful of less important artists,
nobody has done more for electronic instrumentation or
the keyboard in general than Mr. Worrell!
He almost single-handedly created the language of how synthesizers
are used in pop music today!--Funk, Rock, Pop, Alternative,
HIP-HOP...whatever!! In fact P-Funk was alternative long
before the phrase was even coined!--(Can Y'all Get 2 That??)
I just feel like this was a great opportunity that was half-azz
wasted because very little was really said about the man's
upbringing (no young photos, surviving family members, etc.)
were mined to shed light on where this prodigious talent was nurtured!
It was like...yeah, he had a mother, and she kept him sheltered
from ghetto life, and he could play Mozart and Bach, etc. at age 5
and composed his own concerto at age 8, but it didn't go too
much more in depth with it.
I like alot of the interviews with admiring musicians
from rock to funk to hip-hop who give it up to Bernie's genius,
but you would've thought that George Clinton and Bootsy Collins' interviews would have been
given carte blanche and gone unedited along with
a few more of the great surviving P-Funk musicians
like Gary Shider, Cordell "Boogie" Mosson, etc.
(who weren't even interviewed!) thrown in to boot!
This was his most prolific and groundbreaking period after all!!
And what about the scarce use of P-Funk video footage
and musical material that would've given people who've never
heard of Bernie a chance to hear his work
and go out and buy it!---Duh!!
Even his work with The Talking Heads in the 80's could have
been better handled and interviewed.
"Burnin' Down The House" was my jam back in '82/'83!!
I agree with another reviewer who said that the
documentary's director/producer assumes
that everybody already knows who
Bernie Worrell is, instead of doing this in true documentary
and revelatory form as one would do on say, the bio channel or
"Behind The Music"...
I was also distressed that Bernie is living a near transient
existence now--still going from gig to gig and hotel to hotel
at his age (63 or 64) because like so many of the great black artists
of the past, he lacked the business saavy of today's
less talented but more business-minded artists
and was grossly and shamefully bamboozled out of any
monetary rights to his legacy!
That is an outrage and a crime!!
He should be living like a king on his writer /publishing
royalties and treated like the innovative genius that he is!
Life is so unfair!
Mos Def, Prince Paul and one other musicians said that Bernie
should be getting checks from Moog, Korg, Yamaha, etc.
for all the business he brought to their industry!
I just felt that this documentary could've been so much more!
daddyrob999 | outside chicago, Il | 12/18/2007
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I wish they would have let him speak a bit more and edit the live performance more reasonably. The film is too "artsy." I just want the facts and some music, but that is not what is here. A shame."
Could be better,but it's bernie so dig it!
crown of indica | saint paul,mn,usa | 01/18/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"pretty awesome for what it is!it would've been cool to have a pro dissect bernie's style,phrasing,etc,but what you get with this cd is still cool.the part where bernie gets the guy in the club for free as his guest was cool,and shows how much of a freindly guy he is.the dvd is more about bernie as a person than explaining his music intricately."
A true genius, but not entirely explained why that is.
Thomas H. Weber Jr. | NJ | 11/24/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Bernie Worrell had a profound impact on popular music. He is a genre innovator as well as a keyboard and synthesizer pioneer and probably changed the planet musically while remaining predominantly anonymous. This documentary testifies to this with numerous interviews by respected artists, musicians, and producers from across different styles and genres. What it fails to do is present exactly how and why he's so important. While the interviewees do their best to explain it, there's little footage that actually demonstrates him in action supporting this. It also needs to showcase the imitators. He's been copied and sampled a million times. Why weren't these examples presented?
I think the director assumed the viewer knew who Bernie is. I would have approached it from the opposite perspective. Doing so would have created a documentary worthy of every high school music classroom. Instead, we have testimony that sounds more like fan mail than music history. Maybe archival footage just doesn't exist, but I hope this secret icon has been documented and preserved. More footage of his cutting-edge approach to music and synthesizers should and must be done.
It's about time somebody did a documentary about this true artist, but I think it falls short of explaining how significant he really is.