“My heart’s like an open book, for the whole world to read” goes the famous Motley Crue lyric. But few rockers have followed these words as closely as drummer Phil Varone, who over a four year period, allowed a thorough and no-holds-barred window into his personal life – the end result being the unflinching documentary on the ups and downs of rock n’ roll, ‘Waking Up Dead.’
Directed by Emmy Award winning journalist and filmmaker Fabio Jafet, the near hour and a half documentary was first released in 2005, and has now been issued as an expanded DVD, via Demolition Records and MVD Entertainment Group.
The way that the media often portrays rock stars is one of a dream-come-true existence. And while quite a few of Varone’s rock n’ roll dreams came true, it’s certainly not all champagne, caviar, and limos for a working musician, and Varone and Jafet pull no punches throughout ‘Waking Up Dead,’ as such topics as addiction, how to support your family on meager earnings, and business betrayal are all dissected and analyzed. While countless musicians have indulged in ‘the rock n’ roll lifestyle’ over the years, few have had the nerve to document it all as thoroughly as Varone does, which results in a head-on collision you just can’t turn away from…known as ‘Waking Up Dead.’
“Phil was incredibly brave and trustful to allow me to tell his story,” explains Jafet. “The only way this movie could have been done was with all access and no censoring. I was not interested in doing a 'Behind The Music.' There was no point.”
What you get is a flick that truly encompasses sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll – times ten.
“I didn’t want to make any ordinary documentary. I think most of them are flat and boring and carry the stigma of being called ‘documentary.’ I wanted to break the rules and make something that stood out visually and emotionally.”