A tender, funny and balanced documentary about maverick Manchester comedian Frank Sidebottom, and the life and art of his hidden creator, the wayward genius Chris Sievey.
Frank Sidebottom, remembered fondly as the man with the papier-mâché head, was the court jester of the Manchester music and comedy scene for over 25 years, but only a privileged few knew the man inside.
Calling on extensive archive material from Chris’s personal collection, including home movies, notebooks, art and music, and valuable insights from his family, friends and colleagues, Being Frank tells a twisted tale of split personalities: a suburban superhero with a fanatical desire to preserve the myth he created, who would eventually have to battle against being consumed by his alter ego.
Once a popular seaside resort, Asbury Park, New Jersey was also home to the Upstage, a now legendary club where musicians such Steven Van Zandt, Southside Johnny Lyon and Bruce Springsteen got their first breaks. It was there that Springsteen met players such as Vini ‘Mad Dog’ Lopez, David Sancious, Garry Tallent, Danny Federici and Ernest ‘Boom’ Carter. These musicians brought the sound of Asbury Park to the wider world. Then on Independence Day, 1970, Asbury Park experienced seven days of race riots which crippled the town for the next 45 years and destroyed the famous Westside jazz and blues scene. Closed down and boarded up, the Upstart club remains a perfect time capsule, a memorial to the legendary Jersey sound. This film features a concert given to a sold-out Paramount Theater by Van Zandt, Southside Johnny and Springsteen plus never-before-seen interviews and performances, and an Upstage reunion jam. A mindblowing theatrical event in Asbury Park where it all began.