Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Agile, Mobile, Hostile - A Year With Andre Williams

I probably first became consciously aware of Andre Williams when the Cramps covered his great "Bacon Fat", but of course, was aware of his tunes, such as "Twine Time" and "Shake a Tail Feather". Many people have done versions of his songs, from Stevie Wonder to Ike & Tina Turner to the J. Geils Band and innumerable others.

This 2007 documentary shows a year in the life of Williams during his current trials and tribulations and club tours. He has various (comparatively) young white boy semi-punk backing bands that he uses in different locations and the film follows him through the States and Europe.

Unfortunately, his career has been derailed many times in his life due to his addictions - drugs and alcohol. He has been homeless at times and he is caught on film repeatedly in an incoherent state and even goes to jail during the filming.

This is a man who has had many hits, has worked at Motown and Chess and is still in demand, and yet is an unhealthy, fairly sad, old man, who can sometimes barely perform (which he obviously still loves to do) because of his addictions.

I got to see him with the fabulous Flash Express a few years back and he seemed in relatively good shape (he certainly had no problem hitting on my wife!) but this film shows how rough his life has been.

Certainly not joyous, but a good overview of this eccentric mad genius' life.