Who Is Billy Bones?
Billy Bones, Christina Fortuna, Dani Fortuna, Eileen Fortuna, Christa Collins and more
June 22, 2016 – Cola Kat
Directed by: Kathy Kolla
Who Is Billy Bones? highlights the four-decade-long music career of legendary punk rock vocalist Steven “Billy Bones” Fortuna. Billy Bones was an early pioneer of the punk genre, fronting the 1977 Los Angeles punk band The Skulls with his snarling vocals and socially charged lyrics. Directed by Kathy Kolla, an award-winning director, screenwriter, and actress, the documentary features interviews with punk rock legends including Green Day bassist Mike Dirnt, Woolly Bandits member Christa Collins, Dr. Strange Records founder Dr. Strange and Fortuna’s wife Christina. The film includes never-before-seen footage of L.A.’s first punk music venue, The Masque, shot exclusively for the project, along with archive interview footage of The Masque’s original proprietor, Brendan Mullen.
As front man of the seminal L.A. punk band The Skulls, Steven “Billy Bones” Fortuna has made a lasting impact on the genre. After moving to Los Angeles in the early 1970s, Billy Bones quickly made his way into the underground punk rock scene, performing at the legendary Hollywood punk club The Masque and recording the now-classic song “Victims.” In the early 1980s, Bones dabbled in the burgeoning new wave genre, recording unreleased material for Geffen records before retiring from music for nearly two decades. A reformation of his band The Skulls provided a much-needed dose of energy in the early 2000’s punk scene, and the band recorded two full-length albums, as well as performed dates on the Warp Tour and toured Europe twice.
Unlike many other music documentaries, Who Is Billy Bones is just as interesting if not more interesting when focusing on his personal life. Meeting his wife, starting a family and the honesty in discussing his daughter’s health issues. By the time the film was over you are left with a true admiration for Billy and his family. There is never a scene where Billy shows any pretentiousness at all, you get the impression that despite being an L.A. punk legend, you’d still be welcome at his table for dinner.
If you haven’t seen this, track it down on either PBS or any of the local screenings of it.
Rating: *** three out of three stars
Misconceptions of Hell is available now: http://goo.gl/n9ofGb