Skum Rocks Hollywood!




Skum really rocked the house at the Hollywood premiere of their rockumentary tour de force, Skum Rocks!  The first official US showing, held May 30th at the 17thAnnual Dances With Films Festival on Hollywood Boulevard in LA, was a stupendous success. And with a theatre packed with fans, friends, and celebrities, the members of Skum couldn’t have been happier.

Skum’s lead guitarist, John Eaton, was elated. “The Chinese Theatre? Are you kidding me? I could get used to this. Tommy [Craig] and I stayed at the Roosevelt, and hung out in the Lair of the Hollywood Vampires at the Rainbow.  It’s been a great week, and it’s great to be part of Hollywood Folklore.”

“This was a huge step for the film, being screened here at the Chinese Theatre,” commented Clay Westervelt, the film’s Emmy-winning director. “And this is just the beginning. I’m very proud of what we’ve accomplished.”

“Tonight was great, being out with the band and all these fantastic fans”, added Phoenix Benjamin, the uber-talented guitarist, who, from time to time, rocks his guitar with Skum.

Master musician and friend of the band, Frankie Banali, agreed, stating simply that “Skum does rock!”

The roaring triumph of the band’s Hollywood premiere is not the last you’ll be hearing from the rockers of Skum. According to lead singer, Hart Baur, there may be another Skum big project in the works. “There’s been talk of a TV show,” Baur revealed after the premiere. “If that happens, it’ll be way over the top.”

For now, the members of Skum are taking things one day at a time, and they’ve had some pretty great days. Tommy Craig, Skum’s drummer extraordinaire, left me with this comment. “A few months back we had the world premiere at Raindance in London, and then cut tracks at Abbey Road. That was amazing. But now, being on the big screen in Hollywood? That’s really something. I can’t wait ‘til we play at the Whiskey later this year.”

We can’t wait either, Skum.

Dances With Films 2014: ‘Skum Rocks!’ Focuses on Fear of Success


Rockumentary Looks Back at a Band That Almost Was

Published June 5, 2014 by Steven Bryan – Yahoo Voices

Without a doubt, “Skum Rocks!” is not the typical Hollywood success story. Directed by Clay Westervelt and narrated by Alice Cooper, this rockumentary examines SKUM, a real-life band that, when faced with success, decided to quit. “That’s what this film is about: the abject fear of not failing,” SKUM co-founder Hart Baur said when reached by telephone for an interview. “The whole name of the band was a play on the fact that we couldn’t play. It was self-degradation.”
In spite of the band’s original fears, “Skum Rocks!” has been doing well on the festival circuit, making its Dance with Films debut last week in Hollywood. In the 1980’s, SKUM had a serious following on the East Coast, even though the band didn’t know how to play their instruments. Baur said the band eventually travelled to Los Angeles, playing a gig at what he called a non-descript venue. “That wasn’t even a real show; it was us getting up and doing a couple of songs. [SKUM] was just about to hit when everything imploded,” he explained. “Just when we started getting cognizant of the fact that we could do something with this, by that time everything was well overblown. It was like we were chasing cars with no intention of catching a car. But it was fun being in the street, it was fun playing in traffic.”
Lost master tapes and SKUM on film
Joining Baur on the call, director Clay Westervelt said he grew up in Iowa and hadn’t heard of SKUM until he was in graduate school at USC. “Hart actually got in touch with me based on another film I had made called ‘Popatopolis,’ which is about a B-movie director who was kind of getting well-known,” Westervelt said. “He was expected to be the next Roger Corman. He ended up becoming better-known for doing late-night Cinemax movies like ‘The Devil Wears Nada.’ I followed him around while he tried to make a motion picture in 3 days.”
Baur points out that though the band members comes across as dumb and uneducated, the opposite actually is true: “We really understood that fact that if you signed a record contract, especially back in the 80s, you owned nothing. You got a bonus, but that bonus was against earned income.” SKUM did record some tracks in the hopes of producing their own album, but the band broke up in 1990 and the master tapes were lost. “It was all kind of done and over. Then, about 5 years ago, this guy Steve Martindale called me. He had found the box in his bathroom. It turned out he had the master tapes the entire time,” he said.
Disgruntled girlfriends and celebrities
SKUM represented a high degree of artistic freedom, especially to creative folks laboring for other people. “A lot of celebrities liked us; they gravitated towards us because of the freedom that we had. We could do what we wanted; we didn’t have to worry about a record label saying ‘You have to do this song. You have to wear these outfits or you have to go here,'” Baur said. “We were always about bringing the fan onstage, backstage with us. It was all interactive.” Though Baur said there was no “Yoko Ono” involved in the breakup of the band, there had been a “Disgruntled Girlfriend” chapter in “Skum Rocks!” that didn’t make the final cut. “But hopefully, we’ll get a TV show and we can bring these girls on and show their stories. The girls were actively involved and everything, but they were in way over their heads,” he said. “We had one girl who moved to Miami, and the [band member] who invited her to move to Miami didn’t think she would actually show up.” —    


Jan17v3Want to rock and become a part of Hollywood legend? Then join us as we film the final scene of our movie, Skum Rocks! on January 17th, 2014, at Baroos Beachside Bar in Indialantic, Florida  We’ll be joined by good friend Frankie Banali of QUIET RIOT as well as other surprise guest celebrities. This is certain to be an epic show  – as it will be the first on-stage live performance since Skum broke up in 1990. Director Clay Westervelt plans to shoot the concert scene with no cuts. This is an extraordinary undertaking in what Hollywood Film said “is about as innovative as it gets”, calling Westervelt “the mad genius of rock and roll filmmaking.” “This is an opportunity for fans to not only be in the Skum Rocks! movie – which will immortalize them forever – but to help a great cause,” said lead singer Hart Baur. Proceeds from the concert will go to help launch the non-profit Shining Through Shadows Foundationin memory of our good friend Seth Stark who died in September 2011.  “Seth was a great friend of ours, so this is a win-win for everyone. Clay Westervelt gets his shot, our fans get to see us play and be a part of the movie before the summer premiere, and Shining Through Shadows gets launched properly.” “We have Frankie Banali joining us on stage for a couple of songs.  How does it get any cooler than that? ” asked lead bassist Pat Burke. “This concert is going to have Rock and Roll and Hollywood – we are bringing it all – and it’ll be great to be back onstage before the Skum Rocks! film, book and album are released this summer.” This event is a must if you are anywhere near Baroos Beachside. Where else can you see one of the greatest underground bands of our generation perform, participate in the filming of a major Hollywood movie, and help raise money for an extremely worthy cause? “There are going to be a lot of surprises and surprise celebrities showing up,” said lead guitarist John Eaton. “We’ve performed at Sun Studio and Abbey Road this year.  And now Baroos?   I’d say it’s been a pretty good year.” All net proceeds from the performance will go to help launch the non-profit Shining Through Shadows Foundation. If you wish to donate or become an event sponsor, please contact us at Hope to see you January 17th!


–posted by SoulStarRising


What would you do if you weren’t afraid to fail & didn’t care what anyone thought of you? Long before the days when the whole world became obsessed with branding, SKUM distilled the essence of Rock & Roll – Freedom, Fun, Youth, Rebellion against Authority (particularly the Police/Cops), Reckless Abandon & Indulgence, and offered its outer form & lived its lifestyle with no or little actual product or musical skill. What’s interesting about this film, narrated by Alice Cooper, is that it shows in a rather scary way just how far this got the Band in its early days, though at a heavy cost (mostly to financial supporters of the Band, not its members). The story comes full circle 20 years later when supposedly stolen tapes of their first album come to light, prompting the Band to reconvene. Will they go back to their immature ‘on the take’ stance or have they matured & if they do mature will they lose the anarchic spark that was their trademark? More to the point will their still-to-be-released album be terrible & if so will anyone care or will this just add to their former Peter Pan reputation of all style and no content. And if the album’s great & propels the band to fame & fortune, will they give the film’s viewers the satisfying experience of seeing them become mature heroes by using their power for good, repaying their original investors & perhaps serving as role models for up and coming bands by getting involved in charitable or mentoring work? An accidental or deliberately deep meditation on the light/ expansive liberation & dark/ egomania inherent in the Music/ Entertainment Industry.

Official Statement – Skum Rocks! Documents a talent-less band earning prestige through raucous parties and ridiculous press, preserving the illusion by inventing ways to get kicked off stage without actually playing.


John Eaton and Hart Baur will be on NBC’s 6 in the Mix on Friday, September 20, at 11am EST. Fans can watch by clicking on this link: or tuning into NBC 6 in Miami.  The guys will be discussing their film, SkumROCKS! and its upcoming world premiere at the Raindance Film Festival in London.6inthemix

“We are big fans of Roxanne Vargas and her show 6 in the Mix,” John Eaton said when we spoke to him.  “This is the highest rated live news program in South Florida and we’re excited about being on it.  Live TV is always cool.”


Roxanne Vargas

“We’ve often joked with Roxanne that when we go on her show she’ll get ratings through the roof,” added Hart Baur.  “And now we’re going on, and she just had a new baby and  won’t be there!  Congrats to her and her husband at this special time — and we will hope she will be watching and laughing from home.”

“Wait, what?  When is this?” fellow Skum member Tommy Gunn said when reached for comment,  “No one told me.”

“SkumROCKS!”  will premiere on September 26th at the 21st Annual Raindance Film Festival in London.  For more information or to purchase tickets, go to this link

Skum Announces Pre-Screening Party at Walkers Rock & Roll Bar

Skum is having a party!  Skum announced they will host a pre-screening party immediately prior to the global premiere of their film, SkumROCKS!,  at the Raindance Film Festival Piccadilly Vue Cinema on Thursday, September 26th.

The party will be at Walkers of St. James, 32 Duke Street St James, London, between 1800 and 2015 (that’s 6:00 pm until 8:15 pm BST — London local time — for you Yanks).

Fullscreen capture 9192013 111125 AMmapofstjames

Walkers of St. James is a cool, subterranean bar located in the heart of London.  Mat Knox (pictured below), is the owner of Walkers and a huge rock and roll fan.    “Rock and roll has always been a big part of my life and the walls of my bar are filled with music posters.  I am really excited – it’s a thrill to host Skum’s party for the SkumROCKS! premiere.  Spinal Tap is dead and Skum are the new kings!”

Mat Knox

Mat Knox

According to Skum’s rhythm bass player Todd Mittlebrooke, “Walkers is the ideal location for the pre-screening party.  Mat Knox, the owner,  is a huge music fan, so  Mat and Walkers are the perfect hosts for our event – it’s a match made in rock and roll heaven.”

The bar is ideally situated just off the corner of Jermyn Street between Mayfair and Piccadilly, and less than a five minute walk to the Vue Cinema Piccadilly where SkumROCKS! will premiere at 2045 (that’s 8:45 pm London time) the same evening.  This was an important factor for Mittlebrooke. “Walkers is only 150 yards (that’s 137 meters) down Jermyn Street to Regent Street where the cinema is located.  We want to make it easy for our fans.”

Mittlebrooke  says the pre-screening party for SkumROCKS! is more important than pre-screening parties for other films.  “Going to see SkumROCKS! will be like going to a concert.  You know, you want to get together with your friends, hang out, have a few drinks, catch up with each other and get pumped for the show.  Walkers is the place where that’s going to happen.”

The evening promises to be special.  Walkers will be playing never before heard tracks from Skum’s forthcoming album, “Lost at the Circus” to be released later this year.

To make sure you have a ticket to the global premiere of SkumROCKS! following the party at Walkers, visit Vue Cinemas to secure your ticket before the event sells out.




The film SkumROCKS! has gotten even better. cherie currieart561971_621413557901476_1514730799_n

Skum has announced that Cherie Currie, the rock and roll icon who sang lead vocals for the legendary Runaways, filmed a spot for SkumROCKS! on location in Los Angeles this weekend.  Director Clay Westervelt of Imaginaut Entertainment says he was thrilled to add such a well-regarded musician to the movie.  “Cherie is great.  She’s so busy it was a challenge to find time in her schedule to film her, but once it was organized, it all flowed easily.  It took longer to drive to the location than it did to shoot.  She nailed it.”

The movie already features a star-studded lineup that some are calling titanic.  To see the complete list visit IMDB at

Cherie will receive the “Prestigious Rock Legend Award” at the Malibu Music Festival and Awards Show on October 19th at Pepperdine University.  Grace Slick, Robert Hays and Jake Hays will present.  She will perform three songs for this event including “Air That I Breathe” from her upcoming album.  Congratulations Cherie!

Currie is the Californian beauty who fronted the first great all girls rock and roll band, The Runaways, who many consider the greatest female rock band ever. runawaysThe Runaways, with Currie in the lead, established themselves at the forefront of the music scene, headlining major venues and having such acts as Cheap Trick and Van Halen as openers — and all before they were eighteen years old!  It’s crazy to look back on that era and see the talent level the Runaways had — Joan Jett, Lita Ford, Sandy West, Jackie Fox — and of course Cherie Currie.  They left a lasting legacy that paved the way for so many female bands to emulate down the road.

Skum’s lead bass player, Pat Burke, commented, “I am thrilled that Cherie will be a part of SkumROCKS!  The Runaways are one of those iconic bands that belong in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  It’s an honor to have Cherie in our movie.”

Westervelt added that Ms. Currie would be the last artist added to the film before it makes its world premiere in London next week at the Raindance Film Festival.

For more information on the SkumROCKS! Premiere at the 21st Raindance Film Festival, visit .