Skum’s Miami Night With Wilmer Valderrama

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Hart Baur and Wilmer Valderrama on the Red Carpet at Voto Latino Dinner

It was a great night in downtown Miami Saturday as the band welcomed Wilmer Valderrama to their beautiful city. At an event held at the world famous Miami Freedom Tower, Hart Baur, John Eaton, and Tommy Craig were out in support of their longtime friend and fan, and “That 70’s Show” star Valderrama, as he hosted an event for Voto Latino. Valderrama is co-chair of the Voto Latino Artist Coalition, an organization that works to inspire young Latinos to exercise their right to vote.

John and Tommy arrived late for the red carpet festivities, and band members Pat Burke and Todd Middlebrook weren’t there at all prompting Valderama to ask “where’s Burke?” (Pat was attending his son’s high school graduation, and Todd was at a private London screening of the World Cup).

“Bummed we missed the red carpet,” said drummer Tommy Craig. “But at least we had a chance to say hello to Wilmer and support him with this event.”

“I was joking with Wilmer that when we get our TV show signed, he should call Ashton and Mila, and join us for an episode,” said John. “He laughed and said he would love that.”

“Wilmer was unable to attend the Hollywood screening of Skum Rocks! last month, but he sent his best wishes. So when he learned he was coming to Miami, we had to get out to see him,” added Hart. “He’s a great role model for the Latin community, and just a great guy all around. We’ve discussed doing some future projects, and hopefully we can get him on the TV show with us.”

“It was great to have these guys come out. Their support means a lot,” said Valderrama.
“It’s amazing what these Skum guys have accomplished.”

The invitation-only crowd dined on jumbo shrimp cocktail with a mango-lime cocktail sauce, Caribbean chicken topped with a pineapple glaze and finger beef and cheese enchiladas with a side of spicy guacamole.

“The spicy guacamole was simply outstanding,” said Tommy Craig.

Skum Rocks Hollywood!

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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

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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.” —    

Skum Rocks in Hollywood’s Vampire Lair

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Lair of the Hollywood Vampires

Lair of the Hollywood Vampires

After the sold out Dances With Films premiere of their film “Skum Rocks!”, narrated by Alice Cooper and held at Hollywood’s fabled Chinese Theatre, the Skum guys headed off to the only place fitting to celebrate, the famed Rainbow Bar and Grill, on the Sunset Strip in Hollywood. Skum members John Eaton, Tommy Craig and Hart Baur, joined by a few select fans, were whisked away for a special night upstairs at the Rainbow, in the exclusive Lair of the Hollywood Vampires, where Alice Cooper once presided over one of the most infamous private clubs in Hollywood folklore.

Hart with long time fan Jonas Cedergren in the Lair

Hart with long time fan Jonas Cedergren in the Lair

“Not too many people know this is here,” said drummer Tommy Craig. “I  used to come to the Rainbow all the time back in the 80’s but never went up there, so this is a special night.” The story of the Rainbow’s Vampire Lair is a true Hollywood legend. It’s where Alice Cooper, John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Keith Moon, Mickey Dolenz, and others, would come to hang out, and talk, and do other things. “Alice had told us about the Lair, and we wanted to see it, but to get the VIP treatment was unexpected, and much appreciated,” said lead guitarist John Eaton. “We are now among the few who have been in the Lair and lived to tell about it.”rainbow

The guys spent about 2 hours there, relaxing after the Skum Rocks! premiere, and were able to kick back and talk with the fans who managed to get in with the band. “It was a great day,” said lead singer Hart Baur. “The film premiere rocked, we played to a packed house, and the crowd loved it!  And then to come to the Rainbow, and to have Mike just totally take care of us and get us into the sacred room, was the icing on a great week here in Hollywood.”

Famed rock journalist Johnny LeRue, who was also at the Rainbow that night covering the band, and for a sit down with drummer Tommy Craig, said, “These guys, Skum, are adding another rock and roll chapter to the legend of the Lair. They don’t let a lot of people up there, much less party there.” “We’re coming back here soon,” said Eaton. “Once we sign this TV deal, we’re playing the Hollywood Whiskey. That will be episode one.” —

Pat Burke Hosts Brunch and Richard Petty at Charlotte Speedway

Richard Petty with Pat Burke and friends.

Richard Petty with Pat Burke and friends.

Even the casual Skum fan knows that Pat Burke is a huge NASCAR fan and can often be seen in the VIP areas of all the major race tracks, so it was only fitting that he hosted his annual ‘Summer’s Here Brunch’ at one of his favorite race tracks the Charlotte Speedway.

Joining Pat was bandmates John Eaton, Tommy Craig, famed attorney Walter Bruning and Pat’s guest of honor, good friend NASCAR legend Richard Petty.

Pat went all out in honor of the band’s film “Skum Rocks!” narrated by Alice Cooper about to premiere in Hollywood at the world famous Chinese Theatre and brought in celebrity chef’s Chefs Buddy and Nicole Barker of Blowing Rock as well as Chefs and Todd and Kim Hartley of Watauga Culinary Kitchens to cater the event and they put out a  spread that was well worth the travel.

With a menu that included Chilean tiger shrimp over grits, Orleans style chicken wings, pan seared scallops topped with Virginia sugar cured bacon,  carving and omelet stations and a wide selection of desserts, the guests were in good hands.

“It was great to have my bandmates here, and also to see Richard again and that he took the time to stop by meant a lot to me,” said Pat. “I have been a huge fan of his since the 70’s, so pretty cool. I was telling him about the premiere and he was excited about it.”

“Pretty exciting,” said Petty. “I wish I could be out there, but I have some commitments I have to honor but can’t wait for it to hit the theaters. I love Alice Cooper!”

Afterward everyone watched the All Star Race from Pat’s private suite on the first turn and enjoyed the open bar sponsored by Ridge Wines and Plantika Vodka.

“Outstanding event,” said John Eaton. “This just gets me in the right mood for Hollywood. Seeing Richard and joking with him that I want to race him, great guy.”

“I have been coming to Pat’s annual brunch for years,” added drummer Tommy Craig. “But this one blew them all away. You had Richard Petty and Cam Newton stops by, I mean it is crazy. Can’t wait for the world to see this film.”

“It was a great day,” added Pat. “I love hosting and Ridge and Plantika Vodka not only ran a great open bar, but their hostess looked great and that really makes an event.”

Limo service for the ‘ Pat Burke’s Summer’s Here Brunch’ was provided by Blowing Rock Shuttle Service.

 

 

Skum Rocks! Premieres in Hollywood

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Check out ALICE COOPER’S PAGE FOR MORE INFO ON THE PREMIERE AT  http://www.nightswithalicecooper.com/whats-news/skum-rocks-to-screen-at-dances-with-films-festival http://jbspins.blogspot.com/2014/05/dwf-14-skum-rocks.html May 30, 2014 @ 2:45pm Mann’s Chinese Theatre @ TCL Chinese 6, 6801 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA.         Hollywood Permiere date Theater Skum ROCKS! had a packed house as it held its Hollywood premiere on May 30, 2014, as part of the prestigious, 17th Annual Dances With Films International Film Festival. Skum ROCKS! is a full-length film narrated by Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Alice Cooper, and produced by Imaginaut Entertainment. Directed by Emmy Award winner Clay Westervelt, Skum ROCKS! dances along the edge of one of the most bizarre stories in the history of rock and roll. Fullscreen capture 5312014 90600 PM With over fifty celebrity cameos, including Alice Cooper, Frankie Banali, Jon Stewart, Debbie Gibson, Sasha Grey, Chanel Ryan, Monique Parent, Antonio Ballatore, Traci Lords, Sharon Lawrence, Debbie Gibson, and Tiffany, Skum ROCKS! is jam-packed with so many celebrities, we dare not list them all for fear of creating mass hysteria. ABOUT Skum ROCKS! The film is a sordid tale of a rock band that became bigger than they had a right to be in the late 1980’s, scamming their way into the hearts of thousands of fans, and the wallets of hundreds of investors. Skum was a band that couldn’t be bothered with such mundane aspects of music life such as practicing, or even performing, and yet they managed to make it to the cusp of fame and fortune, only to have it implode. Skum Rocks! takes a hilarious look at everything that can go wrong when a group of guys with no real direction find themselves in a position of power. This rock and roll train derails quickly. Skum founding members Hart Baur, Pat Burke, John Eaton, Tommy Gunn, Todd Mittlebrook, and Tommy Craig, tell their story, an absurd tale of one band’s quest to achieve the American Dream. The filming of Skum Rocks! reunited the band, and in 2013, Skum recorded in Memphis’ fabled Sun Studios, as well as at London’s famed Abbey Road Studios. These tracks will be added to their album, Lost at the Circus, scheduled for release in 2014. While in London, Skum also filmed the pilot for their upcoming TV show. Since 2013, Skum has made multiple public appearances, most notably at the film’s London premiere, in September 2013, at the 21st Annual Raindance International Film Festival. They have been featured on the cover of US Rockstar Magazine, and among other appearances are ‘Good Morning, Phoenix”, “Six in the Mix” (NBC Miami), and the Big 105‘s “The Paul and Young Ron Show”. —————

Skum Rocks with Blondie

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Eaton, Burke, Harry, Stein & Baur

On Saturday, Feb 15, John Eaton and Hart Baur of SKUM joined Deborah Harry, Clem Burke, and Chris Stein of Blondie on the red carpet at Miami Beach’s Fontainebleau Resort. Blondie’s sold-out show was held in the Fontainebleau’s BleauLive, the same grand ballroom where Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and other music legends performed in the resort’s heyday.

Eaton and Baur spoke with Blondie about the band’s impact on rock and roll and pop culture. “It was sort of a natural progression,” said Deborah Harry. “People learn what they hear. We did the same.”

Eaton agreed, commenting, “The difference was that everybody learned your songs. They were the soundtrack to an entire generation.”

“The last time we stayed at the Fontainebleau in the 70’s, I opened a window and the humidity blew out the television,” laughed founding Blondie member and guitarist Chris Stein.

“I told him that was just an excuse,” Baur laughed. “Everybody knows rock and rollers destroy TV’s in hotels. It’s just what we do.”

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Blondie was excited to hear about Skum’s collaboration on their classic track “Dreaming” with 80’s superstar Martika at their reunion show in January. “I was telling Clem that Tommy (Craig) killed it on drums that night, and he wants Mark Brasel to send him the track,” said Eaton. “Clem is an amazing drummer himself, and it’s cool to be out here tonight with people who are genuine legends.”

After walking the red carpet, Skum was invited backstage to watch the show. Blondie rocked the room, and the crowd responded with a prolonged standing ovation at the conclusion of the concert. “Blondie always delivers,” said Eaton. “They went out and put some much needed rock and roll back into the Miami Beach scene. No club music tonight, just straight up rock, and the people ate it up.”

“A lot of bands owe their livelihood to these guys,” said Baur. “No one might have ever heard of No Doubt, the Go Go’s, Madonna, or any of them if it weren’t for the Runaways and especially Blondie. They were the first band to mix pop with punk, and they were doing rap in the 70’s. They blazed a trail for everyone else. ”

John Eaton added, “The catalog of songs Blondie’s written is simply amazing, and they gave an amazing performance tonight — a real piece of rock and roll history. It was a privilege to be a part of it.”

Skum Rocks With Kate Upton

Kate and Harte

 

Hart Baur and John Eaton attended the Express fashion show at the Raleigh on Miami Beach this week to support Kate Upton. Hailing from Melbourne, Florida,  Kate is a fan of Skum and was disappointed she missed the band’s show last month at Baroos.

“I was in Melbourne in December, but I had to leave before New Year’s,” said Kate. “I wish they had played the show when I was in town!”

Kate recently signed on to be the new face of Express and the guys couldn’t be happier.

“When I heard that Kate was getting this gig, I was pumped,” said lead guitarist John Eaton. “Besides being gorgeous, she’s a great person and will represent the line well.”

The Raleigh was packed with fans and fashion gurus for the twenty minute fashion show that highlighted some of the new Express lines for the Spring.

“I’m a jeans and T-shirt girl, so working with Express is a perfect fit,” added Kate. “It’s great to be here and have the guys to support me.”

“Kate looks spectacular and she is going to be a great ambassador for Express,” said lead singer Hart Baur. “It was great to be out here to support her. We were both born in Melbourne, so we have some common ground. I was telling her she needs to be in our next video.”

At that, Kate laughed and said she would “have to see that script first!”

As the show started, John was hanging out in the DJ booth spinning some tracks, while Hart and famed attorney Walter Bruning watched the show from Bruning’s personal cabana.  Walter, who has done some work for the Raleigh in the past, enjoys a good relationship with the management team.

“I love the Raleigh!” said Walter.

Walter’s guest list included Miami Heat star Chris Bosch and radio personality Lee Sterling. “Great event for sure. Anytime you’re hanging with Walter at the Raleigh it’s a fun time,” said Sterling.  “The man can throw a cabana party.”

“I’ve done several contracts for them (The Raleigh) in the past. It’s a great resort,” said Walter. “Always a joy to come out here and see what’s going on. Great show today and it’s always wonderful seeing Ms. Upton. My she’s hot.”

Kate looked gorgeous in her Express white strapless dress as she concluded the show to a standing ovation.

“Great night tonight,” added John. “This is what it’s all about. Getting out and supporting friends.”