The semi-existent Anvil renaissance hasn't really registered with me, though I did go see the movie. Call it a cynical viewpoint, but it's possible to feel that the obscurity of certain bands is completely justified. No one wants to say it but Anvil stinks. And VH1 has entered a land of make-believe with intensifying claims that Anvil were once worshiped and poised to conquer the hard rock world, especially in the recent ramp-up to the DVD release. (AC/DC plans to repay VH1 for partnering on their Black Ice album by taking Anvil on for a handful of shows.) Shit, from where I'm standing, the band opened a short tour made up of hair rock's most embarrassing European groan-rock bands. And this is total haterspeak but dildo-guitar antics and charmless nonthems placed Anvil firmly in league with unsexy tourmates Whitesnake and The Scorpions. But VH1 would have us believe that this Led Zeppelin II was derailed by mismanagement and poor luck. Those of us who've been to 30 - 1200 live shows, however, have seen innumerable openers (and headliners!) soon and rightly destined for the scrap pile. That is not derision just fact.
In Anvil's case, that string of shows in what looks like Japan served as an exception and just because that was enough to convince Lips and Robb of a pending entry into Metal Valhalla, with its attendant riches and excess, doesn't mean it would've been deserved. And somewhere in all this pathos, VH1 senses a unique underdog story and flogs it like the rented mule it clearly is. Slash and cokehead Lars Ulrich appear in the documentary, swearing by Anvil's repressible talents, and yet in no photo or appearance have I spotted an Anvil shirt on their persons. (Lemmy, the coolest guy ever, resists dubious overstatement as usual.) I haven't even heard them mentioned by anyone since junior high, when we'd dine and ditch Perkins then openly mock the sub-Spinal Tap album covers/titles of moldering Anvil tapes at Half Price Books. I mean Anvil was a perfect name for this band: unmoving, boring, useless to most. Don't hate me.