Patti Smith

Blank Generation/Dancin' Barefoot

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For great archival footage of the '70s New York City punk scene, the DVD Blank Generation/Dancing Barefoot is a must-see. One of the Patti Smith Group's original founding members, guitarist Ivan Kral, is the focus of the mid-'90s documentary Dancing Barefoot, while Blank Generation is comprised of great black and white footage (shot by Kral) of such CBGB's disciples as the Ramones, Television, Blondie, Talking Heads (who perform as a trio -- prior to when Jerry Harrison joined the band), and Wayne County, among others, playing at the venue in mid-'70s. The only drawback of Blank Generation is that the sound has been dubbed in (the film was originally silent), and is comprised of studio recordings. Still, it's great to see the earliest (and quite possibly only) existing footage of the era. Dancing Barefoot traces the life of Ivan Kral, and serves as a superb documentary of the original Patti Smith Group. Featured are numerous interviews with bandmates and friends past and present, including chats with members of Blondie, Talking Heads, and the Ramones, plus a great yet short sit-down with the godfather of punk, Iggy Pop (whom Kral played with in the early '80s), which also includes some fantastic black and white footage of the Stooges live in New York from the early '70s, filmed by Kral. The two-for-one DVD Blank Generation/Dancing Barefoot is highly recommended for fans of punk's originators.