Brian Jonestown Massacre

Brian Jonestown Massacre

Over the course of its 15-year existence, Brian Jonestown Massacre has established itself as one of rock's most prolific bands. The group has released a dozen or so amazing full-length records (and a dizzying number of limited-edition singles and EPs) that run the gamut from driving, '60s-tinged psychedelic R&B to blissful shoegazer rock.

Unfortunately, BJM is more famous for the crazed antics of its hypnotic leader, Anton Newcombe, who steals the show in the fascinating documentary Dig!, a Sundance award-winner that chronicles the careers of the members of the group and their friends/rivals/musical soul mates, the Dandy Warhols. In the film, Newcombe comes across as a latter-day version of Jerry Lee Lewis, who, between arrests, fistfights and heavy drug and alcohol use, still manages to tour and record relentlessly, with unabated passion.

Fame hasn't softened Newcombe one bit. His latest bout with controversy occurred in a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, where he ripped into dinosaur rocker Eric Clapton, remarking, "What has he ever done except throw his baby off a fuckin' ledge and write a song about it?" Former members of the group, like Black Rebel Motorcycle Club vocalist-guitarist Peter Hayes and Warlocks front man Bobby Hecksher, may be more famous than Newcombe now, but it's hard to believe that either has even 10 percent of Newcombe's outlaw spirit.

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