7 Memorable Scenes from "Decline Of Western Civilization"

August 18, 2015

In what may have been one of the best rock documentaries ever filmed, The Decline Of Western Civilization spawned three films, each detailing the lives of people that find solace in rock music, and sometimes the paths of destruction that they leave in their wake. Whether it be punk rock, heavy metal, or the hardcore bands of LA, director Penelope Spheeris (Wayne's World, The Beverly Hillbillies) chose seven of her most memorable moments of the acclaimed series.

The "Light Bulb Kids" Interview

"It's so hard choosing scenes, it's like choosing your favorite child. But I love the pieces where I'm talking to kids. I just went to clubs and talked to the kids there, gave them a piece of paper and said: come to this address on this day and be in the movie. I adore Eugene. He lives in Germany now, and he's a folk singer, he calls himself Euge from the Coast. He was 14 years old."

When Darby Crash and his Girlfriend Laugh about Finding a Dead Body

"Some people are put off by that, they don't get the joke, they don't get that it was totally tongue in cheek. In the bonus features of the DVD, there is the extended story of what happened to the painter. But I just hope what I did preserves the memory of a very unique and talented and charismatic person, and that was Darby. I look at him like so many people who are just too vulnerable and sensitive to survive it all, like Sid and Janis and Jimi and all those people who we love, great artists who were overwhelmed by it all."

Ozzy's Breakfast 

"The orange juice part was faked, but he actually did cook breakfast. He didn't know I was going to put that shot in, but Sharon's pulled so many punches over the years, how can they complain? No bad feelings from me and I would hope not by Ozzy either. Actually The Osbournes TV show came out of We Sold Our Soul for Rock 'N Roll, a movie I had worked on with Sharon and Ozzy that never got released."

Chris Holmes' Vodka-Soaked Interview in a Pool as his Mother Watches

"When I shot that I thought I got nothing, I thought I had to shoot it all over again because I didn't get an interview, he just sat there and goofed off. But little did I know, that would become a scene people would talk about. Was there water or vodka in the bottle? Well, the full story is on the DVD extras. But he keeps dipping the bottle in the pool and filling it up."

Megadeth Rocks the Credits

"Megadeth were a band that I really needed to be ending the movie with, because everything had been a little light and fluffy before that. I am by instinct a little more heavy duty, so I wanted it to be more substantial. Jon Dayton and Valerie Faris produced Decline 2 and they kept skewing towards comedy, because they thought it was funnier than I did, and maybe we were a good team because of that. But I love the Megadeth scene."

Interviews with the Squat Punk Kids

"It was so heavy for me to go into the apartments where these kids were partying and see what kind of life they were living, so to call it a favorite scene is difficult. But I think the most emotionally powerful scene is again the light bulb kids, when they are describing how their parents abused them. To have to face that was just awful. I became a foster parents a few years ago as a result of my head getting twisted around by that movie."

The Resistance Perform Squatterpunx

"I absolutely adore the song Squatterpunx by The Resistance. To me that is pure, clean, dirty punk rock. Ha! But I really think the key word for my films is sociological. I've always been a music fan, but really the human behavior aspect is important to me. That's what I love. The music is important, but it's really an excuse to see how human beings behave."

(source: Classic Rock)