Posted: May 2, 2021 in MUSIC

“I have written songs since the first time i picked up an instrument, ’cause the idea was to express myself. Especially the guitar,” says Ivan Julian. “I’d come from a classical background where I was taught bassoon and saxophone. And the future of that meant playing somebody else’s music for the rest of your life. I thought, ‘No, I want to be able to pick up an instrument and play, when I’m feeling my own music.'” Geoffray Barbier’s new documentary is a nice hang with legendary New York guitarist Ivan Julian, best known for playing in Richard Hell & The Voidoids, but who has also played with The Clash, Matthew Sweet, The Bongos, Shriekback and more. While some of the ups and downs of Julian’s life are represented here — including his 2015 cancer diagnosis (he’s currently doing well) — but the film makes a point to focus on the music.

He talks about what he brought to Voidoids songs “Blank Generation” and “Love Comes in Spurts,” playing on The Clash’s “Sandinista” and his work as a producer and studio owner. The film also talks with friends and collaborators including Richard Hell, Vernon Reid, Alejandro Escovedo, The Fleshtones’ Peter Zaremba & Keith Streng, Garland Jeffreys, and The Bongos’ Richard Barone who says “Ivan can play the entire history of rock n’ roll in one solo.”

You Don’t Know Ivan Julian” (Amazon)

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