Just how good is it to be a star? Are there riches at the end of the rainbow? That is what film maker Fabio Jafet sets out to answer in Waking Up Dead. Over a 4 year period he chronicles the life and times of Phil Varone (Saigon Kick and Skid Row). This documentary started off very strong and had me hooked. It is clear that the life of a star is not what we regular folks perceive. The seedy side of life on the road outweighs the glam every time.

In some very candid footage Phil Varone admits that he lives well, there is a constant supply of booze, drugs, and loose women, but there is no money. The record labels are happy to front the money for a big tour, however they do want their money back, and keep a very tight stranglehold on the concert receipts. Essentially Phil gets about $20 of ‘walking around’ cash a day. It is not surprising that his wife is not a happy camper, stuck at home and flat broke!

I was really enjoying this look at the not so glamorous side of show biz until Fabio decided that it was time to talk about groupies. We all know they exist, we have all seen them at concerts, hell we probably have even met one or two. What Fabio does though is launch into a long montage of boobs. A couple of boobs is fun, but 10 minutes of boob shots gets a little old, and for me spoiled an otherwise excellent piece of work.

Waking Up Dead is worth watching, although you may want to keep it away from your hormonally challenged 14 year old! You can get it here.

Simon Barrett


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