When a documentary is made from seven years of filming, you know that you’re in for a lot of action, and Dig! certainly doesn’t deviate from that. The documentary charts the fortunes of two groups, The Dandy Warhols and The Brian Jonestown Massacre, both of whom start off as friends, especially the two front men, Courtney Taylor-Taylor [Dandys] and Anton Newcombe [BJM].
The two groups both start off the journey as small groups on the West Coast of the States, but soon after the start of the documentary, the road splits and takes the groups away from each other, with the Dandys gaining a deal with Capitol and BJM starting as they meant to go on by ruining their own label showcase.
From the very beginning, label execs and journalists are throwing superlatives the way of Anton, calling him a genius and saying he could well be the most important person in music at the time, but Anton throughout the film only cares about Anton. It’s not a case of the frontman spiralling downwards, because even at the very beginning he’s a larger than life madman. As they tour, Anton beats up various bandmates, fires entire line ups and even tries to sabotage the Dandy’s concerts.
The path of the Dandy Warhols is a tale of a mix between success and let downs. Whilst they do gain a deal and have a lot of money thrown at them for videos, Anton’s speech about not wanting to be taken for a ride by major labels is true as the Dandys receive very little support or exposure as the film goes on. However, eventually the use of one of their tracks on mobile advert sees them break it big in Europe.
But it is the constant whirlwind of Anton’s life that stays as the basis of this documentary. Clearly so into his music that nothing else matters, Anton can’t stay off the drugs or the violence on stage and the documentary ends with him kicking a fan in the head, much to the surprise of everyone in the room and no doubt those watching the DVD. It clocks in at under at just under 2 hours but it flies by, and this is definitely a must see DVD, regardless of whether you like, or even know, either band.