B-Roads

Discussion about the band and related projects.

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tom_cas1
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Re: B-Roads

Post by tom_cas1 » 24 Dec 2016, 16:14

I quietly agree.
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Re: B-Roads

Post by dougharrison » 25 Dec 2016, 01:14

Should really have known better than to open this thread on Christmas Day, but I have so here goes...
TracyJosh wrote:If Damon was being so protective of Graham to the point he was telling journalists not to report his behavior at gigs on that tour, then why on earth did they even allow cameras to film? Surely the footage isn't THAT damning. Anyway, once again I'm a bit disappointed that those who have seen it can't understand and show a bit more empathy towards those of us who are obviously incredibly curious to see it. And the level of paranoia over it leaking is nuts, there are about 800 people in the world who care about it's existence, I'm sure everyone who wants to see it could be trusted not to share it on Youtube, and even if it did make it to Youtube, it would just get shut down straight away. In any such case, any mass leaking of it would only have a reach of a couple thousand people. I'm a blur fanatic and only found out about it's existence a matter of months ago. Might call my next album B-Roads just to freak out EMI :p
Firstly I will say my natural response to this initially was to be quite pissed off, however I have read your unprompted apology for how it could have come across so I will assume that you are quite a decent fella, so I will try to respond to some of the points in an appropriate manner:

1) "why on earth did they even allow cameras to film?" The copyright and physical material was all owned and held securely by those with incredibly large vested interests in Blur. The internet existed in these days, but internet connection in 1995 was 56k dial up modem, most of the country (businesses as well as individuals) were not online, Myspace, Facebook, Twitter and even google did not exist online. File sharing was incredibly limited and using that hardware downloading an album would take several hours. Simply put the internet in its current format was totally unimaginable. The record industry has kept many abandoned projects secret, there was no reason to believe this would leak.

2) "I'm a bit disappointed that those who have seen it can't understand and show a bit more empathy towards those of us who are obviously incredibly curious to see it." I can only speak for myself, but I do have empathy with those who want to see it. I was one of those guys who wanted to see it, so I understand the perspective very well. I do not blame or judge anyone negatively for wanting to see it, I will only speak for my experience in saying it was underwhelming and took me from a place where my childhood heroes (in a musical sense) went from unrivalled god-like geniuses who turned everything they touched in to gold in to human beings who are flawed. I speak in hyperbole to some extent, but I think everything released so far is of an incredibly high professional standard, is well thought out and could reasonably be believed to have general public appeal. B-Roads as it currently exists does not uphold that standard and I believe (perhaps still with some naivety) that this is the primary reason this has not been released.

3) "The level of paranoia over it leaking is nuts" I wont mention the guy who put the photos on facebook many years ago and was the same person who showed me the DVD by name. I will say that I believe he is a good guy and genuinely wanted to share some of this with the community and put very extensive photos online out of altruism and wanting to share as best he could, I don't think (but could be wrong) he had the tools to rip it and release online at the time. He was given the footage by someone incredibly close to the band, who I will not name, that he had a personal friendship with. The leaker of the photos as I recall was threatened with a "cease and desist" letter and the threat of legal action. Given that he stood to make nothing financially from infringing the copyright to satisfy "about 800 people around the world" he decided it wasn't worth it. I would imagine the neutral friend (of the band and the leaker) might have got in to some fairly serious trouble, which could have threatened his career, he is I believe still employed in the industry. The leaker may also have had the impact on his friend to consider too. I feel if I were to leak it, which I physically cannot right now, I would be breaking the trust of someone whom I promised not to leak it to. If it's a choice between my integrity, honesty and character versus satisfying "about 800" strangers that I have never met and am never likely to meet, then I'm choosing to uphold my values. I apologise if that seems selfish and lacks empathy.

4) "I'm sure everyone who wants to see it could be trusted not to share it on youtube" ask Tom how well people respected his requests to be credited with the Mode recording and you have empirical evidence as to why this is sadly false. I'm sure the people who have seen it/have a copy of it made similar promises not to distribute and have kept that promise to this day, asking people to break this promise and promising that you (in the plural not singular) have the moral character to uphold the exact same promise is not a logically sound position to take.

I hope I have avoided responding to anything there in a way that causes you any offence, I know that ultimately whatever I say will not damped your enthusiasm for wanting to see it and indeed I applaud your enthusiasm and excitement about the band.
Sledge Hammer wrote:Correct though, why should some on here be allowed to watch it and indeed did watch it (why did they not refuse?), but then fiercely condemn us who would like to see it...
Sledgey, firstly let me say that I think you are a top guy and have done many things selflessly for the Blur fan community, including if I remember correctly, compilations of rare tracks and live recordings. As such I totally get why you would be frustrated and think of all of the people who are frustrated at not having seen it, given you have put in time and effort in to making nice things for others, for no financial gain yourself you are quite entitled to be pissed off at others for not doing the same. However, I am not sure that I have seen anyone "fiercely condemn" anyone who wants to see it, as this seems to become an 'us vs them' style of debate I feel (perhaps incorrectly) tarred with the same brush. Maybe I'm being too literal, but I interpret the fact that you feel "fiercely condemned" by people who have seen it as though you are being judged personally. I can only speak for myself, but on my behalf that is certainly not the case and I find the implication that I would be scornful or dismissive of someone for not having seen a video that has not been released and only a handful of people have seen quite insulting, I'll assume it's an expression of personal frustration at a situation beyond your control and I'm happy to leave it at that.



To anyone else who thinks that perhaps all people who have seen this and chosen not to share it do some out of some sort of exclusivity kudos, power trip or have financial motivations for doing what they have. I have sent copies of Y'all Doomed out to overseas members of this forum, having picked up the vinyl to do so myself on multiple trips, sent the record using international mail and refused payment for either the record or the postage. I have also received (courtesy of the lovely Sparkiepop) a promo item not available in the UK, free of charge. Another member of this board has submitted historic video for use in the NDLTR doc that made the final edit (again I would assume) free of charge because he was happy to share it. I can't and won't speak on behalf of others and their motivations for their actions, but the assumption that all people in any arbitrary group (as it seems some members of this forum have categorised all of those who have seen B Roads as a group) are doing something you don't like or agree with as having selfish motives for not fulfilling your wishes says more about those making the assumptions and classifications. If the political events of 2016 have taught us anything (if they haven't well we have a few more years to learn the message) categorising and demonising others rarely leads to harmony, on a small trivial scale such as this, or on a large scale.

Hope you all have a wonderful holiday period.

Peace out

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Re: B-Roads

Post by TracyJosh » 25 Dec 2016, 02:57

Prior to your statement Doug, my reply was going to be "...Okay, this is starting to get a bit political and divisive". I completely agree and see the logic in everything you have said. You've made things a lot clearer especially regarding the technicalities and potential repucussions of it being shared at any kind of level.

Any comment I have made that has been aimed at anyone who has seen it, I just want to make it clear I hold utterly no resentment. As previously stated my word choice, particularly the use of the term 'hierarchy' was brash and unfair. The idea of causing a division makes me feel cold and I would hate to contribute to that in any capacity.

One final word on the film and explanation of my deep intrigue... Your description of the films contents and analogy(though exaggerated) are precisely the reasons I want to see it. The reason I love Blur so much is because of the fact that they(particularly Graham and Damon) have gone through and faced many of the troubles that have affected me in life as someone who is in their early 20s and a songwriter too, be it mental health issues, substance abuse, the deterioration of relationships and friendships or a discontent with the landscape and traditions of an ever declining British society from a social perspective. Seeing your 'heroes' in their rawest form, going through very real problems can be very comforting and reassuring to someone with similar issues. Especially considering how they have clearly come out the other end as very well rounded, happy and accomplished gentlemen. I suppose though, until the day Damon or Graham decide to do an Autobiography, I should just be grateful that they have put much of the above into incredibly beautiful songs and get over the whole B-roads hysteria... Oh but the intrigue just won't die!

Happy holidays to all. Peace, love and understanding.

dougharrison
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Re: B-Roads

Post by dougharrison » 25 Dec 2016, 03:48

TracyJosh wrote:Prior to your statement Doug, my reply was going to be "...Okay, this is starting to get a bit political and divisive". I completely agree and see the logic in everything you have said. You've made things a lot clearer especially regarding the technicalities and potential repucussions of it being shared at any kind of level.

Any comment I have made that has been aimed at anyone who has seen it, I just want to make it clear I hold utterly no resentment. As previously stated my word choice, particularly the use of the term 'hierarchy' was brash and unfair. The idea of causing a division makes me feel cold and I would hate to contribute to that in any capacity.

One final word on the film and explanation of my deep intrigue... Your description of the films contents and analogy(though exaggerated) are precisely the reasons I want to see it. The reason I love Blur so much is because of the fact that they(particularly Graham and Damon) have gone through and faced many of the troubles that have affected me in life as someone who is in their early 20s and a songwriter too, be it mental health issues, substance abuse, the deterioration of relationships and friendships or a discontent with the landscape and traditions of an ever declining British society from a social perspective. Seeing your 'heroes' in their rawest form, going through very real problems can be very comforting and reassuring to someone with similar issues. Especially considering how they have clearly come out the other end as very well rounded, happy and accomplished gentlemen. I suppose though, until the day Damon or Graham decide to do an Autobiography, I should just be grateful that they have put much of the above into incredibly beautiful songs and get over the whole B-roads hysteria... Oh but the intrigue just won't die!

Happy holidays to all. Peace, love and understanding.
Thanks for taking the time to construct a well considered reply, often easier said than done and truly appreciated.

We've all said things in the heat of the moment, or perhaps chosen words that can be easily misinterpreted, so no worries and certainly no grudges held here. As you may or may not have inferred the topic has been discussed many times, dating back to the last decade I believe on the old forum, and there are some entrenched positions on this, obviously neither reasonable, nor fair to expect you to know about the history of such discussions.

Further to your final word on the film and personal deep intrigue, having read your reasons for relating to the band and wanting to know and understand more of the tensions and friction the band experienced and how they dealt with this (for better or worse) I would highly recommend 3862 Days if you haven't already read it. Was released around the time of 13 (not sure if shortly before or after) and although an official biography, appears to not withhold many punches. I honestly think it's closer to what it sounds like you want to research and understand than B Roads. Apologies in advance if you are already aware of this and have read it.

EDIT: Would add that I'm not sure how far 3862 Days explores the theme of drug abuse - it might or might not, I haven't read it in a very long time - I suspect due to the timing and sensitivities topics such as Dave's cocaine addiction, Damon's heroin use are not much discussed - the latter having become far more openly discussed conversations in recent years. All B Roads shows to that extent is perhaps a minute of Graham very drunk in a dressing room and a typically glib comment from Alex (I think) about this - whether Alex was genuinely concerned about this at the time it's hard to tell, I assume he was trying to be funny and in fairness in the context of that time I think it probably would have been! Certainly nothing regarding illegal usage of drugs and very little if any direct evidence of raw tensions (more implied than explicit) is recorded on video, my comment was actually more about the professional standards of releases when I was referring to seeing something very raw. I think NDLTR (doc) and 3862 Days are the best sources of information if you want to explore the depths of issues they faced as individuals and as a band.

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Caitlin
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Re: B-Roads

Post by Caitlin » 25 Dec 2016, 10:18

Doug, as usual a very thougutful and beautifully written response.

Given that this topic tends to be a swirling cesspit of namecalling and an us v. them mentality, it makes me so happy to see people having a genuine, constructive discussion. While we maybe may all not agree, I'm really pleased we can discuss and exchange ideas.
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TracyJosh
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Re: B-Roads

Post by TracyJosh » 25 Dec 2016, 15:18

Ah that's the one by Stuart Maconie! Have promptly ordered a copy from amazon today... That and Johnny Marr's autobiography shall keep me going for the rest of winter :). Thanks for the recommendation.

I'm completely new to the world of forums, I joined this one only a matter of months ago as my love of Blur grew and next to none of my friends share my obsession. So I've come here to meet like minded people to geek out! Still getting up to scratch with it all and topics that have been covered umpteen times by some of the veterans on here :).
I was aware that a rift was caused when somebody leaked images of it on a forum some years ago but I thought that the strict clamping down on it was maybe because some of footage was set to be used for NDLTR. I'll keep B-roads at the back of my mind but for now I'll settle my search in the knowledge that for the time being there are a few too many legal and moral hurdles in the way of my obtaining it. Who knows what the future will hold.

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Re: B-Roads

Post by dougharrison » 26 Dec 2016, 13:44

TracyJosh wrote:Ah that's the one by Stuart Maconie! Have promptly ordered a copy from amazon today... That and Johnny Marr's autobiography shall keep me going for the rest of winter :). Thanks for the recommendation.

I'm completely new to the world of forums, I joined this one only a matter of months ago as my love of Blur grew and next to none of my friends share my obsession. So I've come here to meet like minded people to geek out! Still getting up to scratch with it all and topics that have been covered umpteen times by some of the veterans on here :).
I was aware that a rift was caused when somebody leaked images of it on a forum some years ago but I thought that the strict clamping down on it was maybe because some of footage was set to be used for NDLTR. I'll keep B-roads at the back of my mind but for now I'll settle my search in the knowledge that for the time being there are a few too many legal and moral hurdles in the way of my obtaining it. Who knows what the future will hold.
Yes that is the one indeed, apologies if I perhaps mistakenly jumbled the digits in the title. Hearing good things about the JM autobiography - although not sure I will get round to reading it.

The world of forums sadly seems to be a dying one, then again considered communication seems to be somewhat redundant in this "post-fact" era. Crikey I do sound very middle aged today! There's absolutely no given etiquette for trawling through all old posts to avoid redundancy, you stumbled in to probably the only really contentious topic, although most things posted by Westway tended to cause controversy (not necessarily his raison d'etre I might add). Hope you enjoy your stay.

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Re: B-Roads

Post by rob_graves » 26 Dec 2016, 20:50

Great thoughts and comments here.

Hope you guys are having a great holiday season.

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Re: B-Roads

Post by tom_cas1 » 27 Dec 2016, 20:10

I agree Rob, it's good to be able to talk about B-Roads and debate instead of being shut down by the admin like what always happened on the old forum.
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Re: B-Roads

Post by Moritz » 28 Dec 2016, 15:13

I'm a bit uninformed in case of B-Roads, but was this movie already finished? So is it more a fragment or could one see it like a full cuted and synchronized movie in quality like Starshaped?

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Re: B-Roads

Post by dougharrison » 28 Dec 2016, 19:29

Moritz wrote:I'm a bit uninformed in case of B-Roads, but was this movie already finished? So is it more a fragment or could one see it like a full cuted and synchronized movie in quality like Starshaped?
Please consider that it has been a few years now since I watched it and then I only watched it once. I think it's approximately 75 minutes long and given the time that has passed it seems unlikely that more content would be added to a final cut. Would suggest, from what I remember, that further editing and polish would be added to what is there as it seemed a little rough to me, lots of chopping and changing and cutting all over the place.

I think the bigger concern is probably the lack of narrative and that the amount of interesting stuff with the band is quite short. Given the media landscape has changed quite dramatically and that sub one-hour releases are not unusual, *in theory* something could be done to it, but would probably go against the initial concept, would still look incredibly dated as the footage is now over 20 years old. It would have very limited commercial appeal and would be critically slammed. I think (more of a guess really) that those concerned would prefer to release something faithful to the original vision as an extra for some future retrospective, or nothing at all.

Not really sure if I have answered your question there or not.

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Re: B-Roads

Post by 101reykjavik » 29 Dec 2016, 14:54

dougharrison wrote:
Moritz wrote:I'm a bit uninformed in case of B-Roads, but was this movie already finished? So is it more a fragment or could one see it like a full cuted and synchronized movie in quality like Starshaped?
Please consider that it has been a few years now since I watched it and then I only watched it once. I think it's approximately 75 minutes long and given the time that has passed it seems unlikely that more content would be added to a final cut. Would suggest, from what I remember, that further editing and polish would be added to what is there as it seemed a little rough to me, lots of chopping and changing and cutting all over the place.

I think the bigger concern is probably the lack of narrative and that the amount of interesting stuff with the band is quite short. Given the media landscape has changed quite dramatically and that sub one-hour releases are not unusual, *in theory* something could be done to it, but would probably go against the initial concept, would still look incredibly dated as the footage is now over 20 years old. It would have very limited commercial appeal and would be critically slammed. I think (more of a guess really) that those concerned would prefer to release something faithful to the original vision as an extra for some future retrospective, or nothing at all.

Not really sure if I have answered your question there or not.
It's the only way I could imagine it seeing the light of day, on a further Blur 21 style package, where it wouldn't be the main focus but a mere 'extra' for us interested few. I'm sure you're right that the appetite to release it with any fanfare as a stanadalone piece is zero. Where's the incentive?
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Re: B-Roads

Post by MrMagpie » 14 Jan 2017, 21:12

dougharrison wrote:
Moritz wrote:I'm a bit uninformed in case of B-Roads, but was this movie already finished? So is it more a fragment or could one see it like a full cuted and synchronized movie in quality like Starshaped?
Please consider that it has been a few years now since I watched it and then I only watched it once. I think it's approximately 75 minutes long and given the time that has passed it seems unlikely that more content would be added to a final cut. Would suggest, from what I remember, that further editing and polish would be added to what is there as it seemed a little rough to me, lots of chopping and changing and cutting all over the place.

I think the bigger concern is probably the lack of narrative and that the amount of interesting stuff with the band is quite short. Given the media landscape has changed quite dramatically and that sub one-hour releases are not unusual, *in theory* something could be done to it, but would probably go against the initial concept, would still look incredibly dated as the footage is now over 20 years old. It would have very limited commercial appeal and would be critically slammed. I think (more of a guess really) that those concerned would prefer to release something faithful to the original vision as an extra for some future retrospective, or nothing at all.

Not really sure if I have answered your question there or not.
I agree with Doug. I've watched it maybe 2 or 3 times and to me, it's always seemed almost more of an art film, and very of-its-time (mid-1990s Britain). I'm not sure its appeal (if there is any in 2017) is timeless or would translate now beyond any but the most hardcore of fans.

For example, the Beatles A Hard Day's Night (the film) is very of-its-time, but it's still incredibly enjoyable and funny even now. B-Roads, I don't think that would be the case and it's only been 20 years vs. 50+ for the Beatles' film.
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Re: B-Roads

Post by saltandgin » 15 Jan 2017, 01:24

Damn, I wish I had the contacts like you guys. :lol:
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Re: B-Roads

Post by TracyJosh » 16 Jan 2017, 13:06

...I'm sure one day it will surface.

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