I should be asleep, it’s been a long day and it started early – a few more hours and I will have been on the go for 24 hours straight – but my brain is demanding I process what I have been touched by tonight.
And I don’t think I’m being dramatic when I say touched.
After dinner, when we managed to get the theatre way too early, Ian spent a lot of time laughing at me. Because for a while it looked like we would be the only people in the theatre. There were promises of emails to everybody at work, believe me, I would never have lived this down.
Thankfully, half an hour later it was obvious we wouldn’t be alone. This would be a good thing because one, I won’t be reminded of it every day from now until forever. And two, people need to see this movie.
We did however play an interesting game once people did start to line up and we all waited. Who was there because they have season passes to the Melbourne International Film Festival, or who was there for the music.
The guy in the Sub Pop t-shirt? Music.
The lady in the fur coat, and Kermit green sequined skirt? Dragged by her boyfriend.
The lady in front of us in the cardigan and pearl earrings? Season pass.
Then Ian asked which category I fell into. With my animalish print cardigan and pearl earrings.
Maybe the lady in front of us was there for the music.
But I doubt it.
Then as the Temple of the Dog album faded away, and the lights dimmed, the movie started.
I expected to cry during this movie. I did not expect to be in tears within the first minute. Hearing Andy’s father’s words (you find out later they were taped at Andy’s memorial) was just...I don’t know any words I can write can convey what a starting point that was.
And all it was was words, a father’s voice and the Seattle skyline.
From there my thoughts jumble, my mind spins and my brain is trying like hell to make sense of what I saw and do it justice.
Because I think that’s what the movie does, it does Andrew Wood justice.
It’s all there. The baby, the little boy, his life, his dreams, his promise.
The fact Andy said he’d tour with Warrant if that meant he’d get to play arenas.
That’s also where the laughter told you just who was there for the music.
Other things were there as well.
Regan Hagar’s naivety.
Jeff Ament’s anger.
Stone Gossard’s almost...confusion.
Xana LaFuente’s frustration.
Greg Gilmore’s confession.
And the blinders it seems some friends still need, or just won’t remove.
The start wasn’t the only time I cried. Warrant wasn’t the only time I laughed.
Hey, you imagine Kim Thayil in a pink shirt and keep a straight face.
Though, through the words of people whose names we know – Chris Cornell, Stone Gossard, Jeff Ament – are the words of a cab driver from Bainbridge Island who was once asked if he knew where the singer from Mother Love Bone was buried.
His brother, Kevin Wood.
A guy who admits to not being overly impressed with the little boy Andy was, and taking great pleasure in annoying him.
But I guess that just makes Brian Wood another big brother.
Then there’s the words and the tears of a lady who admits she didn’t give her boys, her baby’s, the attention they deserved.
Toni Wood, Andrew’s mum.
A family Mrs Wood admits was screwed.
That was the one thing that got me with this movie, not what wasn’t included, but what was included.
Andy’s therapist was interviewed. There were extracts from what I presume are rehab therapy sessions.
This is no rosey view of the world, but it was Andy’s world.
I could go in circles with this for hours, talking about my reaction to Stone Gossard’s interview. My shudders at Chris Cornell’s.
The moment Stone and Kim Thayil had me crying again.
But it’s not about them, or me. It’s an incredible, fantastic, mind blowing movie about Andrew Wood.
Ian mentioned the whole psychedelic feel the movie has, but that was Malfunkshun. And it fitted.
I hope the young kid behind me in the queue to get in wasn’t too disappointed. Pearl Jam maybe be one of the greatest bands going, but the words pearl jam get maybe three mentions. Ten seconds from the end of the movie, in the credits.
I walked out of that theatre still tearing up and unable to speak because two things are still getting to me, even as I write this.
Nobody, *nobody*, should be dead before their face has lost its baby fat.
I know, logically, it probably wasn’t baby fat, but as Kim Thayil says, there’s something cherubic in Andrew’s face.
And right through out this movie is interview footage of Andy Wood, with his blonde hair tied back, showing that cherubic face, while he holds a stuffed frog in his lap.
A toy frog, wearing a gold crown.
From something he says at one point, this footage was filmed only weeks before he died. A month or two at most.
He’s holding a toy frog.
I learnt tonight a drug overdose didn’t kill Andy – exactly. And I learnt he touched more lives that I think he realised.
I can’t untangle my mind any more of this.
This movie is incredible. I’m beyond thankful I got to see it tonight.
There’s only one thing left to say.