There were two earth-shattering events
that took place in Los Angeles in 1994: the Northridge
earthquake and the birth of Tenacious D, the band headed by
Jack Black and Kyle Gass.
The two met as members of the Actor’s Gang, an ensemble
theatre troupe in Los Angeles founded by Tim Robbins, where
they discovered their mutual love of rock and roll. From
their first gnarly performance at Al’s Bar in downtown Los
Angeles, where they performed their only song, “Tribute,” to
their emergence as the self-proclaimed Greatest Band on
Earth, “The D,” as they are known to their legion of fans,
has rocked the socks off all who have heard them.
Following their professional debut at Al’s Bar, they
appeared on the HBO late-90s’ sketch comedy program, “Mr.
Show” which led to HBO creating three, half-hour “Tenacious
D” shorts featuring the band. They also served as the
opening act for Beck, Tool and Pearl Jam, developing their
own fan base along the way.
Their live shows have become legend, the audience made up of
“D” devotees who know the words to all the songs – songs
that speak of fame, Kielbasa, Dio, friends, idols, drugs,
demons and love – carnal and otherwise.
Their 2001 CD “Tenacious D” went platinum and was followed
by the DVD, “Tenacious D The Complete Masterworks,” which
included their live concert at Brixton Academy plus music
videos directed by Spike Jonze and Liam Lynch, as well as
Lynch’s documentary “On the Road with Tenacious D.”
Although Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny is described by
Black and Gass as a biopic, some liberties have been taken.
But then, why wouldn’t they be? This is, after all, The D -
the most irreverent of reverent troubadours.
The movie begins with 10-year old Lil’ JB (Troy Gentile)
serenading his ultra-conservative, very religious family
with a rocking rendition of “Kickapoo,” a song written
expressly for the movie with lyrics that would make a sailor
blush. When his father (Meat Loaf), who believes rock ‘n
roll is the devil’s work, unleashes his belt and shows him
no mercy, tearing down all of his beloved rock posters, JB
implores Dio (Ronnie James Dio), one of his rock Gods, for
guidance. Dio reassures him that he is on the right path but
he must leave his stifling home environment and go to
Hollywood to “find the secrets of his art.”
Slipping out of the house, Lil’ JB spends the next several
years on the road stopping at numerous towns called
Hollywood. JB (Jack Black) finally arrives in rock ‘n roll
Mecca – Hollywood, California.
Strolling along the Venice boardwalk, he is enthralled by
the music of KG (Kyle Gass) a troubadour playing Bach’s
“Bourrees in E Minor” on a classical guitar. Although his
naïve suggestion that they form a band together is rebuffed,
JB joins in on KG’s melody, singing along over his playing.
To JB they are jam-ming; to KG, the neophyte is ruining his
gig, driving away his crowd.
When Lee (JR Reed), a geeky Pizza Delivery man mistakenly
thinks they are an act, KG storms off - disgusted.
Walking home later that night, KG witnesses JB being beaten
unconscious by a gang of A Clockwork Orange wannabe’s.
Coming to his rescue – after there is no longer any danger
to himself – KG helps the young musician up and takes him
back to his pad.
Eager to learn and hoping to be included in KG’s band, “The
Kyle Gass Project,” JB undergoes a series of tests devised
by the more experienced KG. Until one day the truth about
KG, his bogus band, album and hit song “I Love You Pumpkin”
is revealed. After the dust settles, a friendship has been
formed and a band is born. KG’s funds having been cut off by
his parents, the rent due and no dough in sight, the two are
in truly desperate straits. Their only hope is to win Open
Mic Night at Al’s Bar.
When their first performance is met with less than a stellar
response, they determine that to win the contest they need
to write a masterpiece. They soon realize this is much
harder than they ever imagined.
Then Fate intervenes: they notice that every cover photo in
their collection of Rolling Stone magazines show all the
great rockers using the same peculiar guitar pick. Racing to
The Guitar Center to buy one, the store manager has an acute
reaction when they show him the covers.
Leading them to a private room, the ex-guitar tech turned
rock historian relates a strange tale involving a wizard,
black magic, a blacksmith, a fair maiden and a great demon
with a chipped tooth. He tells them the history of The Pick
of Destiny – the darkest secret in the history of rock.
Going all the way back to the Dark Ages, the Pick has passed
through many hands, from Mozart to the British Invasion –
punk, new wave, metal. In the United States, it spawned the
blues and rock n’ roll. The Pick, he informs them, now
resides in the Rock and Roll History Museum – an
A hilarious musical adventure, Tenacious D in The Pick of
Destiny, follows JB and KG on their quest to obtain the Pick
and become the Greatest Band on Earth.
New Line Cinema. All rights reserved.
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