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Brian Pern: The Life of Rock/A Life In Rock/45 Years of Prog Rock (BBC) [DVD]

4.8 out of 5 stars 53 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Simon Day, Martin Freeman, Peter Gabriel, Roger Taylor, Micheal Kitchen
  • Directors: Rhys Thomas
  • Writers: Simon Day, Rhys Thomas
  • Producers: Rhys Thomas
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Spirit Entertainment Limited
  • DVD Release Date: 4 April 2016
  • Run Time: 250 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B01AWP1OXY
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,897 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

'Brian Pern: A Life in Rock' is a British comedy documentary following ageing rock star Brian Pern, former front-man of the legendary 1970s progressive rock group Thotch.

The Three series; The Life of Rock, A Life in Rock and 45 Years of Prog and Roll follow Brian as he develops as an artist through the ages. Brian claims to have invented world music, come up with the idea of Live Aid and to be the first musician to use Plasticine in videos . An affectionate parody of Peter Gabriel, Brian Pern features a whole host of recognisable faces from Rock and Pop.

The Complete Series includes the nine episodes from all three series including a whole host of extra footage.

If there's a funnier show than Brian Pern: a Life in Rock, I'll be staggered - The Guardian

A wealth of extras including:

Deleted/Extended scenes from series 1-3

Bonus Episode: Brian Pern at the BBC (a collection of Brian's videos and Top of the Pops performances)

Original Brian Pern webisodes

The original unseen Pilot filmed in Rhys' bedroom with Simon

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Well, I didn't think the BBC would get their act together and do this. But they have. Well done BBC!

This is all three series of the brilliant spoof fly-on-the-wall "rockumentaries" following, Brian Pern (Simon Day), former front man of public-school prog-rock group "Thotch", pioneer of world music and the first man to use plasticine in music videos!

There is just so much to enjoy here, it would be impossible to cover it all. It is brilliantly written and there is a host of great characters, beautifully played, with everyone in on the joke. While there are far too many to cover, my favourites included, Michael Kitchen, (of Foyle's War, fame) a superb turn as the no nonsense "straight talking" manager John Farrow, Paul Whitehouse as "Thotch" lead guitarist, Pat Quid and a very funny performance by Nigel Havers, playing against his usual suave persona, as keyboard wizard, Tony Pebble (sorry, Pebblé). I also thought Lucy Montgomery as "Pepita Sanchez" (a sort of Kate Bush to Day's Peter Gabriel) was very good indeed. In fact Peter Gabriel appears in every series, which shows what a good sport he is. (I wonder what the other members of the original "Genesis" thought about it?)

There are three series;

The Life of Rock with Brian Pern: this is where we are first introduced to Brian (and Thotch) as Pern narrates a history of rock, with some terrific interviews and set pieces.

Brian Pern: A life in Rock. Which covers more of his life, including his acrimonous split from Thotch, more on the other band members and his solo career.

Brian Pern: 45 years of prog and roll. Brian reappears after his heart attack with, let's say, a new look.
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Format: DVD
Superb spoof, blending fictional rock worlds with its many counterparts in real life almost seamlessly. I say 'almost' because the most perfect send-up of all, and where the benchmark still resides after all these years, is Rob Reiner's 'This Is Spinal Tap'. And for one simple reason: the music in that film stood up in its own right, the soundtrack being an actual decent stab at 'proper' heavy rock. Unfortunately, the efforts of Brian Pern over several decades of changing tastes in popular culture are not quite as memorable, which gives rise to the question: where's the wonderful Mitch Benn when you need him? As a result, the whole enterprise just misses the mark, but only by a whisker.

However, it all looks fabulous and is acted with a decent amount of conviction by a group of very talented and, again unlike Spinal Tap, seriously famous faces. But thank God for BBC4 and it's huge archive of classic and not-so classic cuts; because of that, there's tons of stuff available to dissect and re-stitch together in weirdly recognisable forms. The swearing is of course copious, but it fits the world-weary nature of our former prog-rock gods perfectly (they're always seriously p.o. about something, usually each other). And the story of Brian's life - both on the road and behind the scenes with his vulture/manager and bitterly estranged/untalented family - and the many musical turns it has taken since starting out, hangs together very well indeed.

VERDICT: Made with considerable skill and inventiveness, Simon Day headlines a classy and, above all else, funny 'rockumentary' that will stand the test of time (and repeated viewings).

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
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By DM on 6 April 2016
Format: DVD
In the 1970s, Brian had a torrid affair with Pam Ayres. They would experiment with psychedelic drugs, iambic pentameter and shepherd's pie. Concealed from the tabloid press, this affair continued across four continents and marked a significant cultural breakthrough; they decided to launch Brian's answer to Sergeant Pepper, an experimental tea room in Ireland where the staff had to talk to customers in rhyming couplets and the scone recipes included magic mushrooms. Their relationship had become violent by the time the tea room was due to open, with Ayres striking Brian if he didn't manage at least twenty haiku a day. She was also pregnant and finding the demands of being an expectant mother/chat show poetry pundit too much, combined with the effects of tasting too much crack craic bread and trying to get the menu to rhyme. The day before the opening of 'Leprechaun's Limerick Tea Room', the local authorities shut it down on the grounds Brian and Pam were 'taking the piss'. Pam immediately went into labour and had the child adopted. Pam and Brian split and never saw their child again, Brian refusing to look back on the whole episode and never mentioning it to his family and wife and other kids.

I am that child and I have followed Brian around the world since I was old enough to wear a Stewardess uniform. I have bought all the albums, the merchandise and every copy of this disc ever sold. I have also tried to contact my mother but understand she had gender reassignment in 1987 and is happily living as Bernard, a baker in Yeovil, and is very happy baking especially long baguettes.
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