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Roger Tennis

CLIPS Interview with Steve "Lips" Kudlow of the band Anvil

by Roger Tennis


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Gaining critical acclaim, "Anvil! The Story of Anvil" is one of the best rock documentaries ever made.  I had a conversation with Steve "Lips" Kudlow, the band's lead guitarist and co-founder, recently about the movie; which is in limited release in the U.S. Also, Anvil is hosting some events at select locations called "The Anvil Experience." These include a screening followed by a live performance.

Roger -  How did this movie get off the ground?  Who came up with the idea?

Lips -.  This whole thing is incredible, really. In 1982 we went to England and played at the Marquee Club which held 200-300 people. Everyone from Jimi Hendrix to the Beatles played there.  We got to play there for two nights. One of the nights, a young kid named Sacha Gervasi shows up who eventually became our roadie. Over the years we showed him the time of his life.  We opened his eyes to a completely different perspective. As time went by, he disappeared to finish school and we all went on our separate journeys recording records and touring. One day we found out that Sacha had become a screenwriter for Steven Spielberg.  I wasn't surprised because he was an extraordinary teenager.

Roger -  He wrote "The Terminal."

Lips -   Right. Sacha thought it was remarkable that we were still recording as a rock band.  Everything from this day on is a miracle.  We were about to record our 13th album and Sacha had the idea to make this movie. 

Roger-  Did you, Robb Reiner and the other band members have much input in the making of the movie or did you leave it up to Sacha?

Lips -  We left it in Sacha's hands.  We completely trusted him and it worked out beautifully.

Roger-  Where did you get the nickname "Lips?"  Steve "Lips" Kudlow - Lead gutarist for Anvil

Lips -   Robb Reiner's father gave it to me because I talk all the time. When I get going I'll tell you everything you want to know and everything you don't want to know so it's kind of a perfect name. That's just my personality.

Roger - So far the movie doesn't have an MPAA rating, although it will probably receive an "R" for language and a brief shot of nudity.

Lips - Not yet and it probably never will. I don't know what to really say about that. Quite frankly, we have had parents bring their kids and I let my son when he was 9 years old watch 'The Osbournes". I really don't think there's anything wrong with the language.

Roger - David Norland's music, I remember a scene of the band at Stonehenge and I can't get the music out of my head.  It will always bring up the image of you guys at Stonehenge.

Lips - Yeah, amazing. Robb worked on that too.

Roger - Other memorable scenes were of where you fight breaking down and crying, your wife crying and Robb staring at a painting of a giant anvil on the wall. There's some amazing work in this movie.

Lips - Thanks, man. It's real -- real life and it's a great, great movie that's got all of that and it's a form of inspiration to me. It's about giving back.  It's just an amazing turn of events that took 30 years. The people understand where we're coming from and really, really connect with this movie.

Roger - I hope that someday you can bring the show to Phoenix.

Lips - We are trying to work on that.

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