I can tell you why this movie is great in one word, two words… three words: the people are really great.
I really don’t think it’s a far shot to say that Anvil is the real-life “Spinal Tap.” There’s several uncanny similarities btwn the two bands.
This movie is the combination of “This is Spinal Tap” and “American Movie.” Boom!
It started out a little sad, but also admirable and inspiring.
Then they went on their tour which, all things considered, went pretty well. They said they didn’t get paid, but I think that was a big exaggerated. I just can’t imagine they wd (be able to afford to) stay in Europe for 38+ days, traveling around and surviving w/o being paid at all.
And while the manager wasn’t the best, she did much better than I cd have. Besides, she didn’t force them to do any of that.
Anyway, I think I can say why I think they never made it in one word: Lips. He’s a great guy, but he’s not a “star.” Even when you see him talking w/ the other musicians, you can just see his innocence, naïveté, goofiness, etc. Great guy, awesome musician, but just doesn’t have the larger-than-life presence required for management to get behind you.
B/c of that, it doesn’t matter how good you are. If anything, I’d say the original success of the band (i.e., the Japan concert and album(s)) was probably a bit of a fluke – they probably snuck in when Heavy Metal was just starting out or something.
Probably most of us know people that can sing better than most of those on American Idol or play guitar better than <insert famous guitarist here>, but they don’t get discovered, picked up, marketed, etc. Many reasons, but lack of artistic talent often isn’t one of them.