Yes. I've got it on VHS as a matter of fact. I'm glad someone documented it. It's too bad there are not more and better documentations of Art. He deserved much better, but I'm grateful for what there is.
Back when A & E network first started, they used to show Jazz videos on certain nights. One was Jimmy Witherspoon in a club in LA. Who should pop in but Art Pepper. Art was *shattered*. Clearly coked out of his mind, but playing his bunions off. He chases the rhythm section all over the place and as they wind down the tune and 'Spoon is introducing the band, Art's still off groovin' hard in solo land. It's awful to see from a human standpoint, but beautiful from a purely musical standpoint. I wish I could find that.
I'm reminded of the story about Bird where he goes up to the Bar Keep before the show and asks for 8 doubles of Whisky (I believe) and the Bartender says "If you can drink all these and still play I'll give them to you for free" Bird Knocks them back and plays like a champ and gets paid at the end of the night.
The story gets around and Art decides to give it a go. "Give me 8 doubles!" The bartender says "Ok, you know the deal...."
Art got to about the 5th one and started throwing up and was obviously unable to play.
All those cats who wanted to be like bird needed to realize that Bird had the constitution of an ox. Something only a rare few have. Hunter Thompson comes to mind.
I saw this in a theater when it was first released and decades later purchased the DVD. But I highly recommend Pepper's autobiography, Straight Life instead. The book goes into MUCH, MUCH more detail than the movie. So much brutal, honest detail that it's rather disturbing. The movie doesn't even begin to scratch the surface of his life. Other than Art's playing in the movie, it's rather disappointing. That said, I did purchase the DVD, but IMO the book is much better.
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