Directors Lev Anderson and Chris Metzler bring us Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone, which delineates sunrises and falls of the 25 years of Fishbone, an indescribable band who have created their own funk, while juxtaposing historical events happening in and around their hometown South-Central, Los Angeles, CA.

Not broke but, perhaps, “poor,” Fishbone has been a sensation since the members first met yet have not reached the same mainstream success as those whom they influence. The band has gained uber respect from some of the biggest names in Hollywood. The film combines old footage, past concerts and interviews with original band members and interviews with the likes of: Ice T (rapper), George Clinton (Parliament–Funkadelic), Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers), Tim Robbins (actor).

Gwen Stenfani explains, “Fishbone was the band that gave us the inspiration to be a band. They are just so unique and that is what I love about Fishbone, that they were super underground.”

Beginning with the year 1979, narrator Laurence Fishburne (“Mr. Clean,” Apocalypse Now; “Furious Styles,” Boyz in the Hood;  “Morpheus,” Matrix) leads the viewer through the emotive documentary: Fishburne relives his own struggles during LA during the 1980’s as well as his own memories of his friends, the original band members of Fishbone.

The viewer experiences racial tensions during the desegregation efforts of Los Angeles schools. Bused from South-Central to San Fernando Valley, the boys met in an attempt to ignore controversy at their junior high school. Their two perspectives of LA introduced them to two conflicting lifestyles, cultures and music scenes. “Ska-punk,” “rock” or “funk-metal” have all been used to describe Fishbone, but none do the band justice.

On the stage, Fishbone shines. Musical talent collides with original style. From the beginning, they toured internationally with Circle Jerks, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Beastie Boys. After high school, Columbia signed them and gave them the opportunity to create pervasive beats that could be recorded then purchased.

1991 changed everything. Fishbone appeared on SNL, and Spike Lee directed their music video. Unfortunately after 1991, band members began to leave due to separate hardships. Fishbone never fully recovered.

Centering around lead singer Angelo Moore and bassist Norwood Fisher, who are the only original members left in the band, Everyday Sunshine depicts two men who are determined to see the bright side of their current tour.

Current Fishbone Members Appearing: Rocky George (guitar: 2004-present); Dre Gipson (keyboards, vocals: 2004-present); John McKnight (guitar, trombone, accordion: 1999-2001, 2005-present); John Steward (drums: 1999-present)

Former Fishbone Members Appearing: Phillip “Fish” Fisher (drummer: 1979-1998); John Bigham (guitar: 1989-1997); Padre Holmes (trumpet: 2004-2005, 2007-2008); Tracey “Spacey T” Singleton (guitar: 1997-2003); Curtis Storey (trumpets, vocals: 2005-2007)

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About Megan M. Garwood

Megan M. Garwood is a New York City-based editor, art critic, commentator and aesthetician, as well as the Associate Director at Leslie Feely Gallery on 68th and Madison. Her guilty pleasures include metaethics, morality, conceptual art, and Coney Island side shows. Feel free to contact her via email at megan@whitehotmagazine.com.
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