Magazine Star Wars Hawaiian Shirt

Magazine Star Wars Hawaiian Shirt

Magazine Star Wars Hawaiian Shirt
Magazine Star Wars Hawaiian Shirt

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Keith’s alter ego as a sad failure makes for a surprisingly touching presence from the punk vet. “I’ve grown to really like that character,” Coats says. “It’s about the band OFF! Existing in their normal reality, but about those same people existing in an alternate reality and ending up as these characters that are completely unfulfilled. In Keith’s case, he’s someone who never followed his dreams and ended up a schlub.

“It’s designed to be a very fun and entertaining and complex movie, but let’s get real here – it’s intended to be a midnight movie, a cult film,” Coats continues, mentioning previous underground classics like Evil Dead, 200 Motels and the Ramones’ Rock ‘n’ Roll High School.

Coats of OFF! Performs onstage at the Roxy Theatre in a scene from “Free LSD,” a rock ‘n’ roll sci-fi comedy about the L.A. Punk band OFF! Behind him is David Yow (best known as singer from the Jesus Lizard) in character as The Boner Doctor. (Credit: Steve Appleford)

The project is also in the tradition of 1984’s Repo Man, which marked a rare early film appearance by Morris — briefly seen performing with a lounge lizard version of the Circle Jerks in mismatched tuxedos. The cast also included Zander Schloss, who later joined the band on bass and is in Free LSD. Even with all its notoriety, Morris didn’t see the entire film for years, until his mom urged him to see it.

“My mom said, ‘Keith, it’s my favorite movie,’” the singer remembers. “I’m scratching my head. ‘How could this oddball movie be your favorite movie?’ And she said ‘It’s a religious movie. You’re following Otto as he’s searching for something, and he doesn’t find it until the very end of the movie. The guy that works in the parking lot where all of the cars that have been repossessed, he’s giving out his words of wisdom. And at the end of the movie, he and Otto are in the radioactive car going to heaven.’ So it took my mom to explain it to me. [Laughs.] Thank you, mom.”

In Free LSD, comedian-writer-actor Dana Gould appears as a nervous podcast guest with a personal story of alien abduction. While waiting to shoot his scene with Morris, he described a real kinship between musicians and comics of a particular breed.

“Certain kinds of comics are like punk,” Gould says. “We have a lot of aggression, but the only people we hurt are ourselves. I don’t like bands that aren’t funny.”

Morris says there is a deeper message too, about the power of choosing the right path. “There’s hope after all, even for the meek and the less unfortunate,” he explains. “The whole idea is, when you’re at the high dive, you don’t look down, you just jump. You just go for it. The LSD doesn’t just stand for lysergic mind-expanding colorful drugs: Love Shines Down, which we need more of going on in this world, because this world sucks.”

Shooting on the film wrapped on July 18, and Free LSD is currently being edited with plans for a roll out at film festivals before a wider release. After this fall’s tour, OFF!’s future is unknown. Coats is interested in more filmmaking, and Morris is open to other new projects. If this ends up being the final word from OFF!, Coats says he’ll be satisfied to have it end on this high note.

“Keith and I have struggled for years now to get this particular project off the ground,” he says. “It’s been exhausting and also extremely rewarding. There’s something to be said for going out strong and going out with our chins high up in the air. I’d be very proud if this was our final bow.

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Magazine Star Wars Hawaiian Shirt
Magazine Star Wars Hawaiian Shirt

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