On 12 December last year I attended the world premiere of Serious Drugs, Jim Burns’ film about the career of BMX Bandits. For the first and probably last time, I was able to personally greet both the director and subject of a film on the red carpet at its premiere – in truth though, rather than a red carpet, it was the pavement outside the Glasgow Film Theatre…
It was a fine film, a labour of love for Jim, who had been personally uplifted by the music of BMX Bandits at a low point in his life. With the co-operation of Duglas Stewart and a selection of current and past members of the band, he had made a low-budget film which only would have been possible with the shrewdest applications of modern digital technology. It took some years, but it was gratifying to see Jim and Duglas being able to take the plaudits from a “live” audience at the Q and A after the film was shown.
While unflinching in exploring the work methods and the motivations which have propelled the Bandits’ twenty-five year (and counting) career, it is also openly celebratory of the positive effects their work has had on many people throughout the world.
The only quibble I had was the absence of any mention of Joe McAlinden, an important member of the band for years as composer, instrumentalist and vocalist. There were a couple of still pictures of the band including him, but it was a bit weird that the co-writer and original singer on none other than the song “Serious Drugs” was written out of the history
The film has gone on to be shown at numerous film festivals and has been roundly praised.
Serious Drugs has just been released on a limited edition DVD which is available to buy here.