‘Who a F**k is That Guy? The Fabulous Journey of Michael Alago': Film Review

Drew Stone recounts a doubtful arena of Michael Alago by a song business and beyond.

Representing a flourishing microgenre of “they knew everybody!” documentary portraits (think of a new Danny Says), Drew Stone’s Who a F**ck is That Guy shows how total, unashamed song fandom took a nobody from New York City’s distant reaches to a heart of a song business. Starting off as only a child who attended any live uncover he could manage, Michael Alago shortly spin a tastemaker who (among other things) helped deliver a universe to Metallica. Despite a really medium prolongation values and slight scope, this accessible doc is one some-more tiny section in a ongoing verbal story of Downtown Manhattan around a spin of a Eighties, and will be appreciated by those who only can’t hear enough.

As a Puerto Rican child vital in a close-knit Orthodox Jewish area of Borough Park in Brooklyn, Alago spent as most time as he could going out. His mom didn’t mind, and apparently conjunction did bouncers: “I was 16, and looked like we was 12 and a half,” he recalls, though he though became a unchanging during Max’s Kansas City and other hotspots, befriending everybody who was anyone. (Photos taken with Bruce Springsteen, Debbie Harry and David Lee Roth denote his sociability while proof only how underage he in fact looked.)

After a bit of scene-setting, articulate of a East Village’s excellence days and introducing some who survived them (Cyndi Lauper, filmmaker Dito Montiel, playwright Eric Bogosian), a film shows how fast Alago went from using a small Dead Boys fanzine to removing work during a just-opened Ritz, an successful stone bar handling in a ancestral building that is now Webster Hall. (“Now” being a user word: Webster is about to close, due to renovate into a venue that sounds extremely some-more corporate.)

At a Ritz, Alago was a partner to impressario Jerry Brandt (familiar to rock-doc fans from Jobriath A.D., that embellished him as a climb and manipulator); though he shortly became a club’s booker, and was instrumental in putting on shows by pre-stardom acts like U2 and Duran Duran. He afterwards graduated to Elektra Records, where he hold a desired AR pursuit during a developed age of 21.

As he becomes a tie during a city’s heavy-metal shows, a film’s importance on Alago’s homosexuality becomes some-more interesting: With a genre’s musicians and fans mostly indicted of homophobia, one would consider an plainly happy male would have difficulty. But according to a film, Alago was famous as a headbanger whose believe of a stage demanded respect. That large responsibility account, and a ability to palm out record deals, substantially had something to do with musicians’ acceptance.

Alago’s explain to celebrity is removing Metallica signed. Interviewed individually, any member of a organisation creates it transparent that he was no hit-and-run tag lackey; he was deeply concerned with and desired by a band. The same binds for White Zombie, sealed by Alago after he changed to Geffen Records.

Why did he leave Elektra? Who hired him during Geffen? The doc says nothing, and during some indicate a doubtful spectator might think a comment has been overly molded to stress a subject’s successes. (Frustratingly, a film can’t means to embody any of a song he had a palm in producing and promoting.)

Then comes a dim element informed from any rise-fall-comeback showbiz doc. Alago drank too much, did too many drugs, went on weeks-long trance binges. And as is foreshadowed early on, he tested certain for HIV. He roughly died before being prescribed a cocktail of drugs that saved him, and as Stone shows how he pulled himself behind from a brink, a movie’s genuine motivations come into focus. Uninterested in explaining because he didn’t lapse to a song business, Stone and his interviewees only wish to applaud a fact that Alago is alive, reborn as a photographer. As one of a much-too-rare presence stories from a widespread that killed many of his peers, The Fabulous Journey of Michael Alago is too relieved to be critical.


Production company: Stone Films NYC

Distributor: XLRator

Director-Screenwriter: Drew Stone

Producers: Michael Alex, Drew Stone

Executive producers: Peter Spirer, Gillian McCain, Rob Zombie, Michael Alex, Peter Darrell, Jane Ormerod, Vinayak Singh

Editors: Drew Stone, Alan Dubin

Venue: Nitehawk Cinema


77 minutes