Synopsis by Mark Deming
In the 1980s, Fishbone were a band that seemed destined for stardom; their albums earned rave reviews from critics, their wildly energetic live shows made converts of the most skeptical music fans, and they were willing to work hard to bring their music to the people. But a few things held them back -- their music was a crazy quilt of funk, ska, punk, hard rock and R&B that was exciting but wildly difficult to classify, and all the group's members were black, which shouldn't have mattered but did as radio and MTV became increasingly segregated in the 1980s. The group was spawned by a typically 1970s cultural collision; founding member Norwood Fisher became part of a court-ordered bussing program that took him out of South Central Los Angeles to a school in the San Fernando Valley, where he met fellow outcast Angelo Moore. Together, Fisher and Moore took their own musical ideas rooted in reggae and funk, mixed them with the rock and punk favored by their classmates, and created a sound that was all their own. But for all their promise and talent, Fishbone had a way of generating chaos, and the frequent conflicts between band members (best exemplified by their attempts to liberate Walter Kibby after he joined a cult) certainly didn't help matters. Filmmakers Lev Anderson and Chris Metzler chronicle the band's long, strange history in the documentary Everyday Sunshine: The Story Of Fishbone, which includes interviews with noted fans Gwen Stefani, Flea, Ice-T, George Clinton, Mike Watt, Branford Marsalis and Tim Robbins. Everyday Sunshine received its world premiere at the 2010 Los Angeles Film Festival.