‘Last Days Here’ and Pentagram’s Sordid Story
Engrossing doc explores the price of the rock life
The leathery “survivor” is one of rock’s great archetypes. Think Keith Richards, Lemmy, or Iggy Pop: Their nicotine croaks and haggard faces supposedly suggestive of toughly earned wisdom or hard-won grace. They lived in the flame. They understand. Or, as in the case of Pentagram’s Bobby Liebling, they don’t.
Directors Don Argott and Demian Fenton’s just released documentary Last Days Here examines the complicated legacy of Bobby Liebling and his doom-metal band, Pentagram — also the subject of a May 2011 SPIN feature. For more than 40 years Liebling has sought, against all reasonable, or even sane, expectations, to make a career out of his band’s highly influential Sabbath-esque stomp. The decades have brought occasional brushes with success, but his chosen pursuit also led him to horrific drug dependency, emotional self-destructiveness, and career despondency. What has music given this man? What has it taken away? Though it offers moments of uplift, the film — far more disturbing than the surface-similar Anvil doc — gives no easy answers. It’s worth watching for anyone curious about the cost of the rock life.