Last Days Here (2011) Directed by Don Argott and Demian Fenton. With Bobby Liebling and Sean Pelletier
Ever heard of a hard rock/metal band called Pentagram? Well, unless you’re an aficionado of the early 1970’s underground rock scene, it’s unlikely.
Last Days Here is a warts n’ all documentary following Pentagram lead singer Bobby Liebling as he struggles to come to terms with various drug addictions in a fight for both his own survival and a bid to return to former glories.
As the film begins, we’re introduced to a scarecrow of a man. Liebling looks on the very edge of life with his drawn features, bandaged arms (he claims to have a parasite infection) and an obvious dependency on drugs. At this stage, the title of the film, Last Days Here seems sadly literal.
What then follows is a tug of war between Bobby, his addictions and a young man called Sean Pelletier, a die-hard fan of the band. ‘Pellet’ as he’s known to Bobby acts as a guardian angel and sets out to try and help the troubled singer change his ways. For a documentary about a musician, it’s interesting just how little music we actually get to hear. Sure, there the odd sound-bite but in the end this is a film about human struggle as opposed to a celebration of music.
What becomes clear is just how selfish Liebling has been over the years. With a loving upbringing and many opportunities squandered, many might question how undeserving he is of further chances, but the loyalty, faith and dogged determination of Sean ‘Pellet’ Pelletier leaves much to admire.
Like many music based documentaries (see also the Anvil film) , you require no previous knowledge or interest in the band the find the film accessible. Clearly loved by those who follow the band, it’s often difficult for outsiders to see what was so special about this man, but what’s clear is that for better or for worse, he has had an impact on their lives. In the end, if this man can be saved it’s not the music directly that can save him. It’s the people who love the music. 4/5