Columbus Rebel Rocker Lydia Loveless Gets a Rock Doc

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly
Lydia Loveless is set to star in a documentary about her band and their music.

Connecticut filmmaker Gorman Bechard thought he'd be three and out when it came to rock documentaries. He'd already made films about The Replacements, Archers of Loaf and Hüsker Dü's Grant Hart and had moved on to other subjects. (His latest documentary, "A Dog Named Gucci," chronicles a puppy that was set on fire and then rescued.) But then he saw Lydia Loveless perform last year. Or rather, he saw her four times in two months.

"Every single time was something different," Bechard says. "One night, the band was just so wonderfully drunk. I was watching them, going, 'Are they gonna make it through the set?' The next night in New York, at the end of the show she's on her knees, and she's stomping on the pickups of her Fender. Then I see her again, and they almost sound like the alt-country version of the Byrds. I thought, 'Who is this girl?' "

That's the question Bechard will try to answer in his upcoming Kickstarter-funded documentary, "Who is Lydia Loveless?" He'll come to Columbus this summer to shoot footage of Loveless and her band around town and hopefully film a hometown show, then follow them on the road and in the studio.

"We're gonna cover every single thing there is to cover," says Bechard, who sees Loveless and her bandmates as torchbearers for the raw, pure rock 'n' roll spirit.

Loveless is both excited and terrified about the prospect of having a camera in her face for weeks at a time. "It seemed like a fun opportunity for a narcissist like me," she says, laughing. "Anyone who does anything creative, you have to have a certain amount of ego or you're just lying to yourself. So I'm trying to be in the mindset of, 'I'm awesome! Yeah!' "

Bechard plans to highlight Loveless' entire band in the rock doc, which he hopes to release next year. "You know a band is a great band with real characters if you can picture them as a Saturday morning cartoon," he says, "and you can so picture these guys as a Saturday morning cartoon."

"I think we're all pretty amusing people," Loveless says. "My hope is that it at least will be hilarious."