Maryland’s own Woodstock: That was what Billy Gordon was shooting for in May of 1985 when he hosted the Full Moon Jamboree on a piece of land known as The Farm in Potomac, Md. The party lasted only a weekend, but with more than a thousand people in attendance — including some disgruntled police — the Jamboree propelled itself into local-music infamy.
Twenty-five years later, “Heavy Metal Parking Lot” director Jeff Krulik revisits the notorious party in his new documentary, “Heavy Metal Picnic.” Krulik decided to make the film after screening some footage of the party shot by a friend who’d been armed with a home-video camera and a CBS microphone swiped from Ronald Reagan’s inauguration ceremony.
Krulik then tracked down folks who were at the Jamboree, and those interviews offer viewers a glimpse into the heyday of Maryland’s rock scene.
» EXPRESS: What was it about the footage that attracted you to the project?
» KRULIK: It’s funny; it’s very genuine. …Everybody was part of that scene so they were kind of making their own home movie. Everybody just let it all hang out for their friends on camera. It’s a real kind of window into this period, which is great because this is a time way before cell-phone cameras, way before the proliferation of home video — home video was very much in its infancy. Nobody had cameras and, of course, in a situation like this party, [where the crew] had a CBS microphone, it was like, “What? Is this the news?” And yet, it couldn’t be farther from the news. It was just this giant kind of playground all captured on tape. Because footage from that period is really rare, when you get right down to it, that’s why it really appealed to me.
» EXPRESS: How did people who were at the party react when they saw the film?
» KRULIK: They were amused and excited and interested and really nostalgic. It’d be like you watching whatever period of time you were really coming of age or really just, you know, sowing your oats. If you saw a video of it, as long as you weren’t doing anything too embarrassing, you’d probably really enjoy it. And everybody who I’ve screened it for who was part of it really got a kick out of it.
» AFI Silver Theatre, 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring; Fri. Aug. 6, $10; 301-495-6700. (Silver Spring)
Written by Express contributor Topher Forhecz
Photo courtesy Jeff Krulik