Category Archives: Documentary

Melt Tattoo Family Reunion 2016

melt-10-yearsIf you asked me six years ago if I thought I would be sitting in a Melt Bar & Grilled with hundreds of people who share the same love and passion for carbs and cheese to the point they dedicated a part of their skin to showcase it, I probably would have believed you.

Back in 2009, Melt’s founder and creator, Matt Fish, announced a fun promotion of sorts:  Get a Melt tattoo and receive 25% off of your Melt purchase for life.

My question to myself immediately was, “am I bold enough to get a permanent coupon?”  The answer was a quick “yes.”

Being the type of guy who acts now and asks later, I set up an appointment as soon as I could with my favorite tattoo artist, Mr. Ronnie Castro, and got a hand-sized Melt-inspired tattoo right on my forearm for the world to see.

Initially, I wanted to take the NOFX Never Trust a Hippie album cover and alter Jesus to be holding a grilled cheese, but my tattoo artist was thinking of something a little bit more traditional.  Sometimes I wish would have gone with what I initially wanted, but I do love what he came up with:

Melt Tattoo

I waited for my tattoo to heal fully before making it up to the Lakewood location to sign up for the tattoo club causing my membership number to increase some.  For anyone who has ever gotten a tattoo, I am sure you can understand why I waited.  No one wanted to see a scabby mess, especially when it is going to be showcased on the restaurant’s Melt Tattoo Family website page.

I was presented with tattoo member #47.  At least I made it into the top 50, right?

Hell, this tattoo is what got me my in to the Cleveland Man vs. Food episode:

Man vs Food

As of today, there are over 500 members.  Talk about dedication folks.  With locations in Cleveland, Columbus, and most recently in Akron, it only makes sense that this one time promotion has turned into a following of sorts.

Last night, Fish and crew wanted to show their appreciation and love to all of the Melt Tattoo Family members by hosting the first ever Melt Tattoo Family Reunion.

Open to the first 200 members (plus 1 guest) to RSVP, the private event had a free appetizer buffet, photo booth, opportunity to be filmed for an upcoming Melt documentary, and best of all, a one-of-a-kind Derek Hess print.  They also offered a healthy discount on drinks and food too.

Arriving just after the event’s start, I waited in a decent sized line to get checked in and secure my Hess poster (photo to follow once I take one, it is a sweet print).

From there, I snagged some free eats and found a spot up at the bar to camp out at.  The free eats I speak of were beyond generous-sized offerings and consisted of most of the appetizer menu items including fried pickles, mac and cheese bites, and even s’mores bread pudding.

As I waited for my Dude Abides sandwich, I sipped on a couple of Melt City Lights and just looked at all of the people in there.  Everyone was happy, having a good time, and all had something in common with me.  They all felt inspired enough to put something permanent on their skin not only to achieve a discount, but to show support to a man and the company he created.

I started up a conversation with a couple sitting by me just to hear their story.  They were married for 25 years, loved Melt, and the husband got a tattoo and the wife plans on one soon.  They found Melt when they were looking for a restaurant in Cleveland with a good beer list.  They found the beer list that intrigued them and then they found the food.  Hailing from Canton, the couple drives to the Independence location frequently to enjoy a meal before having a night out and prefer it over the new Melt in Akron.

Before heading out, I decided to get my ugly mug on camera for the documentary they were filming.  It was kind of cool to be able to stand there and just explain why I got the tattoo and what it means to be in a family like this.

Fish and I chatted a few times throughout the night and he just looked so happy.  Can you blame him?  His comfort food idea has turned into a cheesy empire with thousands of adorning fans.

Tattooed or not, people love what Fish has built up over the last 10 years.  Here’s to 10 more years of cheesy goodness.

Film Review: Draw Hard (Turnstyle Films)

Draw HardI sometimes feel like I am an 80 year old man when I write.  I am not sure that is going to make much sense to you yet until you read the following:

In my life, I have met a lot of good, amazing faces.

Granted I have yet to turn 40, but that sentence holds so true.  I have had the pleasure of meeting so many people in my short existance on this planet.

One of those people is Jon Nix.  He is a fellow Cleveland resident with a bigger love for music and film than I will ever have in my lifetime.  He has leaped boundaries I could only have imagined doing at his age and currently runs the fast-moving Turnstyle Films.

Next week, Turnstyle Films is dropping Draw Hard, an amazing short form documentary on Cleveland’s most bad ass underground comic artist John G.

lem_01-2_coverI watched the documentary not really knowing what to expect.

I know who John G. is and I have seen his art everywhere from his Lake Erie Monster comic illustrations to the numerous concert posters he had done for many local acts.

Chances are if you are from Cleveland you have even seen his artwork on the monthly menu fliers that make those Melt Bar & Grilled sandwich of the months look even more enticing.

What I did not know was John G.’s story.

Draw Hard did a hell of a job bringing me to speed with a solid dude I am sure I rubbed shoulders with back in the 90s.  In one sitting, my appreciation for John G. grew easily 100 times.

The story is real and the best part about it was how it was told throughout.  It is a truly inspiring short documentary that everyone needs to check out.

You do not even need to love comic books to appreciate this documentary.  This showcasing of a man who overcame tragedy to his advantage proving you can do anything when you put your mind to it and without looking back.

On February 27th, Draw Hard will be available for rental or purchase on VHX .  For $10, you can even get digital versions of the first 5 volumes of the Lake Erie Monster comic as part of a bundle deal.

The documentary will also be available for streaming through Fandor,

Don’t pass this up.  Seriously.  It is well worth your time.

Props to Jon Nix and Turnstyle Films for creating such a captivating documentary about one of the most talented humans in Cleveland.

Check out the Draw Hard packages available on VHX:

Take A Dip Package – $4.99
-A Digital Copy of the Film
-Director’s Commentary
-Trailer
-Hi-Res Digital PDF of “The Lake Erie Monster” Volume #1

The Monster Package – $8.99
-A Digital Copy of the Film
-Director’s Commentary
-Trailer
-Hi-Res Digital PDFs of the First 5 Volumes of “The Lake Erie Monster” & The Summer Special issue

The Gritty Package – $9.99
-A Digital Copy of the Film
-Director’s Commentary
-Trailer
-Hi-Res Digital PDFs of the First 5 Volumes of “The Lake Erie Monster” & The Summer Special issue
-Hi-Res Digital PDFs of The John G Art collections “No Gods No Monsters” & “No Gods No Monsters Non Grata”

Cleveland’s TurnStyle Films Drops Trailer For “Draw Hard”

DRAW HARD

Cleveland’s very own TurnStyle Films just dropped a trailer for their well-deserved documentary about local illustrator and comic book artist, John G.

Chances are if you live in Cleveland, you have seen his drawings more than one time.  He is the man behind the sandwich of the month artwork for Melt Bar and Grilled, has done many fliers for local concerts, and is the illustrator for the underground comic  The Lake Erie Monster with artist Jake Kelly.

Judging by this trailer, this is going to be an amazing documentary about one of the most talented men in Cleveland.  I can not wait to see it.

Check It Out: Forced Perspective – The Life of Artist Derek Hess

Forced PerspectiveDerek Hess is Cleveland.

I am sure you are asking yourself why in the hell I just stated that.

Truth is, have been sitting here for easily 30 minutes trying to figure out how to start this post and that is what sounded best.  I have the feeling many of you reading this though agree with me.

The Cleveland, Ohio, America, World-Renowned artist Derek Hess has been creating concert fliers, illustrations, artwork and prints for nearly 20 years and finally someone had the right state of mind to do a documentary on him.

To say I am excited is an understatement.  I have been a fan of Hess since I was a kid and have had the pleasure of meeting him multiple times.  I am proud to say I have a few of his prints from over the years and one day hope to obtain an original.

I know the man has been through a lot and I am very curious to learn more about him soon.  I can say he is a quality person and I know this documentary is going to be amazing.

The following comes from the press release:

“Forced Perspective” is a documentary film showcasing the life of artist Derek Hess directed by Nick Cavalier. The film illuminates Derek’s struggle with alcoholism, bipolar disorder, depression and watches him triumph over his personal demons while showing how these experiences help shape his artwork. From Derek’s early flyer work and celebrated sketches to his elaborate mixed media pieces, this film showcases the evolution of Derek’s art and the emotional ripples it leaves behind in the world.

Check out the trailer:

“Forced Perspective” – The Story Of Artist Derek Hess | Trailer 1 from Nick Cavalier on Vimeo.

Forced Perspective is currently in post-production with a release date next year.

Lemmy: The Movie

Last night was a blast.  In case some of you missed it, there was a screening of the new Lemmy documentary called LEMMY: 49% Motherf**ker, 51% Son of a Bitch at the Beachland Ballroom in good ol’ Cleveland, OH.  It was a great film and I invite anyone who is a Motorhead fan to check it out when it comes out on DVD in a couple of weeks.

I would like to consider myself the soul reason the movie appeared last night at the Beachland.  It was not because I organized the event or got in touch with director Wes Orchoski and asked him to come out and do a Q & A – That was Matt @ Addicted To Vinyl.

The reason was because I provided the Blu-Ray player.  Yes friends, if it were not for me last night, none of this would ever have happened…

Ok, it was not my Blu-Ray player.  Still, I was the one who brought it in and hit “play” when the lights went out.  I had a job to do last night and I did it well…

It really did not go that smoothly though…

I arrived a little early to the Beachland Ballroom after a couple failed attempts at doing some vinyl shopping on Warterloo.  I forgot it was Sunday and the shops tend to close earlier.  It worked out to my advantage though as the sound and video folk at the Beachland were waiting for my arrival.

We hooked up the Blu-Ray player as the tribute band set up and then just hung out in the soon to be filled ballroom.  During the downtime I hung out with Wes who is a really kick-ass guy.  He talked about his statewide tour showcasing his project that took him four years to create as well as some of the musicians he interviewed.  Needless to say, I was jealous.

By 8 o’clock the place was packed.  It was funny because I snuck downstairs for a bit to chill out  abot 20 minutes earlier and when I came back upstairs almost all the seats were filled.  It was a full house.  All the chairs were filled and people were standing, all waiting for the film to start.

I was asked to join WJCU/Auburn Records Owner Bill Peters and Chris Akin on stage to introduce Wes to the stage for a shot opening speech by Wes and then was given the cue to start the movie.

So what do I do?  I screw up.

I forgot to take out the screensaver disc and enter the blu-ray into the player.  As I stood there confused the crowd was wondering what the hell the kid in the Social Distortion jacket was doing on the side of the state.

It was me vs. the crowd and I did what I do best – ignored them…for a moment at least.

I stood there looking at the screen wondering why the damn movie was not playing and then it hit me…  I quickly realized what I forgot to do, exchanged discs, and threw up a fist-pump for the crowd (many who cheered).

I am an idiot.

The movie started and all I can tell you is this:  It was a funny, truthful, honest, and real documentary on the hardest working musician on the planet.  I loved all the interviews Wes was able to capture including some great stories from Scott Ian (Anthrax), Dave Grohl (Nirvana/Foo Fighters/Pro-Bot), and Henry Rollins (duh).

There was plenty of music throughout and also some history of Lemmy that many probably are not aware of.

Lemmy himself was a blast to listed to talk, when I could understand him – thankfully there were plenty of subtitles throughout.

It was one of the better documentaries I have seen in my time and enjoyed every moment.  Wes asked me to go back up stage with him and kill the movie once the credits ended so I made my way up there and turned the Blu-Ray player off.  Lots of the crowd wanted more and thankfully Bill Peters introduced Wes one more time for a Q&A.  This gave me enough time to get everything packed out and I snuck off the side of the stage.

Everyone who joined in on the Q&A had some good questions for Wes.  Well that is not entirely true as one lady asked why Lemmy didn’t come…  Anyways, it was a blast to see the crowd interact with Wes.

The tribute band immediately followed and rocked out.  All who stayed enjoyed their performance.  I stayed for a few songs and made my way to the exit.

I had a blast helping out with the event and make some really awesome new friends.  I was 1/16th rockstar that night as I got to stand on stage and miserably fail at starting a simple movie.

The crowd rocked, the documentary was entertaining, and now of course now I want to go out and buy all the Motorhead and Hawkwind vinyl I can get my hands on.

Thanks to Addicted To Vinyl’s Matt for putting on the event, thanks to all who showed up, and special thanks to Bill Peters and Chris Akin for helping out as well.

Interested in checking out the Lemmy movie?  CLICK HERE.