They Were Once Famous

The Salina Art Center Cinema is featuring a fun, one night only screening this week of a documentary which will end with a Q&A and acoustic performance by the band featured in the film.

According to the organization, “We Were Famous, You Don’t Remember: The Embarrassment” will be shown Thursday night at 6:00.

The film chronicles the Embarrassment, a band formed in Wichita in 1979.  According to the Art Center, the story begins at the end of the seventies. Surrounded by wheat fields, cowboys, and cars, four bespectacled misfits in Kansas — Bill Goffrier, Brent Giessmann, John Nichols, and Ron Klaus — grabbed instruments and blasted out “a ravenous strain of rock ‘n’ roll” as tuneful, brainy, and enthralling as anything coming from the coasts. They worshipped the Stooges and witnessed the Sex Pistols bring punk to the Great Plains, igniting an uncontrolled prairie fire to do-it-themselves within them. As the Embarrassment, they threw a house-wrecking party and invited “a thousand loving friends” into their secret world of “weirdo new wave freaks” in Wichita and beyond. They played Chicago, D.C., and New York, drawing the attention of influential figures like Allen Ginsberg, John Cale, and Jonathan Demme — but their independence and refusal to sell out sparked tension within the group and kept mainstream success at bay.

Through original interviews, restored concert footage, and appearances by fans including , this documentary shows how the Embarrassment rose out of nowhere to become a post-punk legend that’s almost been forgotten , until now.

Get your tickets ahead of time below or at the box office on April 11.

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