Rebekah Starr, now known as Rebekah Rahnavardi, fronts the Rebekah Starr Band and hails from the small town of Kittanning, Pennsylvania. She comes from an affluent family, which seems to have no love lost for each other. Starr went to New York to try to do the rock & roll thing, but her band, The Skinny broke up and she had to come back home to work for the family, but she was fired. Starr then decides the Rebekah Starr Band needs to make a video to “make it.” Problem #1: Starr’s husband and drummer doesn’t make the trip; Problem #2: he thinks she is cheating on him, and eventually it looks like he was correct. Problem #3: the only band member to come with Starr is her tambourine player, Estonian Annika Alliksoo. The two girls load up the white minivan and head west for rock & roll stardom. Along the way, the girls pick up a gig here and there and beg for people in bars and on the streets to buy their CD to help fund their trip to California to make the video. With two “pretty” blondes flirting with you, it appears to be an easy sale. However, Starr is out to make a point to her family that women can be successful in business and she will do whatever it takes to prove the family wrong, including throwing her husband and bandmate/friend under the bus.
Along the way, the girls smoke a lot of cigarettes, drink a lot of booze, and flirt with a lot of men to get what they want. Of course, seeing how the video is for the single “My Way” where Starr proudly sings “I like to get my way, it’s just the game I play,” this should be no surprise.
When Starr and Alliksoo reach L.A. they enlist friend and drummer Jamie Adler to be their drummer and appear in this video. They drop lots of money on high-end make up, haircuts etc. and make the rounds on Sunset Strip to sell the goods. Fed up with Starr’s lack of respect and put downs, Alliksoo quits the band, rejoins the band, and eventually walks off stage during a show at the Cat Club. But its ok, the video gets made when Alliksoo rejoins the band again.
“My Way” is nothing short of a Jerry Springer episode or a modern day reality show cluster fuck. Starr comes off like a bratty rich kid who will do whatever she wants to get anything she wants. Alliksoo is the lowly tambourine player (seriously, is this actually an instrument rock bands have?) who does work her ass off for the band while getting “tipsy” at any chance she gets.
As I watched this 90 minute documentary directed by Dominique Mollee and Vinny Sisson, I couldn’t help but wonder “Why THIS band?” What makes Rebekah Starr more movie worthy than the thousands of other bands who made the same journey over the decades of rock & roll? Is it because of the two “pretty” blondes? Is it Starr’s rich family throwing in the money? I don’t know, I just didn’t get it. And I will leave you with this tip—anytime you refer to yourself as a “rock star,” you are not a rock star.