Shihad: Beautiful Machine
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What began in the back rooms of Wellington's punk rock underground, with Jon Toogood, Tom Larkin, Phil Knight and Karl Kippenberger coming together to form 'a kick-ass band', would see Shihad transplanted to Germany, Australia and eventually, the musical Mecca of the U.S. Encountering every obstacle in the rock book: drug abuse, tragic bereavement, alcoholism, fame's distortions, relationships imploding under the pressure of constant absence, total breakdowns – the band would beat all of it, playing up to 150 shows a year, producing the most Top 40 hits in New Zealand history, and becoming the focus of a major bidding war. But nothing could prepare them for the American music industry. With the hopes of a dozen A&R men riding on four guys from New Zealand, Shihad were convinced – in the wake of 9/11 – to change their name, sounding too much like 'Jihad' for the U.S. market. Enter Pacifier. The Viper Room show was a debacle. The tour was a nightmare. The return to New Zealand was even worse. A country felt betrayed, and the band felt they'd betrayed themselves. In these dark days, Shihad nearly vanished. Only the strength of a 20-year brotherhood saved them. What followed was the resurrection of Shihad and a landmark album – 'a bonfire to burn the remnants of the Pacifier experience'. A wild ride from anonymity to being the next 'It' band, and into the present day, Shihad: Beautiful Machine is an unflinching look at the elusive reality of a true rock dream.