“Nick Name and the Normals”

Rocking Mormon

Amos Lassen

Nick Name and the Normals” is an interesting new documentary that gives us the story of  an ex-Mormon missionary, Kent James,  from a small Utah town who transformed himself into a gay punk rocker, Nick Name and went on to be notorious. Fueled by both music and testosterone, the film follows Nick as he tours with his straight band partners who went by the name of “The Normals”. Their songs are filled with hardcore lyrics and they tease heterosexuals who are uptight and homosexuals equally. Nick becomes a fighter against homophobia and for the new gay political correctness. But even with his sexual performances, Nick realizes that he has demons himself that he must fight.

Nick is unquestionably nasty yet very masculine. He is political and in your face and he is totally out sexually. He is foul mouthed and has an attitude that would scare most people off.

I found this “rockumentary” to be one of the most entertaining films that I have seen in a long time. He looks at truth and pushes to reveal it to others. His balance between reverence and irreverence is nothing short of amazing.

I think that what really makes this movie so interesting is the way it looks at the way Nick grew up and matured. He was raised in a strict Mormon home and grew up in the Church of Latter Day Saints. He was a missionary to Argentina as a young man and then went on to sing country music and moving to Nashville. He, one day, realized that he was tired of pretending to be what he wasn’t and shaved his head, moved to San Francisco and became Nick Name, a gay revolutionary.

The movie consists of concert footage, interviews with his band partners, Smith and Rattner, his manager and collaborators. But it is Nick who this film is about and he is constantly at the center of it. He never dodges tough questions or situations and the film follows him around for a full year. Here is an amazing look of how we never know where life will take us and how we react once we get there.

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