Watch the trailer for Energy: A Documentary about Damo Suzuki above…
The enigmatic Suzuki was found by the now seminal band CAN in the streets of late ‘60s Germany, praying and performing bare chested in jeans with long black hair. Impressed and inspired, they asked him to play a show with them that night, with no rehearsal. He did, and the rest is history; this was a pivotal point for Damo and his sense of outsider art, centred around creating and performing with no plan.
Suzuki is renowned for playing shows that are never rehearsed as part of a never-ending tour with Damo Suzuki’s Network, a constantly changing line-up of band members who act as ‘sound carriers’. Damo had been touring the world doing the above for 20 years, before it came to a halt when he was diagnosed with cancer in 2014.Powerful images include Damo at home, hooked up to a drip by a Hickman line fed directly into his heart, yet still joking, smiling and inspiring in his resilience.
We also see Damo’s impressive effort in continuing to travel worldwide for performances and meetings, whilst at different stages of illness.Although Damo’s struggle with his health provides the film’s main narrative arc, ‘Energy’ also examines the past, present and future of this highly influential musician’s work, whilst also capturing his singular outlook on art, protest, lifestyle and alternatives to mainstream thought.