It's been more than a year and a half since the Weekly published "Rock Angel," a cover story about Garden Grove filmmaker David Di Sabatino's struggles to make a documentary about Christian rock god Larry Norman.
It's not that Di Sabatino suffered from a lack of material. Like his first film Frisbee: The Life and Death of a Hippie Preacher, his follow-up Fallen Angel: The Outlaw Larry Norman had loads of music, interviews and archival video and photographs.
No, the roadblocks the writer-director had to hurdle were put up by Norman before he passed in February 2008 and Norman's fans and family thereafter.
Facing legal threats, Di Sabatino yanked Fallen Angel from its scheduled screening at the 2009 Newport Beach Film Festival. It went on to play elsewhere, but the flick has yet to be shown locally.
That changes tonight.
It rolls at 7:15 p.m. at the historic Art Theatre, 2025 E. 4th St., Long Beach.
You can order $10 tickets in advance here.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
But, back to the battles with the Norman family, here's a taste of the musician's brother from the "Rock Angel" story:
Charles Norman has not seen Fallen Angel, but if it is anything like the messages he accuses Di Sabatino of spreading on the Internet, the filmmaker can soon expect to find himself on the receiving end of slander and defamation-of-character lawsuits.
"I have amassed lawyers in California and up here [Oregon] to look into this," Norman says. "This guy is an asshole. He has a reputation in this field for being totally incorrect in what he's saying."
None of this surprises Di Sabatino. The film, he says, is "my attempt to understand why [Larry Norman] was doing this to me." He found that Norman had a "30-year track record doing this sort of thing. . . . And his family seems to sadly be following in Larry's footsteps."
The hits keep coming. Di Sabatino was recently interviewed on radio about his film when a call came in from none other than Charles Norman.
Listen to their exchange here.