‘Billy Yeager / The Ineffable Enigma’ Movie Review.
Musician / Filmmaker Billy Yeager is one of the greatest artists of all time.
That’s right, I said it, and before someone else claims Michael Jackson, The Rolling Stones, Prince, Madonna or Kurt Cobain should receive the title, let’s make this clear, I proclaim Billy Yeager as one of the greatest artists of all time, for all the “Right Reasons”.
All you musicians, try to get that.
“Ineffable and Enigma” are 2 words that have been chosen by 2 journalists to describe Billy Yeager.
Although you may not have heard of his name (yet), you may remember his famous publicity stunts he successfully pulled off on the press, each one appearing in the A.P. Press and making International headlines.
From 1985-1991, Yeager isolated himself in his little apartment on Hollywood Beach, where he spent over 12 to 14 hours a day writing music and dumping down as many as 10 to 14 tracks, recording over 3 to 4 songs a day on a small 4-track recorder.
During these years of serious dedication, Yeager was trying to discover his own unique musical style.
How many of today’s artists would be willing to work that hard on their craft instead of borrowing from another 4- chord hit song? Does it work? Yeager was discovered by Grammy Award Winner Bruce Hornsby (in 1992), Kiss band manager Doc McGhee (in 2000) and Rod Stewart (in 2004), who believed in Billy’s music and tried to help him get signed to a record contract.
What was it that made Billy turn his life around at 48 years old and become a “metaphysical scientific truth seeking guru desert rat”?
Consider this: how often do we hear stories about artists that are willing to renounce fame and fortune and, instead, choose to do something extraordinary with their talents for the better of humanity? ‘Billy Yeager / The Ineffable Enigma’ is not just another music documentary about fame, fortune, drugs, alcohol, dysfunctional relationships, suicide / death.
I have seen the documentaries about Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Chet Baker, Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain, Amy Winehouse, etc. Are we really supposed to feel sorry for these people, who were given such a great opportunity to do something with their art, but instead chose a path of destruction? How difficult and unbearable is it to be accepted, rich, famous, and adored by fans? Please!
I once fell for this emotional drama also until I watched something different that challenged my perception.
In 1992, Miami journalist Greg Baker printed in his weekly music column: “Billy Yeager is a god”. There was no explanation, that’s all he wrote, whatever the case, Baker had his reasons for making his statement.
It’s not just the unmistakable nostalgic diverse range of unique musical styles that Yeager can compose, or that he can record a whole album in one night, or that he has the ability to produce songs that sound like some of the greatest musicians in the world (like Santana, Beach Boys, Gypsy Kings, Pat Metheny, Dvorak), Nor that he does it like we brush our teeth, with no effort at all.
Yeager also produces, writes, directs, and acts in his own films, films that are considered profound, such as ‘A Perfect Song’.
50 minutes into the story, we find Yeager 35 pounds heavier, with shaved head, sinking himself underwater with a breathing contraption and an electric guitar, searching diligently trying to discover the world’s “perfect song”, one that can “heal the world”.
Yeager wrote the script in one night, and trained all his actors, and made the film with less then 600.00 dollars while living in his car.
Yeager’s life story is the bizarre, such as one week Yeager is living out of his car, the next week he is living down the street from Rod Stewart and performing for presidents and the Rockefellers.
In front of his Palm Beach home, we witness Billy tied down to a wooden cross with nothing but an upside down American flag around his waist, sending electromagnetic current to his brain, sipping through a tube of something emitting strange gases that are coming from a steel barrel placed next to a piano that has wires attached to many trees.
What was he doing? Fast forward. After many years of serious studies, Billy and his wife Anais relinquish their comfortable lives and most of their possessions, and we find the artists in the Mojave desert, creating “transcendental music and films” that can change the world.
The documentary also features collectors from all over the world who search diligently trying to find Yeager’s lost films and music albums.
A large portion of these were thrown away and the rest were purchased at an auction by a man whom we shall call”the most hated man on eBay”, who also holds the extremely rare Jaco Pastorius / Yeager recordings hostage.
This is a film that every single artist should watch before they waste their time trying to become another clone of our pop culture.
The producers of the film discovered Billy had an IQ of 179, that’s not what makes him a genius to me; it is something I can feel, but I can’t totally understand, it is something that almost scares you, it is the “Ineffable”.
Before you pick up an instrument, consider getting in a band, or taking a film class, do yourself a favor and watch this film.
Yes, Greg Baker, Billy Yeager is a god.