“Holy Modal Rounders Destroy Country Music in Bizarre Five Hour Concert!”
screams one mostly accurate headline that ?ashes across the screen in Bound to Lose
, which is also the story of how the Rounders destroyed one another. “If they could leave each other alone, they could do great things,” muses playwright and one-time Rounders drummer Sam Shepherd about co-founders Peter Stampfel and Steve Weber. Born from the post-Beat/pre-hippie East Village scene, these proto-freak-folkers surfaced brie?y in the mainstream when “If You Want to be a Bird” appeared on the Easy Rider
soundtrack in 1969. Though the documentary produces vintage footage, it’s mostly about Stampfel and Weber’s love/hate partnership. The ?lm resounds with Crumb
-like intimacy, as the vivaciously damaged Stampfel and unrepentant alcoholic drifter Weber attempt to rekindle the Rounders, creating some tender cinema in the process.