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Article

Who is Allan Arkush?

Who is Allan Arkush? — We talk to the director of ”Rock ‘n’ Roll High School” about his career

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”The secret to my career is I get to hire people whose records I have,” says director and music lover Allan Arkush, 43. Drawing on his experiences as a stage-hand at New York’s Fillmore theater in the late ’60s and early ’70s, Arkush captured the reckless, giddy spirit of the great multi-genre rock concerts of the time in Get Crazy. Among rock enthusiasts, Arkush is something of a cult hero; he also directed 1979’s Rock ‘n’ Roll High School, starring the Ramones. Other high points of the Arkush archive: the lightheartedly raunchy Bette Midler-Mick Jagger ”Beast of Burden” music video and the unapologetically schlocky Hollywood Boulevard (1976), his first film, which he codirected with Joe Dante.

While Dante went on to Gremlins glory, Arkush says, ”Don’t even mention my other movies” (meaning not a word about Heartbeeps and Caddyshack II). However, he has continued to wed his passions for film and music on episodes of Fame and Moonlighting, both notable for their musicality. ”I directed more Moonlighting episodes than anyone else,” says Arkush, who studied film under Martin Scorsese at New York University. ”I did the one where Maddie and David knock over all the furniture and get it on to ‘Be My Baby.”’ And yes, he owns the record.