The film, “Bob and the Monster,” was released in March at South by Southwest and premieres in Los Angeles Aug. 4 at the Don’t Knock the Rock Film and Music Festival.
“Bob and the Monster” lets Forrest’s unconventional history unfold with the help of not just a liberal interweaving of Forrest’s own music but with interviews of friends like Courtney Love and Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Anthony Kiedis and Flea.
Forrest’s journey could have been a very short one. He was shooting heroin at 19, released his first record with Thelonious Monster at 24, cleaned up after a five-day jail lockup in 1996, and soon met Dr. Drew Pinsky who took him under wing as a counselor. Forrest eventually became Chemical Dependency Program Director at Las Encinas Hospital in Pasadena, Calif., and a regular on “Celebrity Rehab.”
Thelonious Monster was on the brink of stardom with 1987’s Next Saturday Afternoon, but apparently was doomed to self-destruct. Or, at least, Forrest was. According to former Los Angeles Times pop music critic Robert Hilburn, Forrest was the “raw jewel in the scene, but the question was, was he gonna destroy himself?”
He almost did. He procured drugs for, and did them with, the Red Hot Chili Peppers among others, according to the Times. And he attempted rehab a reported 24 times as he cycled between abusing heroin, cocaine and alcohol. And he appeared on Pinsky’s KROQ-FM radio show, “Loveline,” promoting his music.
“He was one of the worst drug addicts I’d ever been around,” Pinsky told the Times. “He was manic and out of control. He was so unpleasant to be around, angry and disagreeable. Eventually I just wrote him off and frankly, I assumed he was dead.”
Not only is Forrest not dead, but he got sober and reconnected with Pinsky in the late 1990s.
In fact, Forrest can be credited with convincing Pinsky in 2007 to do a TV show about their work. “Celebrity Rehab” was born, for good or ill. And Forrest, according to the Times, is conflicted about that.
“If I had to do it all over again I don’t think I’d walk into the office and say we should do this show,” Forrest said. “I don’t like the editing of it. I don’t like that they show the same thing over and over again. I don’t like what it’s become technically.”
He recently co-founded Hollywood Recovery Services, where he continues to counsel many of the TV cast members after their “Celebrity Rehab” season ends, as well as non-celebs. He has a staff of four, including a psychiatrist, according to the Times.
Among his clients is Jason Davis, the son of late billionaire Marvin Davis, who relapsed repeatedly after his “Celebrity Rehab” stint. He now says he’s been sober five months with Forrest’s help, and speaks to the man who overcame his own monsters every day.