1) In a late-night phone conversation, Lester Bangs and William discuss being “uncool.” What does the film have to say to you about the good and the bad of being cool/uncool? How is this reflected in your own high school experience?

2) One of the saddest things in the movie is the use of people by other people. It is a tragedy for a person, created in the image and likeness of God (whatever that might mean – I find it a wonderfully mysterious phrase), to be treated like a thing. In the film one sees this most clearly in the case of the Band-aids, and Penny in particular. How do you see this trait in the film, and how do you see it in the world around you?

3) The film says much about the power and allure of music. What is it that makes music so special for you (if it is)? Are there any parts of the film that helped you understand your appreciation of music?

4) What did you think of what the film has to say about telling the truth, versus ignoring it or telling little white lies. “The truth sounds different.” “Be honest and unmerciful.” “Just make us look cool.” Think of the lies the characters tell themselves – that they are not in love with someone else – that they are OK if the other person is not in love with them, that they are dark and mysterious, the relationships within our band are just fine, etc. Also think of the scene when the plane is about to go down and what happens there.

5) Do true artists have to suffer? What causes their suffering?

6) Here is a kind of touchy one, with you being about the same age as the film’s protagonist – what do you think the film has to say about parental responsibility for children and the need of parents to let go? This may be difficult, but try to watch and be sympathetic toward the mother – it may help you in a year’s time or so.

7) What does the film say about freedom? Does it make being totally free seem like fun? Is freedom free? By the way, that last question is a joke.

8) What are your thoughts on the morality of drugs and alcohol? What does the film have to say about those things?

9) I like the scene where William is first interviewing Stillwater, and the lead singer is prattling on, but William keeps wanting to turn the mike toward the guitar player – what does this scene suggest to you? Are there other examples of the same idea elsewhere in the movie?

10) Jeff (the lead singer) expresses the opinion that the best stuff is the popular stuff – agree or disagree?

11) I think that being onstage in front of a sold-out stadium, with the audience shouting out the words to a song that you wrote, would be one of the most amazing things that one could experience. That being said, I do not know how much fun touring would be. Do you think that things would get old? I think one might get burned out on the sex, drugs, and rock and roll. Another movie I like has a character observe, “Everything gets old if you do it often enough.” What do you think of that idea?