On the eve of their 50th anniversary together, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, and Bill Wyman, talk about what it was like being in the musical group known as 'The Rolling Stones'. Please note though, you don't actually see their faces during this interview. Oh no! Instead, we are presented with stock photography and archival footage, illustrating their early years in a very personable way.
What now follows is a basic break down of how this narration plays out:
did the band first meet up? Apart
from the guitarist, Bill Wyman -- who applied for his role via a local
newspaper -- the rest of the group met-up in numerous Jazz clubs' situated
- Why did they become so popular so quickly? No one is really sure about this all in all. They put it down to them being in the right place at the right time.
- How did Andrew Oldham lubricate these proceedings with a touch more candour? Now this one time aide to the Beatles manager, Brian Epstein, moulded 'The Stones' into becoming the 'Anti-Beatles'. Deliberately making them the epitome of 'rebellious youth'.
- So how did the band perceive themselves during their early years? Grammar School Morons who never wanted to grow up. Or in other words, 'conformists of anarchy'.
- Did they write their own material? At first -- no -- their entire first album was completely comprised of 'covers'. However, once they started to develop their second album, Mick and Keith began learning how to write their own songs, helmed by the musical ditty, 'Tell me'.
- Why did most of their earlier works evolve around the theme of 'dissatisfaction'? Well, according to Mick Jagger, this was because they were disillusioned by society, and the attitudes conveyed to them by the 'Old Guard'.
- Apart from their songs, what else were 'The Stones' known for during the sixties? Riots. Caused by their fans attacking the police officers stationed at there concerts. In fact, because of this occurrence, for the first three years they were unable to successfully complete any of their gigs.
- Did the guys take drugs? Yes -- quite a few as a matter a fact -- from pot to speed to LSD. And even though this substance did help them on a creative level, ultimately, it resulted in Mick and Keith being detained at her majesties pleasure for a couple of days.
part did Brian Jones play in the evolution of the band? Initially Brian was an essential
member of this group, passing on his wisdom and his erstwhile input
whenever he was able to. But as time ticked on, I'm afraid to say that his drug intake engulfed him, dwindling his enthusiasm, and dying a few months after being relieved
of his duties. None of 'The Stones' attended his funeral -- they held a vigil to
Brian three days after he died in
To be continued with Mick
Now prior to sitting down and watching 'Rolling Stones - Crossfire Hurricane', I witnessed an argument between two of my older cousins. Not a very harsh argument. Agreed. Rather, it was one of those 'bi-polar tête-à-tête's' that was both strangely exhilarating and revealing at the same time. One cousin was talking about one thing. The other cousin evolved it into something else. And I tried my best to act as an impartial 'referee', without taking sides.
Admittedly, it was quite a peculiar experience to sit through if truth be told. I don't 'get off' on quarrels myself. Never have -- and never will. Yet, whilst saying that, I did find this altercation more poignant than I originally thought it would.
OK, I'm sure you're wondering to yourself why I am telling you this story, right? Well, in a round about way, this is how I would sum up 'Crossfire Hurricane' -- revealing, original, poignant, yet quite peculiar to observe as well.
Listen, I do not mean 'peculiar' in a bad way of course. No. Never for a 'Rolling Stone' fan like yours truly. But peculiar in a way that you know the story -- and know what's missing -- yet find the journey a nice and decent piece of innovative documentary filmmaking. Try to think of it as a chocolate monkey which can regenerate parts of his body you've already eaten.
All in all this first part of 'Rolling Stones - Crossfire Hurricane' was a pretty decent watch. The interviews were concise yet poignant. The archival footage was nicely cobbled together, exhuming the panache of yesteryear. And overall the through-line is something I will talk a lot more about in my next review.
THE RATING: A