Crossfire Hurricane Cover I was boooooorn -- in a crossfire hurricaiiiiiine. Yeah. I'm not pissing about. It was really-really-really windy that day. I remember my dear old Mum once saying to me, "Son. The weather was so bad when you eventually escaped from my loins; I stopped listing to the Beatles, and started listing to the stones instead". Of course, my dear old Mother was referring to the Rolling Stones. As seen in this first part of a documentary made in 2012.

Crossfire Hurricane

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:

  • How 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 throughout London.
  • 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.
  • What 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 Hyde Park.

To be continued with Mick Taylor....

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. 

The Rolling Stones Crossfire Hurricane

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.

Brian Jones
Hey! Whilst you're contemplating my quirky analogy, here are some 'Stoned' facts for you to digest. (1) I kid you not, guitarist, Keith Richards, takes about sixty guitars with him on each of his concerts tours -- including his favourites, the Gibson, and the Fender Bass. (2) Did you know that Mick Jagger's middle name is Phillip? (3) According to the Sunday Times newspaper, drummer, Charles Watts, is worth over $139 million dollars. (4) So far Ronny Wood has been married twice in his life. He married his first wife, Krissy Findlay, in 1971, and divorced her seven years later. Then he married his second wife, Jo, in 1985, and divorced her in 2011. Moreover, Ron's had one child with his first wife and two children with his second. (5) The founding member of 'The Stones', Lewis Brian Hopkin-Jones, was born on the 28th of February, 1942, in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. And he died on the 3rd of July, 1969, in Hatfield, Sussex. (6) If you're a good friend of Keith's -- like Johnny Depp is for example -- you can call by his nickname, 'The Human Riff'. (7) I'm afraid to say that Mick Jagger's acting career hasn't has gone as well as his musical career.  He was passed over for the 'Salieri' role in the 1984 film, 'Amadeus'. In 1975 he was told he wasn't right for the 'Dr Frank N' Furter' role in 'The Rocky Horror Picture Show'. And in 1971 he and the band failed the audition for the Stanley Kubric classic 'A Clockwork Orange'. Mike would have played the lead character -- Alex. (8) Charlie is an avid vegetarian, and presently lives in Dolton, Devon, United Kingdom. (9) Prior to joining 'The Stones', Ronny was a member of:: An R and B combo called 'The Birds'. An electric blues group called the 'Santa Barbara Machine Head'. A rock and roll quartet named 'The Jeff Beck Group'. And Rod Stewards musical jamboree 'The Small Faces'. (10) This film has a website -- www.rollingstones.com/crossfire-hurricane

The Rolling Stones Crossfire Hurricane Now

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.

Stay tuned.


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