In 1971, to get breathing room from tax and management problems, the Stones go to France. Jimmy Miller parks a recording truck next to Keith Richards and Anita Pallenberg’s Blue Coast villa, and by June the band is in the basement a few days at a time. Upstairs, heroin, bourbon, and visitors are everywhere. The Stones, other musicians and crew, Pallenberg, and photographer Dominique Tarle, plus old clips and photos and contemporary footage, provide commentary on the album’s haphazard construction. By September, the villa is empty; Richards and Jagger complete production in LA. “Exile on Main Street” is released to mediocre reviews that soon give way to lionization.
What would a pop song be without the riffs, refrains, and harmonies of its backup vocalists? Although these singers are usually relegated to the margins, and few, if any, become household names, their work has defined countless songs that remain in our hearts and collective consciousness. Twenty Feet from Stardom juxtaposes interviews with industry legends (Bruce Springsteen, Bette Midler, and others) and the relative unknowns who support them like Darlene Love, Merry Clayton, Lisa Fischer, and Judith Hill as they illuminate the art of melding their own distinct voices with lead vocals and reveal their desires for careers as solo artists.
[Synopsis courtesy of Sundance]
A documentary on the Rolling Stones that was shot in 1965 on a two-stop tour of Ireland, just as “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” was becoming a worldwide sensation.
This documentary of the Rolling Stones’ 1969 US tour has become a legendary, harrowing symbol of the tragic demise of the “Peace and Love” era. After a successful tour across the US, the Rolling Stones gave a free December concert at Altamont Speedway in California with the Grateful Dead, Ike and Tina Turner, Jefferson Airplane, and the Flying Burrito Brothers. The band unwisely selected the Hells Angels to provide security, and the bikers resorted to violence to keep the stoned, restless, and often naked crowd in line. The result: dozens of injuries and the on-screen stabbing of a young black man (during “Sympathy for the Devil”) by one of the concert’s staff security. In a manipulative but effective move, the Maysles brothers filmed Mick Jagger in the editing room witnessing the on-camera murder for the first time. The film also works as a rock-and-roll document, capturing the band at their most relaxed, intoxicating, and electrifying.