Stones in Exile

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.

The Rolling Stones: Gimme Shelter

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.