Rockers still breaking rules
The Stones’ documentary is all about the music, not regrets, writes
THE Rolling Stones, the greatest rock ’n’ roll band that ever existed, is the one that shouldn’t have existed very long. If the lifestyle didn’t kill them, it’s amazing the cops didn’t.
They were crazy druggies who had endless sex with endless dangerous humans, smoked and drank to massive excess and ate junk by the trunk-load.
They were arrested and always got away with it, and thumbed their noses at the very people who let them go.
As wildman Keith Richards says at the end of Crossfire Hurricane, the nearly twohour, 50th anniversary (yes, that’s right) film that they produced with Brett Morgen: ‘‘Usually, it’s the guy in the black hat that gets killed in the end. Not this time, brother, not this time.’’
If you’re looking for an introspective look back with lots of regrets, this special isn’t for you.
First off, if Mick Jagger and the guys had the nerve to complain about living the best life any skinny bunch of guys ever lived, we’d all start hating them immediately.
And if you’re looking for the women in Mick’s life – Bianca Jagger, Jerry Hall and Marianne Faithfull, for starters – this ain’t that film either.
What this is, however, is a movie about their music, their evolution and their wild ways. In fact, you won’t even find them – the contemporary Stones, I mean – here. The whole film is made up of archival footage with the audio recorded recently of Mick, Keith, Ronnie, Charlie, Mick T, and Bill, who sat for what seems like an endless interview for the film.
If you weren’t born when the Stones broke all the rules, you will get to see why these old guys were/are the greatest of all time. If you were around then you already know, but you still won’t believe it.
Even though this is the band’s autobiography, it’s not a Sweet’N Low version of rock ‘n’ roll, Stones-style.
Because of who they are, every single moment of their lives from 1971 was chronicled. Now they are getting to pick and choose how they want to be portrayed. And what they picked was mostly about the music.
Mick, who likes to be a street guy, shifts his accents constantly from courtly to Cockney, admitting that he has always been a method actor playing a part.
The story of how they became so disgusted with guitarist Brian Jones’ heroin addiction that they fired him two weeks before he was found dead in a swimming pool is told – and the everpresent camera was there to record their shock and horror.
Then there’s the pure terror of the Altamont concert, where the Hells Angels, hired for security for some insane reason, showed up so jacked up on Ripple wine and heroin that they killed a concert-goer.
Crossfire is a different way of making a documentary – only voices in the present and only video in the past. But who said the Stones ever played by the rules? Friday and Sunday, 8.30pm ABC2.
The Rolling Stones: Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood and Charlie Watts.