The Rolling Stones Documentary Coming to HBO
The Rolling Stones, now celebrating 50 years as part of rock ‘n roll’s founding class, are the subject of a new documentary set to air on HBO on November 15, 2012. Crossfire Hurricane follows the iconic rockers, chronicling their lives, and documenting key periods in their careers. The documentary was made with the full cooperation of The Rolling Stones and combines historical footage (some of which is widely unseen) with “contemporary commentaries by Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, Ronnie Wood and former Stones Bill Wyman and Mick Taylor.” The film also includes period interviews, live performance material, and news archive footage.
In an interview for the documentary, Jagger was asked what it is that set The Rolling Stones apart from other groups. His reply? “A chemical reaction seems to have happened.” Keith Richards adds, “You can’t really stop the Rolling Stones, you know when that sort of avalanche is facing you, you just get out of the way.”
Commenting on the documentary, director Brett Morgen said, “Crossfire Hurricane invites the audience to experience firsthand the Stones’ nearly mythical journey from outsiders to rock and roll royalty. This is not an academic history lesson. Crossfire Hurricane allows the viewer to experience the Stones’ journey from a unique vantage point. It’s an aural and visual roller coaster ride.”
Crossfire Hurricane Details:
“Taking its title from a lyric in ‘Jumping Jack Flash,’ Crossfire Hurricane gives the audience an intimate insight, for the first time, into exactly what it’s like to be part of the Rolling Stones, as they overcame denunciation, drugs, dissensions and death to become the definitive survivors. It’s the backstage pass to outdo them all.
From the outset of the film, viewers know they’re in for a white-knuckle ride. No sooner had the early Stones line-up first played live under that name in the summer of 1962 than they were bigger than the venues that tried to hold them. Wyman remembers how the crowds were soon inspiring manic behaviour, especially among screaming girls, whose uncontrollable excitement was obvious as stardom beckoned for the band already earmarked as the bad guys with press headlines like ‘Would you let your daughter marry a Rolling Stone?’
Riots and the chaos of early tours are graphically depicted, as is the birth of the Jagger-Richards songwriting partnership. The many dramas they encountered are also fully addressed, including the Redlands drug bust, the descent of Brian Jones into what Richards calls ‘bye-bye land,’ and the terror and disillusionment of 1969’s Altamont Festival.
The band’s rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle is also discussed with extraordinary forthrightness, including the time of their seminal 1972 album Exile on Main St., which topped the British charts both then and 38 years later in its deluxe reissue. Their very survival repeatedly under threat, we see how the Stones survived with a backs-to-the-wall spirit. ‘We may be going down,’ says Keith, ‘but we’re not going down your way.’
The film illustrates the Stones’ evolution from being, as Mick vividly describes it, ‘the band everybody hated to the band everybody loves,’ through the hedonistic 1970s and Keith’s turning-point bust in Canada to the spectacular touring phenomenon we know today. Richards also reveals the song that he believes defines the ‘essence’ of his writing relationship with Jagger more than any other.”