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Ladies and gentlemen, The Rolling Stones
March 5, 2009 10:44 AM   Subscribe

Rock critic Dave Marsh called it "part of rock and roll legend." Truman Capote said "I've never seen anything equal to it." And the film can not legally be shown unless the director is physically present.

The Rolling Stones American Tour 1972

Brown Sugar
Bitch
Rocks Off
Gimme Shelter
Happy
Tumbling Dice
Love In Vain
Sweet Virginia
Loving Cup [rehearsal]
You Can't Always Get What You Want
All Down The Line
Midnight Rambler
Bye Bye Johnny
Rip This Joint
Jumping Jack Flash
Street Fighting Man

NOTE: YouTube videos I link to tend not to live very long. I say to whoever's narc-ing on them: Karma is a bitch, too.
posted by Joe Beese (61 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite

 
If you know where to look, it's easy to find. This movie is also a great way to show the youngun's that those two wrinkled old men named Mick & Keith were once the most badass motherfuckers in rock and roll.
posted by jonmc at 10:46 AM on March 5, 2009


So is this planned obsolescence version of a metafilter post?
posted by oddman at 10:46 AM on March 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Cocksucker Blues, the song, is one of my favorite Stones songs of all time.
posted by Divine_Wino at 10:47 AM on March 5, 2009 [3 favorites]


Wait, am I confusing two movies here? I know CS Blues can't be shown without the director present (I saw it in 1980) but at least it is released - I think "L&G The Rolling Stones" is a different thing and just an unreleased Stones film, right? Obviously they're both about the 72 tour.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 10:50 AM on March 5, 2009


If you know where to look, it's easy to find.

I just counted. Six mouse clicks (using the "Context Search" extension to firefox and the right search engines setup).
posted by mrbill at 10:51 AM on March 5, 2009


A friend and I tracked down a copy when we were in high school, and if anything we were surprised by how dull it was. It captures the boredom and ennui of constant touring better than anything else. It's an interesting document, but a live-action version of Hammer of the Gods (which is what we were hoping for) it ain't.
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:57 AM on March 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


It doesn't explain why it can't legally be shown unless the director is present. Because, you know, copyright issue are waaaay more interesting than the mere details of naked groupies getting off on camera.
posted by GuyZero at 10:59 AM on March 5, 2009


Mick & Keith were once the most badass motherfuckers in rock and roll.

Yes.
posted by ob at 10:59 AM on March 5, 2009


mrbill, in two clicks I had a page offering it on DVD. You're wasting mouse clicks!
posted by caution live frogs at 11:04 AM on March 5, 2009


It doesn't explain why it can't legally be shown unless the director is present. Because, you know, copyright issue are waaaay more interesting than the mere details of naked groupies getting off on camera.

Yes it does. Because the Stones got an injunction to stop it from being distributed, but the director later obtained the rights to personally screen it once a year. It's in the third link.
posted by DecemberBoy at 11:07 AM on March 5, 2009


the director must be damn sick of seeing this by now, no? also feeling realllly stupid vis a vis 'the income from dvd sales' vs. 'the cost of plane tickets'
posted by sexyrobot at 11:08 AM on March 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Well, would it not be helpful to know if any such authorized screening were coming up in the foreseeable future?
posted by joeclark at 11:10 AM on March 5, 2009


Fascinating, and will always LOVE the Stones.
But:
"heaving a television set out the window from the tenth floor of a hotel."
part of the whole Rock Star schtick right.
I personally always thought that a major dick move.

(damaging other peoples property for no good reason)

Also most of the people who show up at Stones concerts seem to be jerks.
(from my own personal experience, have been to a couple).

I wouldnt mind seeing the movie.
posted by celerystick at 11:12 AM on March 5, 2009


Cool Song.
posted by Midnight Rambler at 11:15 AM on March 5, 2009


"(damaging other peoples property for no good reason) "

But they always paid the bill, at least the ones who weren't jerks about it, and by "other people" you must mean the hotel chain.

It's rock and roll, and sometimes it's ugly.

I've always dreamed of doing it, myself.

"Also most of the people who show up at Stones concerts seem to be jerks.
"(from my own personal experience, have been to a couple). "


Who cares?
posted by krinklyfig at 11:17 AM on March 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


If you're into finding odd bits of bootlegs Stones, you should own Welcome to New York (also known as "Happy Birthday, Mick") from this tour, or any of the pacific tour shows from the following year.

Come to think of it, if you're into classic stones you should spend a few hours cruising RollingStones.net anyway.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 11:17 AM on March 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


I say to whoever's narc-ing on them: Karma is a bitch, too.

Yeah, those automated waveform recognition algorithms are totally going to be the first up against the wall when the revolution comes.
posted by mark242 at 11:17 AM on March 5, 2009 [4 favorites]


A friend and I tracked down a copy when we were in high school, and if anything we were surprised by how dull it was.

I thought the same thing when I saw it. I guess there's some drugs and nudity in it, but its pretty tame by modern standards. Perhaps the lawsuit set off too much hype and unrealistic expectations. Even skipping ahead to the "good parts" didnt help much. The big scene everyone talks about is Keith injecting heroin. Watching people do drugs isnt entertaining, its actually the opposite. Its like watching someone play a videogame or ride a roller coaster.
posted by damn dirty ape at 11:20 AM on March 5, 2009


The revolution is never coming. It's just going to get old and stupid and embark on yet another money-grubbing corporate sponsored nostalgia tour.
posted by Hovercraft Eel at 11:21 AM on March 5, 2009




Is it just me? They suck! I can't tell if it's because they are still young and haven't found their grove, or are just stoned. I've never heard these songs played so badly.
posted by stbalbach at 11:26 AM on March 5, 2009


"yet another money-grubbing corporate sponsored nostalgia tour."

.. I got free tix to the E-Trade (TM) Tour, and it was a bunch of Traders from NJ and some rich plumbers and electricians who booked Hummer Limos. $12 plastic beer decanters shaped like guitars. Rock n Roll!

Like Parrot Heads but more badass in their own minds.
posted by celerystick at 11:27 AM on March 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


I saw most of this on a 3rd or 4th generation VHS tape I rented from an indie video store in Iowa City circa 1998. I'd sure like to see the whole thing someday. Like, if one of the folks claiming to have found it online could MeFiMail me about it or something.
Also, no love for DeLillo in this OP?
"It's the same show, the same city, the same motherfucking band of emaciated millionaire pricks and their Negro bodyguards."
posted by arcanecrowbar at 11:32 AM on March 5, 2009




> Is it just me? They suck! I can't tell if it's because they are still young and haven't found their grove, or are just stoned.

No, they're pretty sloppy. At this point, coming off almost ten years of brilliance, they were pretty much convinced they could do no wrong, and surrounded themselves with people who weren't about to tell them any differently. The cracks finally started showing on Goat's Head Soup...

> do NOT. fuck. with Keith Richards.

Sonny Barger did.
posted by you just lost the game at 11:40 AM on March 5, 2009


Sonny Barger did.

from the link...

[Barger] says he stuck a pistol in the guitarist's ribs and ordered him to play...or else.

That reminds me of one of the prize moments in Alex Cox's Straight To Hell...

- Let's make that weiner kid sing his song!

- Yeah! [cocks gun] Sing... or die.

posted by Joe Beese at 11:49 AM on March 5, 2009 [3 favorites]


"Ladies & Gentlemen, The Rolling Stones" is a live concert film shot during at least two performances in Texas. It is where most of those YouTube links are from and I highly recommend it for Stones fans. It was their best tour, as far as I'm concerned.

"Cocksucker Blues" is Robert Frank's murky, drug-addled documentary about life on the road during the tour. I agree with the previous posters that "CB" is rather dull for long stretches.

Speaking of money-grubbing corporate sponsored nostalgia tours and jerky Stones fans, I was at the Beacon Theater in 2006 when Scorcese was filming "Shine A Light." My friend and I were standing in the lobby watching the crowds swirl, trying to pick out which people filing into the theater were the photogenic younguns recruited via Craigslist to stand in the first few rows, when an old man holding a video camera backed up and onto my right foot. I looked up, surprised, to see that he was filming individual fans as they explained their love for the band.

The first guy, rather nondescript and in his 40s, waited for the old man's cue, grinned at the light and said, "The Stones are like a fine wine, man. They just keep getting better with age."

Then, after the light went off: "You like that? It's my go-to line. I told it to Newsday back in 2003."

Next the old man, still standing on my foot, turned the light on a pair of slightly paunchy Baby Boomers decked out in Stones T-shirts, baseball caps and blinking LED pins.

"The Stones are part of our generation, the generation that showed they wouldn't take it anymore," he said. "They were great then and they're great now because they never sold out."

As I wondered if the sound guy actually heard any of that over the dude's matching wardrobe, the old man finally moved off my foot and I realized that this was Albert Maysles, one of the brothers who shot the notorious 1969 Stones documentary "Gimme Shelter."

I had neither the heart nor the courage to ask him how this compared with Altamont.
posted by DeWalt_Russ at 11:51 AM on March 5, 2009 [11 favorites]


I saw this on a bootleg I rented at an indie video store in Brooklyn. The quality was terrible, and you could barely hear the sound. From what saw, it was mostly just roadies and groupies fucking and getting high. I ran out of patience after the first half hour. Did I miss anything?
posted by Afroblanco at 11:55 AM on March 5, 2009


(Speaking about CS Blues here. Don't know anything about the other one)
posted by Afroblanco at 11:55 AM on March 5, 2009


Gimme Shelter is the definitive Stones movie, and much more than just a Stones movie.
posted by celerystick at 11:57 AM on March 5, 2009


"They were great then and they're great now because they never sold out." ... the old man finally moved off my foot and I realized that this was Albert Maysles, one of the brothers who shot the notorious 1969 Stones documentary "Gimme Shelter."

Not to mention Making of the Sports Illustrated 25th Anniversary Swimsuit Issue.

Great photography, mind you. But I wouldn't consider him an authority on "selling out".
posted by Joe Beese at 11:57 AM on March 5, 2009


The Rolling Stones American Tour 1972

I saw them about this time -- at the Liverpool Empire on their 1971 UK tour, just before they went into tax exile. The band had Bobby Keys and Jim Price on sax and trumpet, and Billy Preston on keyboards. I think Let it Bleed was out, but Sticky Fingers wasn't.

I wasn't really a fan at the time. I didn't have tickets, and I'd gone along on the off-chance I might be able to sneak in. I suppose I was 14 or 15. I hung around listening to the support band, and just as I'm about to leave, a man came out and gave me a free ticket.

I can only really remember two things about the gig. Keys and Price kept on french kissing between numbers, and the gig was the most exciting live gig I ever went to in my whole life.. by a very, very long margin.

At this time they really were the Greatest Rock and Roll Band in the World.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:58 AM on March 5, 2009 [4 favorites]


I wasn't really making commentary on whether Maysles was a sellout or not, just wondering what it must have been like to see the crowd in 1969 and then see the crowd in 2006. I have only seen the Stones (and their fans) in their most recent configuration as elderly commercial juggernauts. Admittedly their shows are still a lot of fun, but I was embarrassed for the man gushing about the Stones not selling out while covered in $45-a-pop merchandise.
posted by DeWalt_Russ at 12:09 PM on March 5, 2009


I've got the boot of Mick's birthday concert (Welcome to New York) and while it rips the Brussels show from '73 is the best of the lot. Mick Taylor just soars from the first note to the last and the band plays like they're still auditioning for the shot at the big time. Keith and Mick were true badass mofos but...

I love the Stones and they were still shit-hot live at this time. At this point in time they were exalted by the press and the jet set but getting totally usurped out on the street. In the high school parking lots and college dorms, it was all about Zeppelin. There were a few others too: Bowie, Alice, Yes, DP, and Sabbath. But the biggest band in the world then was the one that was not hanging out with Truman Capote and Jann Wenner. But then Jann Wenner hadn't been street savvy since '69.
posted by Ber at 12:23 PM on March 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


I wasn't really making commentary on whether Maysles was a sellout or not, just wondering what it must have been like to see the crowd in 1969 and then see the crowd in 2006

Well speaking as someone who saw them in 1971, wild horses wouldn't have dragged me to see them after Goats Head Soup came out.

They were burned out by then, and once punk came along, they were really just a footnote in history.

When they were good though, they really were the very, very best.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:24 PM on March 5, 2009


That reminds me of one of the prize moments in Alex Cox's Straight To Hell...

- Let's make that weiner kid sing his song!

- Yeah! [cocks gun] Sing... or die.


Wow, someone else who's seen that movie. Badass! You know the weiner kid was played by Zander Schloss, one of the Circle Jerks, right? He also played pretty much the same role in Repo man.
posted by Afroblanco at 12:25 PM on March 5, 2009


*warning!* highly digressive link. much as i dig the stones, i couldn't let this thread continue without a shoutout to 'cocksucker blues' director robert frank, a stones-sized titan of 20th century photography.
posted by barrett caulk at 12:27 PM on March 5, 2009


I saw it in college and thought it was kind of dull but that might have been because I was all hyped up, expecting some real drama. I remember a cute girl in a buckskin bikini. Also, a really awkward photo-op where Mick and Keith are trying to look at home in a back roads poolhall.

I came away from the movie thinking that both of them were twerps.
posted by bonobothegreat at 12:29 PM on March 5, 2009


>Yeah, those automated waveform recognition algorithms are totally going to be the first up against the wall when the revolution comes.

Silly rabbit, from here on out, in any revolution that's going to stick, algorithms will be the ones driving us up against the wall.

And I, for one, welcome our new algorithmic overlords.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:52 PM on March 5, 2009


I have it on my ipod. That's how rock and roll I am.
posted by ciderwoman at 12:52 PM on March 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Next the old man, still standing on my foot, turned the light on a pair of slightly paunchy Baby Boomers decked out in Stones T-shirts, baseball caps and blinking LED pins.


I think for a lot of people like this in the crowd at recent Rolling Stones shows, Stones concerts are an affectation to present a "look at me, I'm still young and hip" image, like a Harley-Davidson sticker on a 4-door Mercedes sedan. The Rolling Stones, like Harley-Davidson, are more of a lifestyle brand for rich, aging boomers than they are a rock and roll band.
posted by DecemberBoy at 1:02 PM on March 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Man, I don't care about the performance clips, I wanna see all the footage of groupies, drugs, and wickedness that the Stones legally stopped. Where are those links?
posted by Paid In Full at 1:16 PM on March 5, 2009


>Man, I don't care about the performance clips, I wanna see all the footage of groupies, drugs, and wickedness that the Stones legally stopped. Where are those links?

Get a copy of Cocksucker Blues. I picked up a copy on DVD last year -- two or three mouse clicks, not hard to find. Also out there on BT. It's heavy on the degeneracy, with a side of depravity. It's hard to watch from start to finish -- who knew sex, drugs, and rock and roll could ultimately be so dull. But it does serve as a fine historical document of the times.

Ber, I'm going to seek out that Brussels show you mentioned. If you have any general hints on where one might find it, I'm all ears.

And before someone else does it:

MetaFilter: Heavy on the degeneracy, with a side of depravity.
posted by mosk at 1:35 PM on March 5, 2009


Yeah, the stones still rock. I can't believe they've been doing it so long. Fred. Barney.

Actually, I can listen to the Rolling Stones. I'd never go see a show (today). But very easy to listen to on the ipod. Harley on the other hand, always been an overbred status symbol. Old school riders rode them exactly because they were such a pain in the ass when it came to maintenance.

"I came away from the movie thinking that both of them were twerps."

Almost all musicians are twerps. Especially the successful ones. It's a very specialized position and so you're really insulated. Look at Ozzy. The guy's a disaster off stage. Put him near a concert, he lights up, his back straightens, he gets that click in his eyeballs, the strut in his stride, the mumbling "uhnme shoes aremummlostembmbmb" stops and his voice becomes clear: "ROCK! AND! ROLL!" Same deal. They're in a different, rarified element. Some of them can carry that around with them. I've heard Hendrix could pull that off. The mystique goes where he goes. The Stones probably look more comfortable in 70's New York.
posted by Smedleyman at 2:02 PM on March 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


If you have any general hints on where one might find it, I'm all ears.

Check your MeFi mail.
posted by Joe Beese at 2:16 PM on March 5, 2009


The reason this version of the band was so good has a whole lot to do with Mick Taylor. I think the other guys realized what a great guitarist he was and it lifted all their performances. It's a shame he had to leave, although I don't blame him: he had to put up with the outsized egos of the "glimmer twins" (Mick and Keith), and he was in the band at a time when Keith's addiction was so debilitating that working with him must have been damn near impossible.
posted by ornate insect at 2:31 PM on March 5, 2009






I had a chance to see the Stones. I figured I'd better not pass it up: they're legends, they're getting pretty old, they won't be around forever, etc. even though the tickets were pretty expensive. That was in '81 and the tickets were $18.50. The Fabulous Thunderbirds and ZZ Top opened the show.
posted by Daddy-O at 4:41 PM on March 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


There is currently a really phenomenal exhibit at the National Gallery about the director Robert Frank's work The Americans. He's a really amazing photographer. They also had some of his short films there. They were weird and raucous and cool. I wish I could watch this film, if only to see the cinematography -- sound off if it's so dull.
posted by bluefly at 5:49 PM on March 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Just wanted to stick my head in to say I'm listening to the"Definitive Fort Worth Edition" of their July 18 date on the Some Girls tour... and let me tell you something...

You can tell me whichever time you think they lost it and we won't have an argument - unless you place that time before they played this concert. Even with Ron Wood, whose playing I have not heretofore esteemed, they were - on a good night, at least - the Greatest Rock and Roll Band in the World.

posted by Joe Beese at 6:23 PM on March 5, 2009


Mind you, my favourite Stones song from this era isn't a Stones song at all.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 7:02 PM on March 5, 2009


Guess I'll toss in my 72 concert anecdote here. I was at the Vancouver opening. Tickets were sold at Empire Stadium, home of the B.C. Lions, an outdoor venue. For some strange reason the stadium was opened up for the fans lining up overnight. Someone broke into the storage room where the bright orange rain capes for the football fans were kept, so all night long those of us actually in the line instead of running amok were rained upon by these orange vinyl parachutes slowly wafting down on our heads.

The show itself was the most energetic thing I'd ever seen, and I still can only compare it to the 3 subsequent Stones shows I've attended since. We were front and center about 10 rows back, getting drenched with Jaggers sweat and loving it. Stumbling outside after, to encounter phalanxes of riot police on horses, amid the acres of shattered glass from the Molotov cocktails that the gate-crashers were hurling at the police in their frenzy to gain admittance was surreal, to say the least. Jagger alluded to the insanity going on outside briefly, but in the confines of a frikken Rolling Stones concert, how the hell were we supposed to know all hell had actually broken loose?

Trying to find where we'd parked the car in that condition was hopeless, it took me 2 days to track it down.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 7:04 PM on March 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


It's funny to see this link. A couple of weeks ago, after seeing the Robert Frank show at the National Gallery, which was excellent, I finally went looking for Cocksucker Blues on BT. I'd wanted to see it for years, more because of Frank than because of the Stones. I love the Stones, but a concert movie is a concert movie, and Robert Frank is one of the best ever "American" photographers.

I ended up kind of disappointed. It has some moments of magic, and I think you can see why it held Frank's interest. There were some clips from his other filmmaking in the National Gallery show, but it is ultimately kind of boring. On the other hand, that seems like what it must be like to be on tour. Still, it was great to see it. Even when something iconic like that ends up a bit disappointing, it's nice to finally fulfill the fantasy of seeing it.
posted by OmieWise at 7:08 PM on March 5, 2009


I would love to hear more of what got Ry Cooder in to sessions with the Stones - Memo from Turner is just about my favorite 'Stones' song as well - and what drove him back out.

It seems funny to be nostalgic for Let it Bleed and Sticky Fingers, the music shortly to be blasting in common rooms of nursing homes everywhere.
posted by readery at 8:50 PM on March 5, 2009


I recall reading an article in Rolling Stone magazine around that time wherein Mr. Cooder allowed as to how the Stones and their organization were, if memory serves, a "...reptilian bunch of people."
posted by Forrest Greene at 10:19 PM on March 5, 2009


But no Monkey Man. Boooo.
posted by telstar at 12:46 AM on March 6, 2009


from you just lost the game's link (Sonny Barger quote):

"Everybody in the club rides Harleys but they would all admit they were a piece of junk, in terms of machinery."

He says the engineering on Japanese bikes is far superior, but riding Harleys is part tradition, part patriotism and partly due to the fact they produce that famous "grumble" and more low-end torque.


Woah.
posted by telstar at 1:43 AM on March 6, 2009


Cooder did quite a few sessions with them IIRC. Pretty sure that's him playing mandolin on Factory Girl on Beggars Banquet, and on Love in Vain on Let it Bleed, and playing slide guitar on Sister Morphine.

Then there's that Jamming with Edward album, that features the Stones minus Keith plus Ry Cooder and Nicky Hopkins. I don't recall ever having heard it, but I remember it got terrible reviews when it first came out.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 3:02 AM on March 6, 2009


I'm glad I saw the movie back in the days when footage of groupies and drugs was still new and shocking; I don't think I'd want to revisit it now. The Stones will always be The World's Greatest Rock and Roll band, no matter how badly they suck now. Thanks for the post and links!
posted by languagehat at 6:46 AM on March 6, 2009


I watched the movie, and it's interesting in parts, but overall it's kind of boring. Worth watching at least, but most of it is a depiction of the boredom of large-scale touring.
posted by DecemberBoy at 5:06 PM on March 7, 2009


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