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Sunday, November 11, 2012



President Of The United States (Four More Years) :: He has over 23,000,000 followers on Twitter, but he only follows 670,000 people—and I’m one of them. You can follow me too, just like the rock ’n’ roll President does, @CREEM.

Crossfire Hurricane (Eagle Vision) :: The greatest Rolling Stones concert I ever saw was the gold long-sleeved jumpsuited evening show at Maple Leaf Gardens on July 15, 1972. Sure, the white short-sleeved jumpsuited with audience-supplied black top hat matinée show was great, and the two long-haired striped pajama shows I saw in 1975 were almost as equally awesome, but there’s nothing like seeing the Stones swelter on stage in a 110 plus degree concrete sweat box to see what kind of stern stuff they’re really made of.

You may not need a Weatherman to know which way the wind blows, but when there is no wind, you can always depend on crack meteorologist Mick Jagger to give you updates on the quarter hour. After three songs: “It’s good to back in the black hole of Toronto...where it’s about 150 degrees...but that’s alright...” After six songs: “It’s hotter than a crotch up here!” After nine songs: “I think...I’m going to” After 12 songs: too pooped to prattle, the singer douses himself with a full bucket of water and the guitarist passes out from heat stroke as soon as he tumbles off stage.

Meanwhile, the second greatest Rolling Stones movie I ever saw was back in the ’80s when Robert Frank brought a mint print of his officially Stones-suppressed Cocksucker Blues and screened it at Massey Hall to a few thousand of the faithful, followed by a Q&A session. But that’s a story for another time because what we’re here to talk about is the greatest officially Stones-sanctioned movie I’ve ever seen.

You can forget all about their 25th anniversary VHS-era documentary 25x5: The Continuing Adventures Of The Rolling Stones ’cause Crossfire Hurricane contains the most awesome array of rare Stones footage ever amassed in one place. Even better, director Brett Morgen has taken chunks outta almost every Rolling Stones movie extant—from Charlie Is My Darling and One Plus One to Rock And Roll Circus and Gimme Shelter to Ladies & Gentlemen and, yes, the aforementioned CS Blues—and assembled them chronologically in a socio-political context, all underscored with continual cogent and very candid contemporary comments from everyone who ever saddled up with the Stones and is still around to tell the tale.

To the band’s everlasting credit they don’t shy away from such controversial topics as the decline of Brian Jones; the disaster at Altamont; the dissipation of heroin; and the decay of Keith Richard’s teeth. Indeed, they confront everything to the point of almost morbidly wallowing in it with uncharacteristic unassuaged guilt.

To the band’s everlasting shame, they don’t mention the name “Ian Stewart” even once but, hey, it was only Stu’s band before the young’uns took it over so what the heck. Of course, it’s grievous lapses in judgment like that all throughout their career that makes the Stones the Stones—which is why this fifty year assemblage of archival footage is so fascinating to watch from beginning to end.

So catch it if you can in a theatre where the pristine image will envelop you and the ferocious sound will buffet you—especially during the surprise redemptive life-affirming closing credit sequence that, against all odds, will leave you with a big smile on your face. But if you aren’t able to catch it either on a big or little screen during the next few months, you’ll just have to wait until everything seems to be ready for Eagle Vision to release it on DVD sometime next spring—at which point I’ll remind you about it all over again because it’s that good.

Needless to say, it’ll be well worth the wait because, let’s face it, the Rolling Stones always are. And that’s what makes the Stones the Stones, too.

Be seeing you!
Sun, November 11, 2012 | link 

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