I am currently trying to write up a post on This Is Spinal Tap, which I watched the other day. This got me to thinking about the genre of Rock ‘N’ Roll movies and in particular those that for some reason or another you rarely get to see.
One movie that I have always been curious to see is The Beatles’ Let It Be, as this is a film that shows the greatest of all rock groups disintegrating on film. I’ve heard that the film isn’t that great but I have always been curious to see it. Unlike The Beatles’ other feature films, A Hard Days Night, Help! and Yellow Submarine and the TV special The Magical Mystery Tour, Let It Be has never been officially released on home video or DVD or screened on television. A DVD release was imminent a couple of years ago but this was vetoed by Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr because it was thought that its release could tarnish The Beatles global image as well as reopening some old wounds. Apparently some bootlegs of the film are available but these are not official releases.
The Rolling Stones’ Cocksucker Blues is a film that was made of their 1972 North American tour. It was going to be released to cinemas BUT as the finished film features lots of images of sex and drugs without the Rock ‘N’ Roll. There was no way that this film could ever be released and it can only be screened with director Robert Frank present. Naturally enough the censored version is available to view on Youtube.
Another Rolling Stones film that rarely is seen is the documentary Gimme Shelter, which focuses on their 1969 tour and the disastrous free concert at Altamont. This film captures the murder of Meredith Hunter by a member of the Hells’ Angels, who the Stones chose to be security, on film. Jagger has since said that he feared for his own life whilst performing that night as well.