The widely accepted Elvis narrative is that the Vegas period was the nadir of his career, but this film argues that Elvis reached his peak both as a singer and performer in the first few years of his Vegas period. He became, in those short years, the greatest performer on earth. The film tracks this five-year renaissance with some of his key musical and artistic collaborators of the period, including the creator of his most memorable jumpsuits, to celebrate the greatest pop reinvention of all time. (BBC) Continue reading “BBC documentary: Elvis the Rebirth of the King (2017)”→
Few if any figures in blues loom as large as Howlin’ Wolf, yet there’s been a sad lack of footage of this staggering man. This director’s cut from the When the Sun Goes Down-The Secret History of Rock & Roll series is packed with never-before-seen live footage, rare Shindig footage presented by Mick Jagger and Brian Jones, interviews with bandmates and family and more. An absolute must for music-history and blues fans.
Chester Arthur Burnett (June 10, 1910 – January 10, 1976), known as Howlin’ Wolf, was a Chicago blues singer, guitarist, and harmonica player, originally from Mississippi. With a booming voice and imposing physical presence, he is one of the best-known Chicago blues artists. The musician and critic Cub Koda noted, “no one could match Howlin’ Wolf for the singular ability to rock the house down to the foundation while simultaneously scaring its patrons out of its wits.” Producer Sam Phillips recalled, “When I heard Howlin’ Wolf, I said, ‘This is for me. This is where the soul of man never dies.'” Several of his songs, including “Smokestack Lightnin'”, “Killing Floor” and “Spoonful”, have become blues and blues rock standards. In 2011, Rolling Stone magazine ranked him number 54 on its list of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time”.
In pouring rain, Dylan plays the open air Hughes Stadium at Colorado State University in Fort Collins. He has elected to film this show to replace the aborted TV special from Clearwater. In the longest set of the tour, there are several highlights, not all appearing in the TV special. … Included in the TV special, although in a most peculiar order, are second encore “A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall,” the entire Dylan/Baez set (“Blowin’ in the Wind,” “Railroad Boy,” “Deportees,” and “I Pity the Poor Immigrant”); three songs from the first set (“Maggie’s Farm,” “One Too Many Mornings,” and “Mozambique”); and three from the last set (two tremendously powerful readings of songs from Blood on the Tracks, “Idiot Wind” and “Shelter from the Storm” and a faded “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door”). Despite the storm clouds raging, the crowd appears to be very enthusiastic, even singing “Happy Birthday” for Dylan before the second encore. ~Clinton Heylin (Bob Dylan: A Life in Stolen Moments Day by Day 1941-1995)
Dylan appeared on the September 11-17, 1976 issue of TV Guide and consented to a rare interview with the magazine to promote his first network television special.
Four of the eleven (ten in the video below) performances heard in the television broadcast (“Maggie’s Farm”, “One Too Many Mornings”, “Shelter from the Storm”, and “Idiot Wind”) were included on the nine track album of the same name released by Columbia records ten days before the special aired.
‘Being in a band is the one time in my life that I’m a real team player.’ – Chrissie Hynde
Chrissie Hynde offer us a glimpse into her backstage life through this fine documentary, Arena: Alone with Chrissie Hynde (aired February 2017). Not so much a history lesson as a glimpse into the everyday life of one of the most interesting woman in rock/music the last decades. Intersped with some great performances by Pretenders and Chrissie Hynde.
Director: Nicola Roberts
“Arena spent the summer with supercool self-confessed rock chick Chrissie Hynde – shopping for clothes in Paris, hanging out with Sandra Bernhard in New York, life in London and a special trip back to her home town of Akron, Ohio.
A thoughtful and intimate portrait of a ‘lone, hungry, irritable wolf’, featuring a glorious live performance at one of London’s newest venues.
In this expanded version, Chrissie also takes us on a walking tour of Nashville and meets up with Dan Auerbach – the lead singer of the Black Keys who produced her latest album.”
Tom Waits is one of the most original musicians of the last five decades. Renowned for his gravelly voice and dazzling mix of musical styles, he’s also one of modern music’s most enigmatic and influential artists.
His songs have been covered by Bruce Springsteen, Rod Stewart and Norah Jones, among many others. But Waits has always pursued his own creative vision, with little concern for musical fashion.
In a long career of restless reinvention, from the barfly poet of his early albums to the junkyard ringmaster of Swordfishtrombones, his songs chronicle lives from the margins of American society – drifters, dreamers, hobos and hoodlums – and his music draws on a rich mix of influences, including the blues, jazz, Weimar cabaret and film noir.
Using rare archive, audio recordings and interviews, this film is a bewitching after-hours trip through the surreal, moonlit world of Waits’ music – a portrait of a pioneering musician and his unique, alternative American songbook.
Executive Producer Richard Bright
Director James Maycock
Production Manager Fiona Crawford
Production Coordinator Fiona Dorman
Editor Bradley Richards
Camera Operator Luke Finn
Interviewed Guest: Terry Gilliam, Lucinda Williams, Ian Rankin, Ed Harcourt, Ralph Carney, Bones Howe, Ute Lemper, Nitin Sawhney, Guy Garvey and Jim Sclavunos
Tom Petty talks about how he wrote his songs, and even writes one on the spot (kind of)! This is episode 1 in season 4 of this classic TV-series. It shows us what a wonderful storyteller Tom Petty was, through his songs and in between. He was one of the nicest guys around, and a very talented songwriter. This VH1 episode gives us Tom Petty at the height of his powers performing to an intimate audience and explaining with humour the inspiration for his songs.