Rolling Stones’ Controversial Tour Documentary “Cocksucker Blues” Screens in New York

October 26th, 2009 by Patrick Doyle Leave a reply »

Photo: Michael Ochs Archive/Getty

When the Rolling Stones returned to the U.S. for a 1972 tour, they let photographer Robert Frank bring a crew of film cameras along for the ride with the intention of releasing an honest, behind-the-scenes look at a big band’s life on the road. The final cut was a bit more raw than the band had bargained for, though: When Mick Jagger and Co. watched Cocksucker Blues they decided they never wanted anyone else to see it. Frank won a 1977 court ruling that permits him to screen the film four times a year in an “archival situation” where he must be present.

“Look to your left, look to your right,” Metropolitan Museum of Art curator Jeff Rosenheim said Saturday when he introduced one of these rare events in New York as part of the museum’s Robert Frank Film Series. “One of you might be Robert Frank.” (Frank never did make himself known.)

Go inside the Rolling Stones’ 1969 tour in behind-the-scenes photos.

As fans filed into the museum’s theater, Exile on Main Street’s boozy “Casino Boogie” played on the house stereo, and Rosenheim speculated from a podium as to why the Stones tried to ban the film. His theory: they weren’t worried about being allowed back into the States as Jagger told the director, but disliked the film because it took fans behind the curtain, revealing the depression and loneliness behind the glamour of the road.

After displaying blown-up slides of the Exile on Main Street cover art (also shot by Frank), Rosenheim warned, “I hope you are all ready for misogyny, boredom and ecstasy … stupor and exhaustion.” And with that, the film began.

Early scenes depict the band in a dingy rehearsal space, jamming on “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.” The black-and-white camera shows a table of ...

Article Source: Rolling Stone : Rock and Roll Daily


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