Rolling Stones — Cocksucker Blues (part six)
Saw this Rolling Stones doc this week at a schoolroom-style showhouse that opened up last year on South 3rd in Williamsburg, just off Bedford. It’s called the Spectacle Theater. It’s BYOB and has room for an audience of 25, plus folding chairs—and there’s space up front for those who want to sit on the carpet. Real homey.
There was a nice introduction by a fellow who teaches film at The New School, David Meyer. (He also has a book out about Gram Parsons, which I’d like to check out). He told us the Stones suppressed this film as soon as it came out, showing as it did the debaucherous spectacle that was their 1972 Exile on Main Street tour. It wasn’t as lurid as I’d expected—but the Stones are almost invariably shirtless, pulling shirts (and pants) off the groupies in their bus, smoking weed (and other things) and there’s a needle scene too.
Completely unexpected, however, was the film credit to Robert Frank (yes, that Robert Frank) who filmed the whole thing, along with a team of kids armed with cameras and mics. The shots are spectacularly bad, frequently washed out, but musically there are some truly electric scenes. Go about six minutes in on this clip and you’ll see Stevie Wonder launch the Stones into ‘Satisfaction.’ A great moment in rock’n’roll.