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GOOD ENOUGH, COULD'VE BEEN A LOT BETTER
on 29 January 2013
If you know nothing much about The Stones, this is a good primer for the first 15 years of the band. 25x5 is better but harder to find (and not on DVD).
The footage has mainly been seen before, certainly by hard-core Stones fans. There ARE previously unheard versions of well-known songs (PLEASE!! a soundtrack). There are no video clips, and no album covers, yet these are available elsewhere.
Hours of interviews were completed for the doco and we've ended up with about an hour and 40 minutes of material from all surviving Stones-- as well as bits and pieces from existing interviews with Brian Jones (nothing from original member Ian Stewart).
No Oldham and no Klein. No Keyes, no Price, no Leavell, and no Darryl Jones. This is fair enough because how many people are you going to fit into such a relatively short bio? Including anyone BUT the band would've confused things, because the format is no talking heads, just voices.
Bill Wyman is back, as he should be because he kept the history. One of the best aspects is having Mick Taylor along. His much-awaited interview material wasn't in 25x5-- aside from historical footage, he only appeared via a photo and statement. He comes clean, saying it was drug addiction that forced his departure from the band (while this is discussed in some Stones books, it's never been talked about in detail in a Stones doco). Sadly, there's almost TOO much focus on this, and not enough is said about the brilliant guitar playing which made The Stones from 1968-1974 so untouchable.
Also unmentioned is Taylor's well-aired belief that he should've got more writing credits. Wyman, who's also mentioned this publicly more than once, also fails to raise it here.
What's disappointing is the lack of other major revelations. In the 'making of' interview, it's hinted that there WERE a lot of things said that didn't make the cut. Jagger should've had the guts to hand it ALL over and let others use the interviews to tell the story.
While it's nice to see a more-than-due return to the fact that it was Brian Jones' band, Jagger's slip-up about when he died is a very curious part of the film. Jagger says he couldn't remember how long it was after the band kicked him out, suggesting it was "months". The interviewer pulls him up and says it was three weeks.
To leave the mistake in the doco suggests Jagger cared so little for Jones that he never thought it through. It comes over as callous. Or it could just be an honest mistake. Either way, it shows that Jagger doesn't dwell on the past as much as some feverish Stones fans do.
And maybe that's the point. And perhaps that says a lot about the structure, motivation and form of the entire doco.