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Customer Review

on 7 January 2013
Well worth watching for the rare footage, especially the Brian Jones years, but disappointing as far as story content goes.
I thought this might finally be that warts and all documentary that a tale as unique, sordid, exciting and colorful as this band's history deserves.
If these guys are truly the all time bad boys of rock why, after 50 years, skirt around so many of the casualties that also helped make the band what it was?
We get to hear about Keith's drug misadventures which have already been well documented in his own book, the busts at Redlands, the horror that was Altamont and the usual tabloid tales made less dangerous by decades of retelling.
Nothing said about Ian Stewart, their first piano player, dropped from the actual band lineup because he didn't look the part, but went on to record and play live gigs over in the shadows until his death several years ago.
Lots of talk about Brian's wreckless drug use and how it was the blame for his departure from the group and his death soon after, but not a word about Keith stealing away his bandmate's girlfriend, Anita Pallenberg, which threw Brian into a downward spiral from which many have said he never recovered.
As a matter of fact, there wasn't a mention and and hardly a recognizable glimpse of any the women that played a big part in the bands history, like Marianne Faithfull (not even in the Redlands bit!), Bianca Jagger or Jerry Hall.
We hear a little more about why Mick Taylor left than in the past (drugs again to no one's surprise) but nothing at all said about the always drug free Bill Wyman's exit. There might have really been a story there.
I guess what I'm saying is I'm not sure why they chose to be so guarded and selectively coy about their lives at this late stage of the game.
I'm sure it would have been impossible to get it all into 2 hours but knowing as much as I and many of us do about The Stones it would have been cool to hear them come stretch out, come clean, get it on the record and be done with it, even if it meant doing a longer film like the ones done on George Harrison, Dylan or even Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers.
In The Beatles Anthology 10 hours devoted were to the 10 years they were officially together.
Surely, the longest career in rock and roll deserved a more comprehensive, if not the most comprehensive documentary.
I suspect it was ultimately down to what the guarded Mr Jagger wanted to put out there and reminds me of when his first solo album was released.
I was excited and eager for this man who had had taken one of the greatest rides in the history of rock and roll to go a little deeper and tell us a little something about himself in what I naively assumed would be a collection of 'personal' songs.
I believe it was the first song that started with the line 'I wanna lick it up!' and I knew any real hope of depth or substance was gone.
Glad I watched Crossfire Hurricane but it only made me wish I still had my VHS copy of 25X5, a much better documentary on the band and, ironically, even though it was done half their careers ago, contained about as much real information as this new one does.
Maybe more.
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