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Top 10 Rock And Roll Movies Of All Times

Just stay away from “Stardust”















Whatever I am going to write, I am going to change my mind about as soon as it is written. So with that in mind, rock and movies don’t really go so well together. Look at the “The Wall”, or even “Tommy” as perfect examples why the excesss of the rock and roll and the excess of  the movies don’t mesh so hot. Different times of excess, and different value systems. But any way…

1. That’ll Be The Day – Does it mean anything that Ringo Starr appears in my top two movies? This one, # 3, stars David Essex on the last day of school, chucking his books in the river and leaving home to become a carny before eventually getting a job at a working class style Club Med, bonking lots of birds, and joining a band. Part two of the movie, “Stardust” is the dreadful “Stardust” but this one is the goods. Grimy Post-WW2 England and the baby boomers digging out of the class structure and paradise postposed with sideburns and billiard gifts. It is almost an anti-romantic nightmare of upward mobility through booze, beer and rock and roll. You can imagine this is how Rory Storm got his start.

2. The T.A.M.I. Show – You and I know it isn’t because of the Beach Boys or Gerry and The Pacemakers or any of those other  bands, or even Marvin gaye or the Supremes. It is the rock and roll TV show to beat because of a young Mick Jagger and an in his prime James Brown.

3. A Hard Day’s Night –  Yes, all the humor, good spirits, sweetness, Beatlemania, and God knows, the music, are very important. But just under the surface, “A Hard day’s Night” is “That’ll Be The day” five years later: it is the same working class baby boomers trying to jump out of the straightjacket the English class structure had them in.

4. Cocksucker Blues – And five years after that, Jagger and Keith and the boys bring sex, drugs and decadence to the ultimate levels of thralldom. This is those same baby boomers now taking the place of the royalty whose position they were born to usurp.

5. Performance – Mick Jagger’s crowning achievement as an alternate Mick jagger, effete, broken, fucked up, drugged, and changing identities with gangster thug James Foxx. “Memo To Turner” is the ultimate music video, with Jagger giving in his kaftan for a sharp suit and a cockney accent: “Gerremoff…”

6. Harold And Maude – Seldom has a soundtrack done more for a movie. H&M’s march-December romance bypasses the potential icky portion through Cat Stevens gentle admonishments to be what you are.

7. Woodstock – When I was a kid, all my attention was on the girls dancing topless but now, well, I can see it for the window into a world so far gone the Roaring 20s seem closer. The mud, the glimmer, the flowers, the bad acid, and the music, from the sublime to the ridiculous and back again. And, of course, Jimi Hendrix.

8. Blue Hawaii – Sure, Elvis looks like a zombie, but like a cool playing in the surf at Lua zombies and the songs are all great if not precisely rock and roll.

9. Summer Holiday – The English version and a touché milquetoast for most people’s tastes but Cliff looks greats and there is a spirit of adventure to the romp. Plus there is “Big News” –classic Cliff rocker.

10 The Rutles – A sort of shadow image of the Beatles through a glass onion darkly. Eric Idle is hysterical as the talking head and John Belushi steals the show as the Allen Klein figure. But the rest of the Rutles –the joke stick in your craw.


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