Nick Broomfield takes a look at the life Brian Jones and his role in the Rolling Stones. It’s a bittersweet and sad tale of a lost soul who helped changed the world through the music he helped create.
This is a good if conventional look at the man and his music. Telling the story in the words of the various people who knew him, including recording from Mick and an interview with Bill Wyman, the film paints a portrait of a young man who loved the blues to the exclusion of all else. He was going to play music come hell or high water and as a result he was able to help create classic recordings that are still crowd favorites over a half century later. Not shying away from the dark side the film reveals how Jones’ early battles with his disapproving parents gave him a cruel side. It was side that was said to be intensified by girlfriend Anita Pallenberg who pushed him to do unkind things. It was something by his alcoholism and drug use.
Since most people are not aware of Jones’ role in the early days of the Stones, this film wonderfully sets the record straight. We see that the group was more than just Mick and Keith. There are some great stories here, say Paul McCartney talking about how Jones showed up to a recording session with a sax when thought he'd bring his guitar. It shocked everyone when Jones rocked it with the sax.
What I’m less enamored of is the conventional telling of the story. Basically a birth to death telling of Jones’ life the film takes a while to full click. A third to half of the film over before I truly connected. It’s not a bad, but as a fan of Broomfield I was hoping for something a tad more exciting in construction.
However that’s a quibble and anyone interested in the Stones of the history of popular music should make an effort to see this