It’s a film of pure nostalgia for diehards and a great intro for newbies to the badassery that is the Rolling Stones. Revealing that they’re much more than inspiration for a moronic song by Maroon 5, Crossfire Hurricane, an HBO Films documentary, shows the band’s journey from past to present. Spanning back to acid trippin’ in the ‘60s to what they are today, this is the preamble for the Stones’ 50th Anniversary World Tour.
Here’s a depressing opener for you. For those of you who forgot that the gang is getting, well, fucking old, there’s a pleasant reminder during the opening credits when the interviewer asks Mick Jagger how his memory is holding up. Why don’t you just hand him a cane while you’re at it? After this short downer, the film warms up. It addresses all the stuff, fan or not, you probably already knew: the bad behavior, drugs, screaming girls and perceived hedonism that surrounded the Stones in a Beatles world.
Roughly halfway through, it picks up getting nice and toasty with insane footage of riots breaking out at UK shows and up close video of Altamont where you practically witness firsthand the fan getting killed by the Hell’s Angels. About 3/4 of the way through, pay attention. You won’t want to miss the most visually captivating scene involving flashes of an epic live concert intermixed with sexy “home” videos of the Stones with their lady friends.
Overall, this is a pretty good music documentary. It didn’t leave me feeling exhilarated wanting to run out and grab tickets, but it may for some. It did, however, leave me with a deeper respect and understanding for songs that I’ve known for so long. Part personal recollection, part historical timeline, Crossfire Hurricane does a great job of showing how society, personal situations and just plain human nature were reflected in their music.
Through all the highs and lows, losses and rebirths, you really go there. Ending with a recent performance, it shows that they’re still rocking it (despite their age and all).