Docs That Rock

Will upcoming Hendrix, Joplin, Morrison doc get behind the music?

No web clips yet, but an intriguing upcoming theatrical doc from Canada focuses on late ’60s and the lives of Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison. The title, 27, refers to the age at which all three died, which happened between September 1970 and July 1971. Director Stuart Samuels reports that the lives and deaths of the three rock icons will parallel the story of how the era of peace, love and harmony ended. Aside from social changes and the Vietnam war, the film also shows how rock changed:

It was a period when pop culture became big business, when mass concerts became defining historical events, when musicians became Gods, and fans turned into a frenzied army of fame fanatics.

The film will be composed of news archives and interviews with family, friends, fellow musicians, rock critics, managers, etc. Supposedly Jimi, Janis and Jim will tell their own stories through live TV appearances, recorded private interviews, news archives, home movies, poems, press conferences, etc. I’m most curious if they’ll be a note of music from the three, however. From first hand experience, the estates of both Hendrix and the Doors are some of the trickiest folks to work with in regards to music licensing. Stratospheric licensing fees are almost the secondary problem behind the strict editorial control both estates demand. This enforced hagiography, of course, serves no one: history, filmmakers, or even fans. The legacy of these artists can’t be besmirched and I’d argue their myths are more powerful if presented in an unbiased fashion. Or else it’s a commercial and not a doc. I certainly hope that 27 had a breakthrough with the estates to play some music or else it will be like a silent film, no matter how well intentioned. (I seem to recall reading or hearing that this film is headed for a release next year but can’t confirm at this time.)

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August 15, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. […] In case you haven’t discovered it yet, Warren Cohen started up a nice blog about music docs, Docs That Rock. Since his day job is over at VH1’s Rock Docs, he is a great person to keep us informed on the music doc scene. He has hit the nail on the head as to why fair use is important for telling our own history. In this case, regarding a new film about Hendrix, Joplin and Morrison: From first hand experience, the estates of both Hendrix and the Doors are some of the trickiest folks to work with in regards to music licensing. Stratospheric licensing fees are almost the secondary problem behind the strict editorial control both estates demand. This enforced hagiography, of course, serves no one: history, filmmakers, or even fans. Read the post>> […]

    Pingback by   More Rights Issues: Rock Legends by Resources | August 18, 2008 | Reply


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