What Really Drives the Rolling Stones

Roundup: Pop Culture & the Arts ... Movies, Documentaries and Museum Exhibits

It’s Rolling Stones week:  their latest greatest-hits package “GRRR!” is available today.  It contains 50 tracks, ranging from their ’63 debut single “Come On” to “Doom and Gloom” and “One More Shot,” two new songs recorded in August in Paris, where the Stones played a club set last month.

And on Thursday, Brett Morgen’s documentary “Crossfire Hurricane” has its premiere on HBO.  It shines a light on the history of the Stones while not quite revealing, at least not explicitly, how they remained great despite the kind of turmoil that now seems a perverse form of wish fulfillment.

As Keith Richards points out early in the documentary, at the urging of their first manager Andrew Loog Oldham, the Stones sought to be the anti-Beatles – the guys in the black hats, to paraphrase Keith Richards.  Violence broke out at their early ‘60s shows, and a young Mick Jagger suggests it was a natural reaction by socially dissatisfied youth rather than the result of a provocative marketing ploy.  Unbridled hedonism and drug busts ensued, and original member Brian Jones, fired from the band, succumbed to “death by misadventure” – Jagger says, “He was the author of his own misfortune.”  The band moved on to often-excellent second and third acts in its five decades....

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