Favorite Documentary: Music

Love, love, LOVE The Punk Singer. I saw Le Tigre in the early 2000s, and they were awesome. I was too young to see Bikini Kill back in the day, but have tickets to their reunion tour, which is now slated for 2022.

Other than that, one of my favorite music docs is 20 Feet From Stardom, which focuses on backup singers like Darlene Love and Merry Clayton, among others.

More recently, I’ve really liked The Bee Gees: How Can You Mend a Broken Heart and the Woodstock '99 doc, both put out by HBO. Very well done.

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I have been a bad boy and forgotten to mention Woodstock and Let It Be yet.

Also, why isn’t The Anatomy of Vince Guaraldi available anywhere yet (at least not anywhere I can find)? I really want to see that!

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@JakeGittes The Gits is a new one on me—thanks!

@GamerasMom I totally forgot about 20 Feet … That one was on my watch list for a while so I don’t know why I missed it. I heard great things about the Bee Gees documentary too.

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Speaking of Letterboxd, I figured there would be a list there, and I found one dedicated to Rock-docs - over a thousand named. And I’ve only seen 88 of them, most of those were in connection to The Beatles, Hendrix and Dylan. Heh, I’m not predictable.

However, there was also one on The Ramones that I liked… End of the Century (2003) - IMDb

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Oh, and The Other One: The Long Strange Trip of Bob Weir, on Netflix.

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Respect Yourself: The STAX Records Story is an great look at the rise and fall of an unlikely recording giant.

Also, of course, The Kids Are All Right is excellent.

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Don’t know if anyone is a jazz fan, but off the top of my head I Called Him Morgan on Netflix was great. It’s a documentary about jazz trumpeter Lee Morgan based around post-prison interviews with his common-law wife, who killed him.

Also, not a documentary, but everyone should see the concert film Stop Making Sense at least once. It’s basically a master class in building up a concert and controlling stage presence.

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I am unfamiliar with I Called Him Morgan, but that sounds like a winner. Thank you for the recommendation. :+1:t3:

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You See Me Laughing, which is about old-style bluesmen in the mid 2000s. I walked into an empty room in 2009, and it was just playing. After it ended, I walked over to get my guitar, and played something on pure instinct that I would consider basically impossible now, despite being a much better musician these days.

This Ain’t No Mouse Music is really good. (though I may be biased, because some of my friends are in it)

The Last Waltz is great, though The Band’s first live album is a much better performance.

The Wrecking Crew is fantastic. Woodstock and Monterey Pop are classic. The Kids Are Alright is another I really like. There’s also a classic Hendrix documentary that I watched a bunch. It’s just called “Hendrix”, I think.

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Wow—This Ain’t No Mouse Music and You See Me Laughin’ were both completely off my radar. Thanks!

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Really glad Julia decided to take the helm and keep them alive.

Only thing bittersweet about that documentary is that all the bands look like soccer parents now. :sweat_smile:

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I’ll leave one more. Muscle Shoals is a small Alabama town near where I live that is responsible for some serious music. You’ll be surprised not only who is in the doc, but who also recorded here. Plus, you get to meet and learn about the Swampers from Lynyrd Skynyrd fame (no joke, every Christmas my brother in law throws a party at his house and feeds all of his friends. The remaining Swampers are always there).

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I can’t find a copy of it anymore, but there exists an early cut of Anthology the surviving Beatles were given so that they could give their input. If I remember right, it contains a lot more interview footage and the tone is VERY different. Paul keeps telling awkward sex stories, and George gives off the vibe that he wakes up every morning and thinks about punching Paul in the face.

If you can find it, I highly recommend it.

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Yes! I’m glad you brought this up; Everyone Stares just leapt to mind first because I’ve seen it most recently. I like a lot of Andy’s non-music work; I have several of his photography collections.

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My best friend Matthew got me a copy of the Beatles Anthology DVD box set. To this day, I STILL haven’t finished it all! But it’s a great documentary, with a lot more footage than was originally aired on TV.

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Mia’s buried not far from me; once when I stopped by (I walk through that cemetery sometimes; it’s beautifully kept), I saw a set of roses had been left by her stone. I realized the day before had been the anniversary of her death. :confused: People also leave bottles of Tabasco sauce as tributes.

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I would also like to know why no one has done a documentary on The Shaggs yet.

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Great question. It would make a great double-feature with Derailroaded.

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I think the Shags might have been shown in a picture in the Suzi Q documentary, but don’t hold me to that (I remember Fanny and Goldie and the Gingerbreads and others), but that was about it.

The doc was okay, I was never that big on Suzy Quatro, and felt Mike Chapman overproduced her (too much layering on her vocals) but an earlier band with her sisters, Cradle, now they impressed!

Suzi wasn’t overly thrilled by that part of her career, and Cradle didn’t do radio-friendly tunes, but damn, they could rock, and Nancy Quatro had a great set of pipes.

I’d love to find a documentary that explored those early, women with guitars bands… Suzi Q touched on it, but I’d enjoy a more detailed look at those who came before.

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Gotta throw Festival Express in here, too.

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