A Music Geek’s Guide To The Movies: Part 2

It’s only taken me five years to get to Part 2.

The Beatles managed to release 9 albums in a span of five years, so I really have no excuse. Anyway, here are a few classic movies and documentaries to enhance your rock and pop history:

The Girl Can’t Help It (1956)

Ostensibly a showcase for sex symbol Jayne Mansfield, the movie’s rock ‘n’ roll subplot brought Little Richard, Gene Vincent, Fats Domino, Eddie Cochran, and The Platters in full color and larger than life onto cinema screens across the world. Teens fell in love with the beat, bought the records, and started bands.

The T.A.M.I. Show (1964)

A teenage music extravaganza! The show featured a little bit of everything, some of the best that 1964 had to offer: Motown, surf music, British Invasion, teen pop, and early rock n roll and R&B.

Gimme Shelter (1970)

The dark and devilish flip side to Woodstock. The concert at the Altamont Speedway in California took place four months after the “3 Days of Peace & Music” festival in New York. Altamont featured music, but the peace went up in smoke, even before one of the Hells Angels – a notorious biker gang who served as security for the concert – stabbed an audience member while The Rolling Stones played “Sympathy For The Devil.” Along with the Manson murders, Altamont serves as the beginning of the end for the 1960’s.

Pink Floyd: The Wall (1982)

If you like movies that are bleak and harrowing and trippy, then you will love love love The Wall, a surreal musical about a post-WWII kid from England who grows up to be a burned-out, strung-out, rocked-out superstar. (Have a basket of kittens ready for afterwards … you’ll need them).

Stop Making Sense (1984)

A concert film of Talking Heads at the peak of their powers, featuring a riveting, tour de force performance from lead singer David Byrne and the tightest, funkiest, most energetic backing from the rest of the Heads and assorted guests.

Runnin’ Down A Dream (2007)

The definitive account of Tom Petty’s history, from his boyhood in Florida, through his time with The Heartbreakers, to his multi-platinum solo career.

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