source : www.rollingstone.com
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Ask Bill Wyman what people can expect from him The Stones and Brian Jones, documentary maker Nick Broomfield’s new film about the band’s late, doomed founder, and he’s pretty straightforward about it: “The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but it!”
That may be a bit of an exaggeration, but there’s no denying that the documentary, for which the former Rolling Stones bassist was a “historical consultant,” delves into the highs and lows of the man who founded the Stones but never lived beyond the sixties. “He was the heart and soul of the Stones,” Broomfield says in his story, “but today most people have never heard of him.” Currently, Jones is perhaps most infamous as the first major rock star to die at the age of 27, launching a tragic and mysterious club that would also include Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, Jim Morrison and Amy Winehouse.
For those unaware of his contributions: The Stones and Brian Jones (which will play in theaters one night, November 7, before a wider release on November 17) gives Jones the props he deserved. We are reminded that he essentially started the band when he was 19, was the blues purist soul in the early days, and added a defining influence to the band. soup con on some of their most beloved songs, whether it’s the flute on ‘Ruby Tuesday’, the marimba in ‘Under My Thumb’ or the sitar in ‘Paint It Black’. (Wyman’s favorite, he says RS? The Mellotron Jones played on “2000 Light Years From Home.”)
As for the general arc of Jones’ life, Broomfield sticks to the basics. Raised by a disapproving father who made his son feel like he was wasting his life by forming a rock band, Jones rebels against authority and longs for his parents’ approval. “I don’t want to spoil the film for anyone by mentioning details,” Wyman says RS, “but there were a few things that really touched me, including some things about Brian’s childhood that Nick discovered I didn’t know before.” This may include the fact that Jones’ father kicked him out of the house when his son was only 17, or that his parents never saw Jones play live, which is very shocking and certainly contributed to his problems with feeling self-esteem.
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A devoted student of blues and R&B, Jones relates to both black music and society’s underdogs, and it was his newspaper ad calling for band members that led Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, who had already jammed with him, to his door . Jones, who is nominally the leader of the Stones, is soon overtaken by them, especially Jagger, and goes adrift: he drowns in drugs and alcohol before actually drowning in the swimming pool at his British estate in 1969. (For anyone wondering: Broomfield, who researched the theory that Cobain was murdered in 1998 Kurt & Courtneydoes not support the theory that Jones was the victim of foul play as detailed in Danny Garcia’s 2019 document Rolling Stone: Life and Death of Brian Jones.)
Once he was forced to leave home, Jones also had a habit of moving in with the family of a young woman he knew, getting that girl pregnant, and then leaving — which happened at least five times, according to the film. In The Stones and Brian Jones, people describe Jones as alternately sweet, friendly, insecure or self-centered. “All of these words apply,” Wyman says. “Brian could go from kind and gentle one moment to cruel and mean the next. He was also brilliantly smart – even more so than the rest of us – but he often unintentionally made the wrong decisions, to his detriment.”
Even after so many decades, it’s still surprising to see how deeply invested Jones was in the Stones, even answering most of their fan mail himself. “When I joined, Brian was setting up our shows, deciding which songs to play and record, and signing all the management and recording contracts,” says Wyman. “Brian made all creative and business decisions on behalf of the band during this time.”
But the much more charismatic and confident Jagger was increasingly seen as the band’s frontman and leader, especially after the band began working with manager Andrew Loog Oldham. Speaking about the moment Jones declared he had lost control of his band, Wyman says: “I think this was when Andrew started encouraging Mick and Keith to write songs. Unfortunately, this caused Brian to lose confidence in himself as time went on. Brian, Charlie and I stopped doing so many press, radio and TV interviews when Andrew thrust Mick and Keith into the public eye.
When I joined, Brian was setting up our shows, deciding which songs to play and record, and signing all the management and recording contracts. Brian made all creative and business decisions on behalf of the band during this time.
In an awkward moment captured in a vintage clip, a TV host approaches Jones, assuming he is the band’s main composer. “I’m not really a writer,” Jones replied shyly, before the presenter turned to Jagger and Richards. We also hear a snippet of a sweet and beautiful song that Jones tried to write and sing himself, although he cuts himself off shortly after he starts. “He was completely insecure,” Wyman says, “so he always worried about what people would think.”
Wyman confirms the legend that he and Jones were probably the closest to the band. “From the start, I always shared rooms with Brian on the road,” he says, “and the two of us often went to clubs and other events, so we naturally became very close.” That bond is in stark contrast to the vignettes about Jagger and Richards teasing Jones. In another older interview (the Stones did not collaborate on the film), Jagger admits that the band may have been “a little insensitive” when it came to Jones’ contributions or own songwriting. Richards is heard explaining that fame affected Jones more than the others and that no one else in the band had the time or maturity to help him.
French model Zouzou, one of Jones’s many partners, also claims in the film (as she did in the Rolling stone doc) that Jones became increasingly dissatisfied with the music the Stones were making, especially with “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.” She remembers Jones telling her they were “writing shit” and saying of the song, “Look at this – it’s vulgar, it’s horrible, it’s out of tune, it’s nothing.” Zouzou remembers that Jones had fits of crying, drank whiskey and Coke all day and, given the bags under his eyes, asked her if he should get a facelift even though he was already 24. By the time of the Stones Rock ‘n’ roll circus TV special, Jones could barely play guitar and looked prematurely weathered; the director, Michael Lindsay-Hogg, remembers Jones telling him that the Stones made his life “hell.”
Does Wyman think the Stones could have done more to stop Jones’ downward spiral? “He went to rehab in July 1967,” Wyman says. ‘I know that because I visited him there. But ultimately it is up to the person themselves, which can be so difficult, just like for him.” As Wyman also recalls, “He once stubbed a cigar butt on my hand in the car and immediately apologized. He had a good heart, but he could also have a wicked sense of humor.
Thanks to old and new interviews with former lovers, The Stones and Brian Jones gets up close and personal, from his earliest teenage relationships to another girlfriend’s description of Jones as an “insatiable” lover. Zouzou also tells Broomfield that Jones seemed attracted to women who looked like him, especially in terms of matching bangs. “He didn’t love himself,” she says. “But at the same time he wanted people who looked like him, which is strange.” Jones could be so charming and courteous that he once persuaded one of his girlfriend’s parents to allow her to go on the road with the Stones.
According to the film, Jones’ dark side emerged when he hooked up with actress Anita Pallenberg, who lent his life an element of glamor and pharmaceutical risk-taking. In a new interview in the documentary, Volker Schlöndorff, who directed Pallenberg in the cult noir of the 1960s, explains Degree of murder, wonders why she and Jones would throw away the curtains in their hotel room instead of simply opening them, for example. In one particularly striking scene, Jones’ ex-girlfriend Linda Lawrence, who needs money for their son, visits him, but Jones and Pallenberg look down on them from an upper floor, laugh and never come to the door.
Leaving Jones as what Richards calls “a bastard” in the film, Pallenberg switches to Richards – literally from Jones’ hotel room to Richards’ on the same trip to the Cannes Film Festival, as Schlöndorff recalls. Jones’ father is heard claiming that the breakup has made Jones “gloomy.” His son’s drinking and drugging excesses certainly continued, leading to the Stones firing him and his death just weeks later.
Given that Jones’ death occurred 54 years ago – and that he is, as Broomfield says, largely unknown outside of hardcore Stones fans – why are we still analyzing his short life? “Brian was an astonishing musical talent who contributed to the creation of many masterpieces,” says Wyman. “His legacy will live on for a long time.”
Jones’ lost promise could be another reason: The Animals’ Eric Burdon calls him “a bit of a genius” here, and Jones’ work with Moroccan group The Master Musicians of Joujouka, released after his death, revealed him to be ahead of the curve . the curve when it came to rockers who recognized world music. Or maybe he’s just a metaphor now. Jones’ death came just a few months after the horrific Altamont Festival, which in December 1969 symbolized the death of what was left of the 1960s dream. As Jones lost himself in a haze of fame, substance and insecurity, The Stones and Brian Jones claims he was a one-man altamont unto himself.
source : www.rollingstone.com