Yikes. I need to take a shower. This legendary documentary, available only on bootleg, may indeed be the best representation of life on the road with a 70s rock band. And it ain’t as fun as it looks in “Almost Famous.” The Stones’ 1972 US tour supporting “Exile on Main St.” is presented here as a demoralizing slough of drugs, sex and cameras. I know — how can this be bad? Trust me, it is. It is disorienting, boring, almost sickening. The footage looks like hell (I think even the original did, too — much of it is shot on B&W Super 8) and everybody looks nauseous. Some moments are just so awful you have to laugh — a spread-eagled naked woman with semen on her abdomen mumbling “I saw fireflies last night” is, in this regard, the summit. Mick wears cool outfits and Keith tries to order room service in a scene straight out of Spinal Tap. Lots of celebs pop by (Dick Cavett, Truman Capote, Andy Warhol, Tina Turner, Terry Southern) but when they leave it is just back to the boredom. Waiting backstage. Waiting for the plane. Waiting at the hotel. Driving for hours to go play pool with Muddy Waters. I guess. . .I guess it is possible this is exactly what Frank wanted. Who knows? All I know is that it gave me a headache. There are one or two musical numbers, but poorly recorded. A jam with Stevie Wonder (!) is pretty kick-ass, though.
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