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Thursday, July 14, 2022

Rolling Stone: Life and Death of Brian Jones 2019 * * Stars


"His reputation wasn't very good". Whatev. That's the words of someone talking about Brian Jones, the original founder of the Rolling Stones. I'm not the hugest Stones fan but I've dug their music for a majority of my lifetime. 1966's "Paint it Black" (a famous Rolling Stones ditty) had the distinctive sound of Jones playing that good old sitar.

Strange in its approach not by look or feel, Rolling Stone: Life and Death of Brian Jones is a documentary that says everything in the title. It's about well, you know. Annexed, "Life and Death" doesn't involve members of the Rolling Stones nor does it feature their legendary music. The film feels more like an outside entity that decided to roll its bones out fifty years after Brian's mysterious passing. Jones was always kinda "under their thumb".

Brian Jones died in 1969 at age 27 (he is a member of the urban legend, 27 club). Rolling Stone: Life and Death of Brian Jones tells its story chronologically with decent archive footage (via pictures added) and plenty of long-winded interviews.

What's almost laughable about this docu is that the people confabbing are ones you've never heard of until 2019. They don't talk particularly fondly about Jones and worse, they act as if they were in his head or walking in his shoes. Jones has been gone for over five decades and well, he obviously wasn't present to defend himself. At least the dude got posthumously inducted with his fellow bandmates into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (circa 1989).

As I mentioned in the second paragraph, Rolling Stone: Life and Death of Brian Jones doesn't let you hear anything from anyone in the Stones. Besides showing them on screen from time to time, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, and Charlie Watts are nowhere to be found. "Life and Death" may be well-made, conspiracy theory-d, and eerie but introverted in its tack. It gets "no real satisfaction" from me.

Written by Jesse Burleson

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