Cocksucker Blues


Cocksucker Blues
Cocksucker Blues
Directed by Robert Frank
Produced by Marshall Chess
Starring The Rolling Stones
Music by The Rolling Stones
Editing by Robert Frank
Paul Justman
Susan Steinberg
Release date(s) 1972
Running time 93 min
Country United States
Language English

Cocksucker Blues is an unreleased documentary film directed by the noted still photographer Robert Frank chronicling The Rolling Stones' North American tour in 1972 in support of their album Exile on Main St..

Contents

Production

There was much anticipation for the band's arrival in the United States, with their not having visited there since the 1969 disaster at Altamont Free Concert, in which a fan was stabbed and beaten to death by Hells Angels. Behind the scenes, the tour embodied debauchery, lewdness and hedonism.

The film was shot cinéma vérité, with several cameras available for anyone in the entourage to pick up and start shooting. This allowed the film's audience to witness backstage parties, drug use (Mick Jagger is seen snorting cocaine backstage), roadie and groupie antics, and the Stones with their defenses down. One scene includes a groupie in a hotel room mainlining heroin.

Fate

The film is under a court order which forbids it from being shown unless the director Robert Frank is physically present.[1] This ruling stems from the conflict that arose when the band, who had commissioned the film, decided that its content was inappropriate and potentially embarrassing, and did not want it shown. Frank felt otherwise — hence the ruling.

The provocative title notwithstanding, its nudity, needles and hedonism was incriminating enough to get the picture shelved, and this during a liberal climate that saw the likes of Cry Uncle!, Deep Throat, and Chafed Elbows playing in neighborhood theaters. A generic performance film, Ladies and Gentlemen: The Rolling Stones, was released instead, and Cocksucker Blues was forever shelved.

However, bootleg DVD copies of the film are available and the film may also be viewed on Youtube.[2]

Song

"Cocksucker Blues" was also the title of a Rolling Stones song, recorded in 1970, that Mick Jagger wrote to be the Stones' final single for Decca Records as per their contract. The song is a parody of Dr. John's "The Lonesome Guitar Strangler", released on his album Babylon the year before, however its context and language were chosen specifically to anger Decca executives. The track was refused by Decca, although promotional 12" singles of it were pressed in the US. It was only officially released later on a West German compilation in 1983, although the compilation was discontinued and since re-released without the song.[3]

Cultural references

The fourth section of Don DeLillo's magnum opus, Underworld, is titled Cocksucker Blues, likely in homage to the Stones' song/film, which is referred to in the narrative of that section.

References

External links


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