Monday, April 14, 2003
Rolling Stones try to make sure filmmaker can't get what he wants.
THE Rolling Stones are fighting to stop a controversial new film about their early days which focuses on the suspected murder of founder member Brian Jones.
They fear the reputations of singer Mick Jagger and guitarist Keith Richards will be trashed – and the blame for Jones' descent from angelic pop icon to dissolute junkie will be laid at their door.
The movie's producer Steve Woolley said the sensational revelations will force the police to reopen their inquiry into guitar hero Jones's mysterious death. [...]
Woolley produced Scandal, the hit film about the Profumo affair of the 1960s, and Backbeat, the story of the Beatles' time in Hamburg.
He has spent hundreds of thousands of pounds and eight years researching the Stone's life for The Wicked World of Brian Jones.
But it is believed the Stones have instructed former manager Allan Klein, who holds the rights to their pre-1972 hits, not to grant Woolley permission to use their music.
This is the bit that puzzles me about this story. I mean, the Rolling Stones telling Allen Klein what to do with material they themselves don't own the rights to? The same Allen Klein whose relationships with his management charges tend to end disastrously and who continues to refuse to reissue much of the music he controls? I can't see Klein letting himself be "instructed" what to do like that. If he thinks he can get money for licensing the music for this film, he'll probably do it. Even if he doesn't, all Woolley needs to do is get his band in the film to just perform the copious amounts of blues and R&B covers the Stones did in the 60s. There'll be a notable absence of original material like "Satisfaction" or "Jumpin' Jack Flash", but it'd still be a way of getting around the rights problem.
Yesterday Woolley said: "I'm convinced the police will have to reopen the case. Much of [the film] is about the murder of Brian Jones because the real motivation for the murder has never been clearly stated.
"Some of the people I've found the police weren't able to find... people who haven't spoken about Brian publicly for 30 years."
All of which is likely to embarrass Jagger and Richards as they get ready for their first concerts in Britain for four years.
The Wicked World of Brian Jones is set to be one of the most compelling British films of the year.
Sounds more like a Nick Broomfield documentary, doesn't it, Mick Keef & Brian rather than Kurt & Courtney... sadly I suspect the film will prove to be unworthy of the fuss, as so many controversial films prove to be...