Home > Movies, Music > Scorsese has it right (music documentaries worth watching)

Scorsese has it right (music documentaries worth watching)

Ever since re-reading Keith Richards’ Life (seriously, read it… it’s glorious) I’ve been updating my back catalog of music, physically as well as mentally. Oftentimes in between sessions of Queens of the Stone Age or Massive Attack, I feel the need to commune with the artists that influenced me from childhood. My earliest memories right before the 80s hit mostly involved toddling into my Dad’s workspace while he played his 8-track tapes of Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. Seriously parents… whatever music you play your kids early on is going to be a huge influence throughout their lifetimes. I’m living proof of that. So is my iTunes playlist.

Later on when I got introduced to the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, it was a musical awakening of sorts in the sense that I realized that certain artists have the ability to transcend time with their work and artistry. Listen to Sympathy for the Devil or Tomorrow Never Knows, and you’ll hear the glorious sounds future generations will keep buying long after the Justin Biebers of the world have burnt out (not soon enough, in this blogger’s opinion).

Martin Scorsese directed two documentaries that I highly recommend. One is George Harrison: Living in the Material World, and the other is Shine a Light (a Stones doc). The Harrison documentary is being rebroadcast on HBO, and is available for viewing on the HBO Go app as well. I managed to catch it over the weekend, and it was interesting to me to see what really drove Harrison as he matured as a musician and as a person.

Towards the later years with the Beatles, George Harrison wanted to explore his capabilities as a songwriter, and felt like he wasn’t able to do that so long as Lennon and McCartney called the majority of the shots. In that grew a desire to explore his spirituality, which also influenced his music (with the Beatles and as a solo artist).

People lament the breakup of the Beatles and blame it on various reasons and people (*cough* Yoko Ono *cough*), but a large part of that was George Harrison wanting to play and write his own music – something he felt he wasn’t able to do enough with the Beatles. Living In the Material World goes into much detail on the subject.

Anyway, here are the trailers for your enjoyment:

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