Wednesday, June 06, 2007

A Tale of Two Documentaries

On Sunday, there were two music documentaries that we wanted to watch, on at the same time, so we recorded one to watch later.

We watched 'The Making of The Monkees' on Sunday - I love The Monkees. I know they were a manufactured band, but they had some of the best songwriters providing their songs at first and then their own stuff was pretty good (Mr Nesmith can write a good tune). Also I have a bit of a thing for Peter Tork. I was looking forward to this all weekend.

Channel 4 was taking a brief break from its Big Brother nonsense - on reflection it needn't have bothered. There was very little depth to it at all and it attempted to cover the whole of their career, although it wasn't so much about the making of them as their struggle against Don Kirschner to be able to write and play their own songs. But everything was done so superficially.

Yes, it mentioned that Mike Nesmith's mum invented Tipp-Ex, but it didn't mention Davy Jones appearing in Coronation Street or Stephen Stills putting Peter Tork forward for the job. Nor did it mention who the show originally tested poorly until they include footage of the lads screentests. There was some vaguely amusing editing using clips from the show to illustrate what was happening behind the scenes, but really nothing that interesting.
Certainly nothing I didn't already know - but perhaps I know more about The Monkees than the average person?

Last night we watched 'Exodus 77' part of the BBC's Jamaica season, which was about the year Bob Marley spent in London and his classic album Exodus, .
This was everything a good music documentary should be. Each track on the album was played, spliced with footage of interviews with Marley, people who knew him, people inspired by his music and events from the UK and around the world in 1977, along with coverage of the recent unveiling a blue plaque to commemorate his time in London. There was no authorative voiceover; the music and the images were given the space to speak for themselves.

We definitely picked the right one to record and it was a reminder that sometimes the license fee is worth paying afterall.

Note to self: I must remember no matter how good his music is, 'Redemption Song' is not a suitable choice for a pub jukebox as people do not really want to be told to emancipate themselves from mental slavery while enjoying a quiet pint.

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