The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

Seminal Image #157


Cocksucker Blues
(Robert Frank; shot in 1972; still unreleased)

3 comments :

sleepybomb said...

i have a copy of this i found on winmx. it is in pretty good shape and is worth the price of admission if only for the jam with the stones and steveie wonder.
but alot of it is drivel and somewhat disturbing, with shots of some nekkid junkie groupie shooting up drugs at the end.
all in all, it is apparent why this never saw the light of day.
i ripped it, cleaned it up and made dvd's for all my friends. not one was overjoyed to have it tho. . . oh well.

Tom Sutpen said...

Sleepybomb wrote:

i have a copy of this i found on winmx. it is in pretty good shape and is worth the price of admission if only for the jam with the stones and steveie wonder.
but alot of it is drivel and somewhat disturbing, with shots of some nekkid junkie groupie shooting up drugs at the end.


*****
I have it as well (hence the image capture you see), but the main problem with the disturbing drivel is that, by al accounts, it was staged for the cameras.

all in all, it is apparent why this never saw the light of day.

*****
There's varying accounts as to why it hasn't been officially released, though Robert Frank retains the right to screen the film on a limited basis (I was at one of those screenings back in 1987). He continues to maintain that the Stones, as a corporate entity, will one day relent and allow the film a full airing.

i ripped it, cleaned it up and made dvd's for all my friends. not one was overjoyed to have it tho. . . oh well.

*****
It's definitely one of those films that, had it not been for the extra-cinematic matter of its release status, would have been dismissed as a fair-to-middlin' concert film with some tremendous music that nevertheless tries way too hard to be outrageous.

swac said...

Robert Frank was teaching a class at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design here in Halifax (he has a home in the north part of the province, in Cape Breton), and his students were bugging him to show Cocksucker Blues, and he told them he couldn't without going through the rigamarole of getting permission from the Stones and so on, but finally at the end of term he did screen it for them (or showed them a video copy, I'm not sure what) and sure enough, the Stones' lawyer slapped a writ on him. Lord only knows how they found out about it.

There were rumours that Jagger himself flew to Halifax to retain a lawyer, figuring it might be good to have one in the pocket since Frank lives here and might do it again. I don't know if that's true...I heard it a lot at the time...and if you repeat a myth enough times...