Keith Richards: Under The Influence Review
I have been a Rolling Stones fan all of my life. One of the very best Saturdays of my entire life was when my family took me to Soldier Field in Chicago to see The Rolling Stones live. Oh my God, it was a wonderful concert and an equally wonderful evening. It was everything I was hoping to experience and so much more. They are a great band, and they will be part of my life forever. When we think of The Rolling Stones, we normally think Mick Jagger, we associate most with Mick Jagger. He is the face of the band, and while the rest of the band is quite popular, he does seem to get all of the glory. So I found it a little amazing when I sat down to watch a documentary about Keith Richards, and what inspired him, what influenced, what allowed him the tools to become the rock star he still is today.
We go on a mini-odyssey with Keith Richards. He plays music with individuals who influenced him. We sample and listen to the tunes, beats and songs that inspired him to play music. We pretty much take a noise dive into the psyche of Keith Richards. We get into the nitty gritty of what makes Keith Richards the person he is, and the chain of events that brought him to The Rolling Stones. When we watch the scenes of listening to Keith muse on the history of his life, we feel it. Like a wise storyteller letting out his best story ever. More than anything, this documentary felt like flying through someone's brain and finding out who they truly are.
That is what this documentary says best though. We are all destined to find who we truly are and what allowed Richards to find that information was through music. There is a moment in this movie when we listen to Tom Waits speak and he says "Rock music is like Houdini in reverse, we don't want to escape, we want to be let in" and the whole movie almost plays to that theme. There is almost a religious sensation these rock stars get, and Richards made sure we felt that sensation. It comes through loud and clear when he discusses his life and its sort of bracing.
A lot of the movie is relatively unexciting. Its just Keith Richards talking and playing music for an hour and a half. There is no clever tricks in editing, storytelling or filmmaking, but its really cool. It is also kind of informative. I did not know Richards was a multi-instrumentalist. I did not know he did so much work on his own. This was all new to me and I allowed myself to soak it all up. Not only did the movie feel like I went on a journey, but I learned something and you can't go wrong with that.
If you like classic rock. If you like music in general. If you want to see what its like to get into the head of a rock star, check this out on Netflix.
FINAL GRADE: B