This Summer, the BBC will celebrate 60 years of The Rolling Stones with a season of programming. The centrepiece is a four-part series of films, My Life as a Rolling Stone, produced by Mercury Studios.
The series is directed by award-winning filmmakers, Oliver Murray (Bill Wyman, The Quiet One) and Clare Tavernor (Keith Richards: A Culture Show Special).
It tells the story by viewing the band through the musical lens of each member, delving into their personalities, passions and memories from the past 60 years. Four hour-long films, on Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood and Charlie Watts, show how these individual musical geniuses came together.
The films feature access to and newly-filmed interviews with the band members, and from a cast of artists who’ve loved and been inspired by the band, including P.P. Arnold, Chrissie Hynde, Slash, Rod Stewart, Tina Turner and Steven Tyler.
The series will include unseen footage and exclusive stories from Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood interwoven with new and archive interviews and performance. The story of Charlie Watts, who passed away in August 2021, will be told via tributes from his fellow band members and his musical peers and admirers along with archive interviews of Charlie.
Lorna Clarke, Controller, BBC Pop, says: “What better year for the BBC, in its centenary year, to pay tribute to and celebrate one of the world’s most significant rock groups, in their 60th anniversary year. The Rolling Stones have been ambassadors for great British rock ‘n’ roll for decades and are loved the world over, so I’m thrilled that the BBC is able to present this very special season of programming, including the world-exclusive TV series, to our audiences.”
Mercury Studios ceo, Alice Webb, says: “Every now and again, as filmmakers we get to work on extraordinary projects – this is one of those moments. We know their music, their swagger, their unrivalled stage presence – and through these beautiful, intimate films you’ll see the band in all their glory as we explore what makes them truly great. It’s been an honour to work with The Rolling Stones to shine a light on their incredible lives and careers – we can’t wait for audiences around the world to see them.”
Mercury Studios will distribute the films internationally.
The four films are:
Mick’s creative and commercial vision has been instrumental to The Rolling Stones’ success. He’s steered the band to incredible musical heights, striving to keep them unified through difficulties such fallouts, changing fashions and attitudes. Jagger’s continued fame at the heart of rock and roll is without parallel, and with fellow ‘Glimmer Twin’ Keith Richards he has written and produced many of the greatest rock anthems of all time. How on earth does he do it?
This is a film about how important his unbridled passion has been to The Rolling Stones, and how the sheer power of playing live keeps them on the road. Keith’s uncompromising passion for the music he loves has driven the band to experiment with varying sounds and genres. And how important has his image of transgression and rebellion been to the legend of the Stones?
Nobody represents fun – and what happens when it isn’t anymore – more than the irrepressible Ronnie Wood. As the godfather of a very British sound and style, he was the one who helped the band regain their mojo through hard times when they needed it most. But, looking back, did the excesses go too far?
Watts was a true musician to the core with a lifetime love of jazz, often cited by Mick and Keith as the rock and the glue that held the Stones together. For six decades he was the quiet force and swinging backbeat of the Stones and the least showy drummer in rock history. How did Charlie maintain his reputation as “the drummer’s drummer”, the unruffled mainstay and linchpin of the band, oblivious to the temptations of fame, but crucial to the band’s success?
In addition to the four-part BBC Two series, a curated collection of landmark concerts and documentaries will be available on BBC iPlayer this summer, including Crossfire Hurricane (2012), The Rolling Stones: Totally Stripped (original version 1995, re-versioned edition 2016)
This film is a newly revised version of the documentary that was originally made to coincide with the release of the Stones’ Stripped album, released in November 1995, telling the story of two studio sessions and three live shows that made up the Stripped project. The film follows the triumphant end of the Voodoo Lounge tour which found the band reimagining tracks from their back catalogue as acoustic, pared back versions, as well as cover versions.
BBC producer for Rolling With The Stones and executive producer for the content across all platforms is Mark Hagen.
The Rolling Stones: Totally Stripped is made by Mercury Studios; executive producers Geoff Kempin and Terry Shand.
Crossfire Hurricane is produced by Tremolo Productions and Milkwood Films for Mercury Studios and The Rolling Stones. Written and directed by Brett Morgen; executive producers Joyce Smyth, Jane Rose, Sherry Daly.
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