The Stones in Exile : An Imagine Special
BBC One, Sunday May 23rd, 10.25pm
Rating: 5 Stars
If it was possible to bottle claustrophobia, director Stephen Kijack would be doing it. If you’re looking for a wild ‘rocumentary’ with thrills and spills, you’re barking up the wrong tree. Cut together using still images, never before seen home video, radio announcers and new interviews … this film gives the viewer a taste of the good, the bad and the ugly that took place in the South of France in 1971 whilst the Stones struggled to record Exile on Main Street in Keith Richards’ basement.
So what were they doing in exile? Well as Bill Wyman explains, with 93 percent tax, “If you earned a million quid … which we didn’t … you’d end up with 70 grand, so it was impossible to earn enough money to pay back the inland revenue and stay here in England.”
This sense of not wanting to leave home comes through from all of the band, but especially Wyman who admits he spent a great deal of effort importing Bird’s Custard, PG Tips and Branston pickle for the duration of his stay … but maybe they needed this isolation, because as Martin Scorsese puts it, “The sense that they can’t go home … I think the music reflects that.”( Read More )