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Rolling Stones’ Recording of ‘Exile on Main St.’ Getting Narrative Treatment

Written by on April 23, 2012 

The Rolling Stones are no strangers to film, be it powerful uses of their music in the films of Martin Scorsese, Stanley Kubrick, and Terry Gilliam, or their own presence in, among others, Gimme Shelter and Jean-Luc Godard‘s essay-like Sympathy for the Devil. But, though Mad Men flirted with a direct onscreen portrayal just a few weeks back, the project at hand might be their first onscreen appearance in a (slightly) fictional capacity.

Deadline reports that Richard Branson and his film arm, Virgin Produced, have landed film rights to Exile on Main Street: A Season in Hell with the Rolling Stones, Robert Greenfield‘s recount of the recording process behind their legendary 1972 album, Exile on Main St. Like that tome, the untitled movie — set to be scripted by Phil and Brandon Murphy — shines a light (get over it) on “the professional and personal relationship between head Stones Mick Jagger and Keith Richards as the band record their classic [album] in the south of France in the summer of 1971.”

It’s not my desire to see yet another film about conflicts amongst the members of classic bands, nor am I wholly encouraged by a slate of highly negative Amazon reviews. Maybe Branson‘s friendship and past associations with The Rolling Stones can help bring some more authenticity, energy, and vitality to the proceedings.

Here’s a longer synopsis of the original book (via Amazon):

“By 1971, Jimi Hendrix, Brian Jones and Janis Joplin were dead and Jim Morrison soon would be. Equally troubled, the Rolling Stones, those bad boy icons of the era, took their decadent circus to the French Riviera to escape British taxes and record an album. In a slang-filled present tense, Greenfield (Dark Star: An Oral Biography of Jerry Garcia) gives good gossip about the mayhem that ensued at the Villa Nellcote, the palatial mansion—and supposed former Gestapo headquarters—that Keith Richards rented as his getaway. Greenfield tells of who slept with whom, Keith’s outlaw antics and the massive amounts of drugs consumed. The central story, however, is the struggle between Keith and Mick Jagger, who was increasingly drawn to high society, typified by his marriage to Bianca Perez-Mora. A who’s who of celebs passed through Nellcote that summer, including John Lennon and Yoko Ono and Gram Parsons.”

Do you have any interest in the making of Exile on Main St.?

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