Tuesday, September 22, 2015
Music Documentary Review: Under the Influence
In a documentary with unparalleled access, discover the people and sounds that inspired rock 'n' roll legend Keith Richards from childhood to today.
Keith Richards is my spirit animal. Seriously, only few minutes into this documentary and I felt like I knew the man. I could feel him in every way, his soul, his spirit, and his heart. I call him the Mad Hatter of Rock 'n' Roll because, well, he's Keith Richards! He is crazy, but that's what I love about him. Behind the myth and the legend, there is one cool dude, a classic music man who has major respect for the blues, country, reggae, and naturally, rock 'n' roll. This doc is hardly about Keith and is more about him composing a musical love letter to these genres and how they have influenced the showman he is to this day. Far from boring and all over the place, Under the Influence is where Keith takes us through this journey through music: first into the blues, about his influences/heroes like Muddy Waters and their first meeting, rock and roll, where he gushes over Chuck Berry, Little Richard, and Elvis, and then country, where he gives us insight into Johnny Cash, give us a tour of the original Grand Ole Opry, and the genre in general, and lastly, his love for reggae (who knew?). The stock footage is gorgeous and exciting. Keith showing us his record collection while reminiscing about music was so endearing - it truly humanized him as did his natural way of making you laugh and smile. What a disciplined musician he is, in and outside of the Rolling Stones. What a warm, chill, and laid back spirit he is as well, as was evident in how so many legends he has worked with were equals to him. Even Keith can fangirl sometimes! And did I forget to say how HILARIOUS he is? When Keith mentions one of his books, he slyly says "second to the Bible." What a riot! But what a charmer. You don't have to love the man to enjoy Under the Influence, but you'd be hard pressed not to once and after you watch this from start to finish. No pun intended, but Keith Richards rocks.