Narrated by Sienna Miller, the docuseries — airing on the BBC in the UK and the Epic pay channel in the US — interviews Mick Jagger
, Keith Richards
And Ronnie Wood
On camera, as an off-camera voice giving musicians, managers and others insight into the band, while focusing on the Stones.
Nicely written, the opening installment (dedicated to Jagger, naturally) describes the group as “a link between 1960s counterculture and the commercial modern world”.
There is biographical material focusing on his musical influences, as Jagger — the clear leader and “brand manager,” as one observer put it — essentially studied Little Richard as he learned how to command the stage. That included creating a rock stadium experience, as Jon Bon Jovi noted, calling his first performance at that early show “mind-blowing”.
While Jagger insists that he is the influence of his androgynous look (“I didn’t even know I was doing androgyny”), Richards credits the Beatles and their growing popularity with the Stones in the 60s.
“Without the Beatles there would never have been the Stones,” he says.
Always colorful, Richard’s Hour details his reputation as a “vicious hedonist” and drug abuser, but also a trailblazer who helped shape the band’s sound and image—”the model,” says Slash of Guns N’ Roses, “for all of us rebels.” Rock guitarists follow.”
Meanwhile, after replacing Mick Taylor in the mid-1970s, Wood is presented as the glue that held the Stones together and put aside his ego to deal with his high-maintenance partners. The final installment pays tribute to the late drummer Charlie Watts Died in 2021
. “England produced the best drummers that ever lived,” says Richards.
Executive producer Steve Condie and the four directors don’t dwell on the controversies and excesses associated with the Stones, but emphasize a celebration of their artistry as well as longevity as steady-rocking septuagenarians.
Those decades in the spotlight and the copious amounts of footage associated with them pay dividends for the filmmakers, if not the members themselves, who admit that the constant lack of attention is something of a double-edged sword.
“Some people can take it, and some people can’t,” Jagger says, discussing the pressures associated with publicity. “It’s a bit of a deal with the devil.”
“My Life as a Rolling Stone” evokes some sympathy for the devils, but mostly, a sense of appreciation for decades of rock wizardry that, apologetically for the song, needs no introduction.
“My Life as a Rolling Stone” premieres August 7 on Epix.