20 November 2012

One Plus One - Godard and the Stones in Barnes

Olympic Studios in Barnes played host to pretty much every significant English guitar band of the 60's.
The Beatle's recorded 'All You Need Is Love' there, The Troggs recorded 'Wild Thing' there and Procul Harem recorded 'A Whiter Shade of Pale' there.
Led Zeppelin, The Jimi Hendrix Experience and The Rolling Stones went even further and recorded whole albums there.
In 1968 Jean Luc Godard came to England to make a film that fell through.
His backup plan was to make a film  with The Beatles or The Stones.
The Beatles declined his offer but The Stones accepted and Godard had his cameras running as they sat down in Olympic Studios to work on a new track, 'Sympathy For The Devil.'
We follow the track from the vague, tentative noodlings of the first few minutes, following it through an organ dominated version to the precussion-based track that we know today.
Godard intercut the recording process with scenes of Black Panthers reading revolutionary literature in junkyards, his wife playing a character called Eve Democracy who is chased through a forest while pursued by questioners who she answers only 'yes' or 'no' and a fascist bookshop where you have to slap a Communist before you can get your books....

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