Legendary Filmmaker Albert Maysles Dies at 88 – A Tribute

One of the great documentary makers of our lifetime died March 6.  In case you missed the news, Albert Maysles, an Emmy Award-winning documentarian who, with his brother, David, made cinema verite films albert-mayslesincluding Gimme Shelter, about the Rolling Stones,  died of pancreatic cancer March 5 in New York.

As someone who watches more documentaries than any other genre of film, I could count on Maysles to be one who could find the real story inside the perceived story, and do it with beauty and simplicity.

The two brothers 1964 piece on The Beatles serves as the centerpiece for the The Beatles: The First U.S. Visit , documenting the Beatles’ US trip as they travel to New York City, Washington, DC, and Miami Beach.

He also made Get Your Ya Ya’s Out,  a chronicle of The Rolling Stones’ epic performance at Madison Square Garden in November 1969, and The Love We Make, a documentary filmed in the aftermath of 9/11, featuring Paul McCartney in New York arranging  a benefit concert.

Maysles  continued to work well into his 80s, making sseven films since 2005. His final film, Iris is set to debut this spring. Iris pairs the legendary 87-year-old documentarian with Iris Apfel, a quick-witted, flamboyantly dressed 93-year-old style maven who has had an outsized presence on the New York fashion scene for decades.  He has two films in production at the time of his death, including a self-portrait documentary.

ARTICLE: FROM MARCH 4, 2015 – Six Filmmaking Tips from Albert Maysles

VIDEO – Salesmen

Aussie legend Jimmy Barnes rocks “Good Times” with Keith Urban

Jimmy Barnes had about one-and-a-half 80’s hits.  But he was huge in Australia.

Keith Urban was sorta known in Australia.  He has lots of American hit records.

The two continent-mates team up for  a ripping take on the INXS/Easybeats nugget “Good Times”.  Excellent story in RS Country, but listen to the track first.  Urban’s guitar playing is his best musical asset, and to hear a stripped-down version of the song tag-teamed by a shouter like Barnes and a talent like Urban makes it work. Marvelously minimal.

Barnes was determined to break into the US market and signed to Geffen Records for release there. His second album For the Working Class Man was tailored in this direction, featuring remixed songs from Bodyswerve plus five new tracks including “Working Class Man” that was written by Journey musician Jonathan Cain and would become Barnes’ signature tune. Several US musicians worked on the album including Cain, Charlie Sexton, singer Kim Carnes and British drummer Mick Fleetwood of Fleetwood Mac. - full wikipedia entry

The song “Working Class Man” came out in the full-on blaze of the Springsteen Born in the USA fire in 1985 – not that they tried to hide the similarities. Earnest to the edge of car commercial parody. But it wasn’t.


jimybarnesRide The Night Away’ with Steven Van Zandt
(original version on For The Working Class Man album)

“I’ve been a fan of Springsteen since 1973 – the E Street Band is one of my favorite bands in the world, but I’d never seen them live – we’d never crossed paths and I was always working when they were touring. But when they came back to Australia this time (March 2014), I got this idea in my head that I would like to do this song with Little Steven. I went up to him and said, ‘This song you sent me 30 years ago, I wouldn’t mind recording it with you.’ He was a fan. And he loves music. So Steven came to my house.

“My son Jackie played drums, and I got Steven playing the guitar solo and singing harmonies. Virtually, it was take three, but we spent about 12 hours together, just talking. I got him to tell us stories about The Sopranos.”  — Jimmy Barnes

VIDEO: Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers – LIVE – “American Dream Plan B”

petty2014Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers remain one of the finest American rock bands around – and much of the reason (besides the talent) is work ethic. They keep touring and rocking and recording new music that sounds like …Tom Petty.

The new album Hypnotic Eye has led to a tour of the US.  He kicked it off with a pretty cool Jimmy Kimmel Live concert from the band’s rehearsal space.  Turn it up. Love the Mike Campbell guitar…

NEWS: Petty’s new album scores #1 spot; best first week for Petty since 1994’s Wildflowers album – Read Story  /

Part of the reason for Hypnotic Eye’s impressive performance is due to a concert ticket promotion for Petty’s ongoing summer tour. Those customers who purchased tickets through agents like Ticketmaster were presented with the option to also buy Hypnotic Eye. Though many declined the option, all redeemed copies were counted in Billboard’s official sales. Interesting…