Best Rock and Roll Movies (circa 1980)

When I was a kid, the two non-sports books I had with me the most were the Rolling Stone Record Guide and Dave Marsh and Kevin Stein’s Book of Rock Lists.

In the chaos of my early college years, who knows what happened to it. But when my daughter Cara and I were perusing a used book store in Provincetown a couple of summers ago, there before me in the music section was that long-lost book. For $7, who could resist? That was less than the original cover price! I guess they figured no one would possibly want it.

I thought about it today when I read Steve’s post about his favorite rock documentary. Of course, “Best Rock and Roll Movies” was one of the lists. Here they are in order, with links to purchase if you so desire:

1.
King Creole (Elvis)

2.
(Sex Pistols)
3.
(Dylan)
4. The Beatles: A Hard Day’s Night

5.
(various including The Rolling Stones)


6. The Girl Can’t Help It
(Little Richard, Gene Vincent, Eddie Cochran and others)
7. (Jimmy Cliff)
8.
(Hendrix, Redding, The Who)

9.
(Paul Jones)
10.

4 thoughts on “Best Rock and Roll Movies (circa 1980)

  1. “You go to school, Dad, I’m goin out to make a buck.” Great list. I assume you mean “The Girl Can’t Help It”? There is a fabulous 50’s movie I haven’t seen in decades called “Don’t Knock the Rock”. It’s killer.

  2. Hmmm. No Almost Famous? Or, High Fidelity?

    OK, tough making lists and I have no argument with any of your choices.

    I saw Oh Lucky Man! for the first time on a double bill with The Harder They Come.

    The T.A.M.I. Show is a brilliant choice. I am also big on Renaldo and Clara (because Rolling Thunder was, I think, the best Dylan touring band outside of The Band, and had Mick Ronson, T-Bone Burnett, and Roger McGuinn on guitar), and as noted in my email, Standing in the Shadows of Motown is a killer.

    Steve noting It Might Get Loud is also wonderful, and I love both the Who’s docs, especially the earlier, and more innocent seeming The Kids are Alright.

    Really loved Killer Cane (I think that is the title, about the former Dolls bass player) too.

    And, the recent Searching for Sugarman is just great.

    Am curious, Mike, on how you prefer Kid Creole to Jailhouse Rock?

    • I cut out of school to go into the city to see the first show on the first day of the Kids Are Alright at the Plaza theater.

      The list Mike posted was created by Dave Marsh in 1980, long before Almost Famous and High Fidelity.

  3. Ah, thx for clarification. I guess reading carefully might help? Just, drawn to lists before thinking (sorry Mike).

    But, what happened to Quadrophenia? I was in London (a different time) and saw it there a few months before it was released in the states.

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