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If anyone lives the amazing everyday it’s rock musicians. They suck the life out of life with their electric performances, their creativity and their energy. If you can’t enjoy this buzz in reality, the next best thing is rock and roll movies. Whether raw and edgy or just rollicking good fun, here’s ten we think every Nokia Music fan will love.

THE DOORS (1991) Director: Oliver Stone

Kevin Dillon lied about drumming skills at his audition and was tutored by real Doors drummer John Densmore. Val Kilmer said of Jim Morrison:  ‘Selfish thing to do to kill yourself. Maybe his music has done more good than the people he hurt.’

THE GREAT ROCK AND ROLL SWINDLE (1980) Director: Julien Temple

The nihilistic flavour of the Sex Pistols documentary can be summed up by Johnny Rotten: ‘By the time you’re 29 – you’ve got two kids and just want to commit suicide.’ He later said Sid ‘…couldn’t find his way out of a paper crisp bag. I called him Vicious after a pet hamster I once had, that had no teeth.’


SCHOOL OF ROCK (2003) Director: Richard Linklater

Writer Mike White was Jack Black’s neighbour. His story of a teacher inspiring pupils through rock attempted to capitalise on Black’s charisma. White had wanted to be a New York screenwriter but returned to LA for better weather. Truly a ‘Black and White’ production.

HIGH FIDELITY (2000) Director: Stephen Frears

Frears loved filming the record store scenes: ‘I could have done them forever.’ He left the music choices to the younger people, who argued endlessly about what should be included. He denied it was a music film: ‘It’s a film driven by dialogue and drama.’

THIS IS SPINAL TAP (1984) Director: Rob Reiner

Reiner called it a ‘Fly by the seat of our pants’ unscripted rock mockumentary. In a later ‘band’ radio interview, Spinal Tap told the presenter: ‘Originally the pyramids were square…it’s due to global warning.’ When asked ‘Who told you?’ they replied ‘Some bloke with a thing.’

GIMME SHELTER (1970) Director: Albert Maysles

Ex psychologist Maysles got more than he bargained for with this Stones’ concert documentary. ‘People! Why are we fighting?’ called Keith Richards during a raucous crowd moment. ‘Either those cats cool it, or we don’t play.’ Amongst the camera operators for film was a young George Lucas.


PURPLE RAIN (1984) Director: Albert Magnoli

Prince turned up to premieres ‘in a purple limo, smelling of lavender.’ Known for his wacky interviews, the artist now formerly known as Prince also says that he ‘lives in Minnepolis because it’s so cold it keeps the bad people out.’

WAYNE’S WORLD (1992) Director: Penelope Spheeris

Self-proclaimed ‘white trash chick’ Spheeris is a canny businesswoman. She started Rock and Reel, the first company producing music videos, long before MTV. She was also given 7% of Wayne’s World. No one thought the film would do so well. Zang!

THE LAST WALTZ (1978) Director: Martin Scorsese

In 1971 student Allan Arkush gave his professor four free tickets to The Band’s gig. Seven years later Professor Martin Scorsese made their documentary, using Art Director Boris Levin, who had worked on the decidedly unrock ‘n roll The Sound of Music.

CONTROL (2007) Director: Anton Corbijn

Actor Sam Riley, who played Joy Division’s doomed Ian Curtis in this biopic, met his wife Alexandra Maria Lara on the set. His role also prompted film critic Mark Kermode to call him ‘Actor of the year.’ 

Any we’ve missed off the list, which you think show how musicians treat every day like an adventure? If so, add them to our rock and roll hall of fame in the comments below.

Image credit: Martin Cathrae