Fw: Early Review Of Amazing Journey

Bruce bkawak at chartertn.net
Thu Sep 13 23:07:25 CDT 2007

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "keifspoon" <jimzez5 at aol.com>
Newsgroups: alt.music.who
Sent: Thursday, September 13, 2007 6:35 PM
Subject: Early Review Of Amazing Journey

> From paul42, a fan over at twt.com:
> Quote:
> The documentary was good. I didn't see any of the supplementary
> materials which will probably make up more than half of the DVD set
> due out in November, but I did see the documentary proper, and it was
> good.
> The documentary opens with a beautifully shot sequence of a guy
> selecting an album from his huge record collection, firing up his tube
> amp, and placing the record on the turn table. The record turns out to
> be called AMAZING JOURNEY: THE STORY OF THE WHO, and as the film
> unfolds, each section is treated as a numbered and named track on the
> album. A quarter of the way through the film, the record is turned
> over for side 2, halfway through the film the second LP is placed on
> the turn table, and so on.
> The first part of the film focuses on the individual four members of
> The Who. Then the film logistically progresses from one album to the
> next in chronological order. Along the way there is lots of rare
> footage, as well as some we've seen before, some rare audio, and a ton
> of studio and live cuts used as background music. Each time a new
> album is introduced, we get a pretty cool 3Dish computer animated
> version of the classic album cover -- nothing overkill, but one cool
> sequence that comes to mind is a sequence slightly animating the
> "cartoon" versions of The Who on the cover of a A QUICK ONE, singing
> along with the title track.
> The last part of the film deals with the death of Keith Moon, the
> Kenney Jones years, and then glosses over some important live
> appearances between 1982 and 2001, before giving a good amount of time
> to the Concert for New York, along with most of the performance of
> Won't Get Fooled Again at that show. This is followed by John's death,
> the 2002 tour, and the 2006 tour/album with a focus on Roger and
> Pete's new relationship.
> The movie departs from some of the other documentaries that have been
> made over the years partly based on the wide variety of people who
> contribute to the story of The Who. Aside from a narrator who chimes
> in occassionally, there are lots of "talking head" interviews to help
> flesh out the story, but they're not as boring as the interviews in 30
> YEARS OF MAXIMUM R&B or as chaotic as those glimpsed briefly in THE
> KIDS ARE ALRIGHT. We get to hear from all the members of The Who,
> including Kenney Jones, John's mom, Keith's mom, Chris Stamp, Bill
> Curbishley, Shel Talmy, Bob Pridden, Pete's art school roommate, Eddie
> Vedder, Steve Jones (Sex Pistols), Noel Gallagher (Oasis), Sting, The
> Edge (U2), Roger Daltrey's wife, and many others.
> Early on we get to see lots of footage of The High Numbers/Detours/
> early Who that I hadn't seen before. Some of it was footage I've seen
> without the audio, some of it was footage I hadn't seen at all, and
> some of the audio was of performances I'd never heard before.
> Admittedly I'm not a big bootleg guy, so some of this might not be as
> new to some of you as it was to me, but there was definitely a lot
> here that has never been featured in an "official" release before.
> Also, we do get to see one brief black and white clip from Leeds, with
> audio (apparently taken from the Deluxe edition of the album, based on
> the sound quality). So, that was thrilling.
> During the Tommy sequence there was an amusing bit of interview with
> Keith Moon in which he's apparently been asked what exactly he gets
> out of playing pin ball, to which he announces, "Sexual satisfaction.
> I've always liked balls," and continues to ham it up from there.
> There's also some footage that stood out as possibly never having been
> released officially before -- early frootage from Railway Hotel and
> the Marquee Club, a couple Tommy cuts from the London Coliseum, some
> more Tommy cuts from The Met.
> Speaking of Moon, there's also a lot of footage that appears to be
> outtakes from THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT from Jeff Stein's days and nights
> in California with Moon -- a lot of stuff where you might recognize
> the context of a given scene, but haven't seen this particular moment
> before, as well as a clip that appears to be an outtake from a KIDS
> ARE ALRIGHT interview w/ John in which he discusses the Roger/Pete/
> Quadrophenia punchout.
> During the LIFEHOUSE segment, there is some interesting live footage
> of The Who playing an early version of BABA O'RILEY. Unfortunately I'm
> not exactly sure where or when this footage is from, but it is the
> only early 70s footage I've ever seen of this song being played live.
> There's also some footage from the Cow Palace performance where Moon
> passes out that I hadn't seen before -- not the famous stuff of him
> keeling over at the drum set, but some stuff with him and Pete hamming
> it up, Roger trying to pull them apart, and a little more stage banter
> before Pete asks if anyone in the audience can play guitar.
> During the WHO BY NUMBERS segment there is also a moment where it
> shows footage of a live performance of HOWEVER MUCH I BOOZE from that
> era, which I'd never seen before.
> There's also an interesting, rusty live performance of WHO ARE YOU
> from 1978 or 79, the first time The Who got back together to play
> after not playing live for 16 months. I'm guessing this footage is
> from the show they claim will be included in its entirety in the
> special features. Like I said, The Who are very rusty here, but it's
> very cool to see what must be among one of the first times they
> attempted to play this song live.
> The editing and music selection in this documentary are very
> professional and are a highlight in and of themselves. They're
> particularly effective during the sections talking about Moon and
> later Entwistle's deaths. During the Moon sequence the clips and
> interviews are set to the opening moments of the studio version of
> LOVE REIGN O'ER ME. During the Entwistle sequence they made the
> interesting choice of setting the images and interviews to THEY MADE
> MY DREAMS COME TRUE from the latest album.
> Speaking of tragedies (and good editing/music choices) they also did a
> brief segment about Pete's legal troubles and how Roger backed him up
> during that period, and this segment was set to MAN IN A PURPLE DRESS
> which worked very well.
> The movie wound up with a sequence set to the TEA AND THEATER
> performance in Long Beach 2006, a fitting end to the movie as a whole
> as well as a fitting end to the section about Roger and Pete's
> evolving relationship. Finally the closing credits montage was an
> interesting combination of several live performances of MY GENERATION,
> starting in 2006, going back in time to the 60s, and then coming back
> up to 2006 again, a cool mish-mash of video and audio progression and
> regression.
> This one just went into more detail than most. For instance, it
> touched on several things that most docs kind of skip over --
> Quadrophenia, Roger fighting with the band, the Meher Baba influence,
> TOMMY the movie, Pete's solo career, John's problems with debt, and
> the latter years in general. And, it gave voice to people who don't
> always get their say -- Kenney Jones is a major one, along with others
> who were always with The Who, but on the sidelines. Lots of stuff
> about Kit Lambert, for instance.
> This doc was also more information and narrative based than previous
> ones. THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT, while one of my favorite films of all
> time, can't really be cited for making great narrative sense or
> conveying very much actual information to a non-fan. It's more of a
> force of nature, like the band -- an expressionistic portrait of the
> band that shows a lot but doesn't tell much. 30 YEARS OF MAX R&B tries
> to strike a balance between talking head interviews and live footage,
> but tends to stick with the live footage so long you forget about the
> talking heads, and doesn't vary the talking heads much -- mostly just
> John, Roger and Pete.
> This might be a step in the wrong direction for some fans who would
> rather just see concert footage. There's a lot of great footage here
> but most of it is snips here and there, a lot of it with interviews
> talking over what could be very interesting raw footage to a fan. But,
> hopefully on the DVD release we'll get some of this raw footage
> uninterrupted.
> One nice thing this doc did was tried to keep the live performances
> contemporary with what was going on in The Who's album chronology, so
> when you saw a live performance, the song was usually contemporary
> with the time period -- unlike 30 YEARS OF MAXIMUM R&B, when you see
> footage of the 82 tour, you hear a song appropriate to 82 (like
> There weren't any interviews with Zak Starkey, Rabbit, Simon Townshend
> or Pino Palladino, though they are each at least mentioned by name. I
> would have liked to have heard from these guys. And, while they
> included at least three of the brand new songs, they skipped over OLD
> RED WINE and REAL GOOD LOOKING BOY (there might have been a snippet
> but not enough to be meaningful). It would have been nice to touch on
> that. Also, they do at least touch on activities between 1982 and
> 2001, but we don't get much in the way of opinions. We hear about Live
> Aid, the 1989 tour, the Vegas Job, the 99-00 tour, Royal Albert Hall,
> but don't find out what anyone thought of them.
> Additionally it would have been nice if some concert footage had been
> shot specifically for this doc so we could get a defnitive look at how
> The Who are now, instead of from second-hand sources (unless the Long
> Beach stuff was shot by the doc crew -- I suppose it could have been,
> but wasn't staged specifically for the doc, which still put the doc at
> the mercies of the venue, etc).
> The few moments created specifically for this documentary look great
> -- the opening and closing footage is beautifully shot, the "animated/
> 3D" album covers are executed very well, and all the audio sounds
> great. There were a few instances where a studio recording was pushed
> to the forefront and sounded better than I'd ever heard it before,
> notably a very bassy I CAN SEE FOR MILES. The presentation was in
> Dolby Digital 5.1, but as always before the officlal release you can
> never be sure if this is the final mix or not. What I heard sounded
> great.
> I was very satisfied and most Who fans will be, too. This is also more
> accessable for more casual fans or people being introduced to the band
> than previous docs, though at a full 2 hours it is probably longer
> than most casual/new fans would want to stick with it. I imagine the 2
> disc set will be the real experience -- the doc itself is just a taste
> of what it sounds like the filmmakers got together for the special
> features, which will hopefully be awesome.
> I didn't sit down and take notes during the movie or anything like
> that, so I'm sure I missed a lot in my recollections. If anyone has
> any specific questions let me know, and I'll try to answer my best.

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