Cocksucker Blues, Robert Frank’s documentary that chronicles the Rolling Stones 1972 US tour in support of Exile on Main St. is an amazing piece of cinéma vérité.
Capturing the tension of the Stones return to North America after the infamous 1969 Altamont show, where a fan was stabbed and beaten to death by the Hells Angels, the film is funny, thrilling and raw. The Stones commissioned Frank, a Swiss born photographer, to make the film then prevented him from distributing it when they realized just how ‘honest’ the behind scenes footage of drug use, sex and partying turned out.
Chris Forsyth & The Solar Motel Band’s instrumental track “The First Ten Minutes Of Cocksucker Blues” actually goes for closer to twelve minutes but does a great job in capturing the sweaty unease of Frank’s film.
Taken from the Philadelphia-based guitarist's upcoming double album The Rarity of Experience, to be released on No Quarter March 4, the song, like the album has two parts. The first features the guitar interplay of Forsyth and Nick Millevoi then at the five-minute mark the hand drum patter of percussionist Ryan Sawyer and the spacey tenor sax and trumpet of Daniel Carter take over to turn the track into a kratuy Amon Duul II type jam that raises the drama at least two Micks and three and a half Keiths.
Take a listen to the track below and read a short interview with Chris.
Noisey: This has to be one of the best song titles I’ve heard in a while.
Chris Forsyth: The prior working title was “I Was Married to Dennis Hopper for Eight Days."
The best part of the clip is when trumpet player Jim Price does this little hesitation when walking onto set/stage. What do you think of the film as a whole?
I love the film and all of Robert Frank’s work. It really lays bare that life is complicated and we all have a little Jim Price in us.
Was the album always going to be a double? How long was the recording process? Is there much improvisation during recording?
Well, I was aiming for one good LP, but then I came out with two good LPs, so we put them together. The record was recorded in about 130 hours over 13 sessions in Philly, NYC, and Kansas City. It was heavily rehearsed and I pretty much planned it all ahead of time. It took a long time to really nail the takes.
Robert Beatty’s artwork is beautiful. It really suits the mood of the album. I know him from Hair Police and that he designed Tame Impala’s Currents album.
I met Robert in 2004 when he set up a house show for my old band Peeesseye at the Charles Mansion, a place he was living in Lexington, Kentucky. I quite like his art and his music, too. Check his solo stuff as Three Legged Race who were also on the bill at that Lexington gig.
I’m been speaking to some guitarists who are into early REM. Reckoning and Fables of the Reconstruction era. Do you like Peter Buck’s guitar playing?
REM was the first band I really fell in love with. I still consider what I’d call “The Peter Buck Era,” basically everything up to 1987 when his guitar playing really defined the band and the singing was still kind of mysterious to be 100 per cent legit.
You cover Richard Thompson’s "The Cavalry Cross". A truly beautiful song. I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight is almost faultless. Do you have a favourite album of his?
I like Pour Down Like Silver the best. But, as you know, he’s made a lot of very good recordings.
'The Rarity of Experience' is available March 4 from No Quarter.