Where on the Shelf Is…C*cksucker Blues?

Welcome to “Where on the Shelf Is…” In this column, I look at great TV shows and movies that have never been on DVD and/or Blu-ray. For your pleasure and out of all of our frustrations, this column examines the Where, When and, of course, WHY?! of these non-releases.

Up this week is…COCKSUCKER BLUES

What Is It?:

With the Rolling Stones marking over five decades in the rock ‘n roll game, there’s no better time to commemorate the band’s legacy than now. Those who can’t quite swing a $600 concert ticket might find it best to revisit through more feasible ventures, like album reissues, coffee table books and any of the multiple documentaries out there, like GIMME SHELTER, STONES IN EXILE or CROSSFIRE HURRICANE.

But there’s still one charmingly titled doc that may elude diehard fans for another 50 years: COCKSUCKER BLUES. Directed by Robert Frank and shot on 16mm, COCKSUCKER BLUES traces the band’s 1972 American tour, which promoted that year’s Exile on Main St., which would go down as one of their best albums.

Where Is It?:

Whereas GIMME SHELTER merely captured the murder of an 18-year-old fan at the hands of a Hells Angels and SHINE A LIGHT bore witness to Christina Aguilera butchering a staple, COCKSUCKER BLUES shocked viewers in all it showed between the concert footage: Mick Jagger snorting cocaine, a groupie injecting heroin, a borderline-rape on a private airplane, Keith Richards struggling to kick a high, etc. etc.

As a result (and with Richards’ impending trial), the band sued to make sure the film would never see the light of day, and the concert movie LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, THE ROLLING STONES was released in its place. From there, stipulations outlined that Robert Frank would have to be present for any viewings of COCKSUCKER BLUES, which were limited to only a handful per year. (The most recent was at the Museum of Modern Art, where “The Rolling Stones: 50 Years on Film” exhibit was held last year.)

And so as hard as it is to catch COCKSUCKER BLUES in theaters, locating a DVD or Blu-ray is even rarer, in that it’s impossible. Meanwhile, the universe has made the video for Jagger and David Bowie‘s “Dancing in the Street” almost too available.

When Will We See It?:

Considering that the band wasn’t given freedom to put a lens on the camera if things got too rock ‘n roll, it would make them complete hypocrites now if they were to suddenly decide to approve a release of the doc. So as long as the Stones personnel of the time—Mick, Keith, Bill, Charlie, and the other Mick, whose combined age is in the neighborhood of 350—are alive, there’s no shot at getting COCKSUCKER BLUES on home video.

Right now, there’s a better chance of seeing the Stones tour in support of Dirty Work, which some may remember as the album where the band performed as their favorite Starburst flavors.

Where Can We See It?:

Fortunately, you don’t have to be best friends with Robert Frank to catch COCKSUCKER BLUES. As usual, YouTube hosts a copy of the film in question.

But viewer be warned: COCKSUCKER BLUES contains a lot of the same lewdness that got Take Keith Richards to Work Day banned across all of England.

Source: JoBlo.com

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