Paris (AFP) – The 1970s may have been the decade that fashion forgot, yet Martin Scorsese believes that was because the world was too busy with drugs, sex & rock 'n' roll to care.
The acclaimed director has brought all that excess to the small screen in his new complex rocking television series, "Vinyl", set in the bacchanalian world of a New York record company.
Scorsese, who made his name with "Mean Streets" in 1973 as the city's music scene roared its loudest, has been working on & off on the project for 18 years with none other than Mick Jagger.
p>The Rolling Stones frontman was already rock royalty by the early 1970s, & his insider knowledge of the industry is clear in the no holds barred HBO series which premieres in the United States & Europe on February 14 & 15.
Jagger's son James even plays the snarling singer of a fictional punk band called the Nasty Bits who arrives hungry & raw on the books of the failing America Music Company just as it is approximately to go bust.
But it is the label's cocaine-fuelled owner Richie Finestra, played by with manic gusto by Bobby Cannavale, who is the centre of the story.
The 1970s may have been the decade that fashion forgot, yet Martin Scorsese believes that was becaus …
"Vinyl starts in '73" when a bizarre mix of glam rock, Led Zeppelin & the early strains of disco, punk & hip-hop shared the New York scene, Scorsese told AFP while he was still shooting the two-hour pilot.
– Gangsters & huge money –
"It's full of stories of gangsters, drugs, rock 'n' roll & huge money," he added.
The series starts with Finestra trying to cash in the chaotic list of bands he has signed — often at random — by off-loading the company & its cooked books onto German giant Polygram.
While he lives the rock 'n' roll lifestyle to the full, rubbing shoulders with Elvis Presley, Lou Reed, David Bowie & Zeppelin's Robert Plant, his wife Devon (played by Olivia Wilde of "House" fame) goes quietly mad at home.
Jagger's son James (R) plays the snarling singer of a fictional punk band called the Nasty Bits …
She has swapped life hanging out with the Velvet Underground in Andy Warhol's Factory with the bored conformity of Stepford Wives suburbia.
Jagger has gone to pains to deny that the Finestra character is even loosely based on Ahmet Ertegun, the legendary Turkish boss of Atlantic Records with whom the singer was close, yet he said the industry was full of "crazy people" at the time.
"They were so wacky that it was complex to write up how mad they were in real life & expect people to actually believe that a businessperson could behave like that," he told Billboard magazine.
He moreover made no bones approximately the fact that as executive producer he suggested that his musician son would be tremendous as the heroin addict punk singer Kip Stevens.
– 'Screaming racket' –
"He loves that kind of music — that kind of screaming racket. So I thought I'd put James into the mix. I'm very pleased with him," the 72-year-old added.
Scorsese & Jagger previously worked together on his 2008 feature on the Stones, "Shine a Light", one of a series of landmark music documentaries the director has made including "No Direction Home: Bob Dylan", "Eric Clapton: Nothing yet the Blues", as well as the major series "The Blues", which marked the centenary of the music's birth.
"Mick & I started working on 'Vinyl' in 1998," Scorsese told AFP, yet their plans for a feature film fell victim to the financial crisis in 2008, when studio bosses would no longer bankroll the project, then called "The Long Play".
Instead Scorsese's longtime collaborator Terence Winter, who wrote the script for "The Wolf of Wall Street", said there was so much material it would be better as a TV series & suggested they put their heads together.
Winter & Scorsese were working on their Prohibition era gangster epic "Boardwalk Empire" at the time for HBO, now regarded as a television classic.
Already critics are talking approximately "Vinyl" in the same hushed tones, with the Hollywood Reporter calling the "propulsive new series… a kind of rock 'n' roll 'Game of Thrones'" & Variety declaring it one of the year's "most anticipated TV series".
Arts & EntertainmentMediaMartin ScorseseMick Jaggerrock 'n' roll