DIRECTOR: JASON POHLAND
COUNTRY: DUTCH/ENGLISH 1970
MUSICIANS: Jefferson Airplane, It's A Beautiful Day, Family, Country Joe MacDonald, Dr. John, The Flock, The Byrds, Grace Slick, Pink Floyd, and closing with Santana.
It is interesting to watch a concert where the real stars are not the rock bands, but the music itself.
And so is STAMPING GROUND, a gathering of music in Holland, which I believe took place several years in a row, and featured some of the better known bands of the time. What makes this concert interesting is that it does not stick with the 'hits' or the well known pieces of music by each band, and several musicians discuss their bitterness towards the business because it is afraid of losing the money, when
most musicians are less afraid to play anything they like.... Grace Slick goes so far as to even indict American audiences for their sheep
mentality. Country Joe McDonald explains that it is nice to go to a place where you can play anything, and you're still appreciated, which is what the real sense of the music is about.
In keeping with that tone, we get to see a scorching opening set jam by Santana, the kind we don't see anymore on any stage at all, firing up an audience like it really should. It sets the tone for the quality of music in this film, although sadly enough, the age has hurt it a little. It would be nice to find this relic re-recorded onto a Video Disk, and the music remixed for superior quality. The other various musicians found are
Al Stewart doing a solo performance, the late T-Rex ( Marc Bolan ), Country Joe, Dr. John doing his funky kind of thing in those days, Canned Heat playing a couple of extended songs (no hits this time says the lead singer, and he proceeds to do an excellent blues song), Family, a well known European rock band that produced many satisfying albums. It's a Beautiful Day, doing a couple of sets, one of them a bombastic version of I'M SO TIRED, whereupon the skies break with a dose of rain, and David LaFlamme continues pounding the violin.... and towards the end Pink Floyd doing A SAUCERFUL OF SECRETS.
All in all, this film is very nice based strictly on the merits of the feeling and intensity of the music of the various musicians, who for once sound like they really sounded on stage, rather than the glorified hit making bands that they never were, specially the Jefferson Airplane, a band known for its lack of discipline on stage, although they always manage to blend the individualities into good material.
I LIKE THIS FILM. IT IS THE TIME I REMENBER SO WELL. IT DOESN'T HAVE THE EXPLOSIVENESS OF WOODSTOCK, BUT IT HAS A SPECIAL MUSIC FEELING WHICH ALL MUSICIANS APPRECIATE AND LOVE...
Please email me with questions and/or comments
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