In 1972 The Rolling Stones’ produced a documentary called CockSucker Blues during their American tour. Due to the very explicit footage (groupie-orgies and intense use of all sorts of drugs) the band decided to censor the film. Many bootlegs were released into the wild until finally someone uploaded the entire thing on YouTube.
Sex and drugs aren’t the only reasons this movie was considered inappropriate and misplaced at the time.
In 1969 The Stones were also followed by a camera crew as they engaged on a big American tour which culminated in a blood bath at the Altamont Speedway Free Festival in California. Members of The Hells Angels were hired as security, many of whom preferred to be payed in beer, and they caused havoc during the supervision of the event. The end toll was many injured and four dead. One of the altercations was lead by Meredith Hunter, a black man who got stabbed 5 times by one of the Hell’s for drawing a revolver near the stage. The Stones interrupted their concert a couple times due to the the apparent violence emanating from the audience but decided to finish their set, worried that the palpable tension would escalate into a riot. It is reported that Keith Richards got fed up and attempted to leave the stage only to be confronted by Hell’s Angel Sonny Barger who pointed a gun at his side and told him to “Keep on Fuckin’ playing”. The Altamont Festival turns out to be a very symbolic event viewed by many as the end of the sixties’ hippy era. (WoodStock was held only four months before).
The Stones waited until 1972 to return to the States for their second big american tour, with high hopes of making up for the 1969 fiasco, and it’s in this context that CockSucker Blues takes place. The controversial content was considered too inappropriate to be released to the public as The Stones wanted to consolidate a better image of themselves.
Thanks to YouTube we can finally see the documentary, that shows the backstage debaucheries and maelstrom of what is probably the most famed tour of the The Rolling Stones.
I compiled all nine parts in a WorldTV channel, which should display them in the right order: