What’s Worth Watching: Keith Richard doc Under the Influence on Netflix for Friday, September 18
Keith Richards: Under the Influence, available Friday, Sept. 18, Netflix
Cute title, given the legendary pharmaceutical excesses of fabled Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards. But in the documentary Under the Influence, directed by Morgan Neville (whose 2013 portrait of back-up singers, 20 Feet From Stardom, won an Oscar), Richards’ focus is mostly on the music that shaped his rock ‘n’ roll legacy.
Which means if you’re looking for a juicy tell-all biographical profile, you’ll need to look elsewhere. (Perhaps to his 2010 memoir, Life.) In Influence, Neville uses the pretext of Richards recording his new solo album, Crosseyed Heart, to get the musician to open up about the places and talents which most inspired him. The playlist and itinerary includes Chicago, birthplace of the blues; Nashville, the country-musical capital; and New York, where Richards records the new album with Steve Jordan and Waddy Wachtel among his collaborators. Also adding his insights: the similarly seasoned Tom Waits. Influence premieres at the Toronto International Film Festival this week on the eve of its Netflix bow, adding a new angle on one of the most celebrated music figures of our time.