New Book Explores History of Rock Documentary Films

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Otherworld Cottage Industries of Los Angeles has published Harvey Kubernik’s 19th book, a 520-page, photo-illustrated comprehensive exploration of music history in documentary films. According to a press release, the book is aimed at “21st century fans and collectors who never experienced (or wish to re-experience) the excitement of live festivals and concerts from the ’50s to the present, many now available on DVD and/or Blu-ray, enabling all to see as well as hear their favorite stars perform their favorite songs.”

The book includes interviews Kubernik has conducted from 1975-2020 with Dick Clark, Curtis Hanson, Michael Lindsay-Hogg, D.A. Pennebaker, Albert Maysles, Murray Lerner, John Ridley, Allan Arkush, Steve Binder, Johnny Cash, Morgan Neville and David Leaf, as well as commentary by the Supremes’ Mary Wilson and Ray Manzarek of the Doors. Chapters are devoted to Elvis Presley, George Harrison, the Rolling Stones, Bert Berns, Link Wray, Bob Dylan, The Band, Motown, Stax and epic pop music television shows of the ’60s and ’70s.

Related: Peter Jackson’s Get Back Beatles documentary has been pushed to next year

Author, music historian, and film and TV veteran Kubernik has been in the “frame game,” says the press release, since 1972, and served as consulting producer on the 2010 singer-songwriter documentary, Troubadours, directed by Morgan Neville. During 2006, Kubernik spoke at the Library of Congress special hearings that held in Hollywood on archiving practices and audiotape preservation. In 2020 Kubernik served as consultant on the Laurel Canyon: A Place In Time documentary directed by Alison Ellwood, which debuted in May on the EPIX/MGM television channel.

“In this age, with documentaries, particularly rock-, pop- and soul music-centric ones, based on subscriptions to streaming platforms and ongoing DVD and Blu-ray retail releases more popular than ever, Kubernik’s Docs That Rock, Music That Matters provides an “in-depth examination of the topical celluloid rock and documentary world,” says the announcement.

Watch the trailer from the Bert Berns documentary

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