Rock Documentaries: Giving a Closer Look

I’ve always been a history buff and that holds true in the realm of music.

My family loves watching “Behind the Music” and “That Metal Show” episodes religiously. It ended up being our Sunday routine after watching two different news programs to turn on VH1 Classic and spend the day learning about the bands we loved.

So, not surprisingly, I am a fan of rock n’ roll documentaries (“rock docs” for short). It’s like watching one of the fun History Channel specials where it is mostly cool reenactments instead of old professors talking about the topic in monotone. Concert snippets, new and old band interviews, plus insight into recording processes on your favorite bands await you in rock docs.

Here are a few rock documentaries on Netflix to whet your appetite for more.      

‘History of the Eagles’

One of the most influential bands of the ’70s Southern California sound was without a doubt the Eagles. Their ability to mix country and bluegrass, with a Californian rock n’ roll sound earned them widespread fame.

But, how well do you know their story?

This three-hour documentary may seem daunting at first, but you will soon find it over too soon.

The story telling takes you through the first incarnation of the group all the way to their “History of the Eagles” tour in 2015.

FLICKR | PHOTO COURTESY
The affair between Patti Boyd and Eric Clapton while she was married to George Harrison is one of many topics covered in Harrison’s rock doc.

Along the way, you learn about their adventures with the hallucinogen peyote, living with their friend Jackson Browne, the struggles of musical differences and the fight that became the last straw in 1980 before their 1994 reconciliation.

Did Joe Walsh and John Belushi really spray paint their jeans black in order to get into a fancy Chicago restaurant?

Did Randy Meisner leave the band over confidence issues with his singing?

Did Glenn Frey and Don Henley sing backup vocals for Linda Ronstadt before forming the Eagles?

Generously heaped with tales of crazy antics and more serious substance abuse issues, it is a wild ride you don’t want to end.      

‘Foo Fighters: Back and Forth’

The Foo Fighters have been hailed as the “most reliable act in rock music today.” Led by former Nirvana drummer and christened “Nice Guy of Rock” Dave Grohl, the Foo Fighters manage to carve out a continually growing fan base worldwide.

For those of us who weren’t alive or old enough to follow the Foos during their early career, this documentary will check all the boxes.

The changes in lineup, the struggles Grohl experienced with interviewers constantly asking about Kurt Cobain, Taylor Hawkins’ heroin overdose and the time the Foos almost broke up is all covered up until their 2011 album “Wasting Light.”   

‘George Harrison Living in the Material World’

George Harrison is hands down my favorite Beatle and the reasons why are all beautifully laid out in this documentary.

His quiet, spiritual demeanor, his adventures in India, his masterful guitar abilities and his personal life outside of the band are all encompassed as you follow his journey through the Beatles and his solo career after.

It is an amazing documentary for Beatles or George Harrison fans. It may very well change who your favorite Beatle is, and that’s not a bad thing.

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