ROCK AND ROLL: WORSHIP (2017)

The second of the two films I directed & scripted for this highly ambitious 10-part Sky Arts music series. With a strongly defined cinematic style, each of the 10 programmes approaches its subject in a richly-themed rather than chronological manner. The act of worship and search for the divine is embedded in music – from gospel hollers to mass stadium hysteria glorifying the “false gods” of rock. With amazing access and specially-shot performances, this film goes in search of the wildly different aspects of devotion & transcendence in music – from the spiritual cowboys of 1960’s Los Angeles to swampy New Orleans voodoo, from hippie festival freak-outs to the sanctified hip-hop of today…

In 1960’s & 70’s, rock became a religion to millions. In this film, Gene Simmons discusses “KISS-tianity” and obsessional fandom, while Sting reveals the illusory nature of fame. Ray Charles originally – and scandalously – brought the sound of the church & the street together in the 1950’s – and his colleague, Mable John, breaks down what Ray was up to.

Bob Geldof meditates on the Celtic mysticism deep within Van Morrison’s recordings while Dr. John raps about voodoo rhythms on the edge of a Louisiana bayou. And in a real coup, David Crosby describes in detail how Ravi Shankar and John Coltrane influenced the Byrds’ psychedelic classic, “Eight Miles High”. Turn on, tune in and let the music take you higher!

DIRECTOR : James Maycock

BROADCASTER: SKY ARTS

PROGRAMME DURATION: 65 minutes

PRODUCTION COMPANY: PULSE FILMS

SERIES DIRECTOR / SERIES PRODUCER: Sam Bridger / Carl Hindmarch

PULSE FILMS EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Emma Cooper

SKY ARTS COMMISSIONING EXEC: Barbara Lee


Clips

Dr. John Runs The New Orleans Voodoo Down


Bob Geldof On Van Morrison’s Spiritual Search