Dir: Jeff Stein, 1979
Possibly the definitive account of rock legends The Who, The Kids Are Alright narrates their rise through archive performances and television interviews.
The shows are amazing and perfectly capture the raw energy and harmony that the group has.
It isn’t a standard documentary that you would expect, with talking heads pontificating on the quarter and their music. No, it’s just back to back, hard rock.
However, the archival interviews ably show how lead singer Roger Daltrey and guitarist Pete Townshend have matured in the years, from shy and introverted to confident (in Townshend’s case, sometimes over-confident) and leaders in music.
The Kids Are Alright has a certain tongue-in-cheek feel about it all and is Much played in good humour. Bassist John Entwistle firing a shotgun at a number of gold discs which are rumoured to be band mate Daltrey’s is one such example.
With utter joy, director Stein demonstrates drummer Keith Moon’s fondness for mayhem and chaos. Whether it’s explosives in his drum kit or trashing hotel rooms, Moon the Loon was never happy unless he was destroying something.
But what the footage, inadvertently, shows is rather than a man who liked to have fun and make mischief, Moon could, possibly, have suffered from a level of ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder).
Many famous stars appear in this, such as Steve Martin and Ringo Starr or Tommy director Ken Russell giving his opinion to interviewers like Melvyn Bragg.
Of course, the highlight is the re-edited footage of See Me, Feel Me taken from Michael Wadleigh’s Woodstock but Long Live Rock, taken from the outtakes album Odds And Sods, is pure rock and compliments the film perfectly as the credits roll.
The Kids Are Alright fantastically opens up a catalogue of amazing songs to the uninitiated.
A wonderful documentary, with awesome songs make this one to watch.