Amy: The Girl Behind The Name is one of the most anticipated documentaries of the year thus far, set to shed light on the light and mindset of Amy Winehouse, one of the millennium's brightest rising stars before dying of alcohol poisoning during 2011. One party has decided that it doesn't support the content of the film on the eve of its release at the Cannes Film Festival: her family. Father Mitch Winehouse alleges that the film places an undue amount of blame for her lifestyle upon the family, based on interviews with her then-boyfriend Blake Fielder-Civil (who himself was notorious for supplying her habits). Lawsuits for slander may be pending. In the meantime, check out five other music documentaries that the starring performers—such as The Rolling Stones, The Beatles and Eric Clapton—don't want you to see.
The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus (1968)
The Rolling Stones, unlike compatriots The Beatles, didn't limit its ambition to the studio. While the other group had long since retired from playing live, The Stones were going for the full rock 'n' roll lifestyle and demanded a live event to match. The resulting product was The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus, a televised event that featured not only the title band but also a collection of the greatest performers of the day: The Who appeared for a performance, Jethro Tull (including Tony Iommi at the time), not to mention The Dirty Mac, perhaps the greatest super group of all time—featuring John Lennon, Eric Clapton, Mitch Mitchell (of The Jimi Hendrix Experience) and Keith Richards—playing for a few songs. This event not only exhausted the Stones themselves, after reviewing the live broadcast the band felt that it had been outshines by The Who and its other guests (we don't know what you expected when you invited one of the most iconic live bands of all time to join you). The footage was later believed to have been lost as a result, but that darned Who found a copy in its own archives, leading to an eventual home release during 1996.
Let It Be (1970)
John Lennon had no problem appearing in someone else's documentary, but he wasn't so hot on the idea of appearing in one for his own band, The Beatles. Then again, neither was any member of the group around the time that the album Let It Be was recorded. Everyone knows the story by now...the four members were at each other's throats throughout the six-week process—Paul McCartney and George Harrison argue over guitar riffs, while Lennon's distaste for his fellow songwriter is less-than-hidden. The album itself was released more than a month after the band had split but the group banded together to prevent the spread of the accompanying the film. Although they realized that they hated each other in the moment, they didn't want the rest of the world to know it. The band didn't appear to accept its Oscar for Best Original Song Score and it has continued to this day to prevent the release of home versions. A DVD/Blu-Ray was rumored for 2011 but never came through.
Cocksucker Blues (1972)
Oh hey! It's the Rolling Stones again! The band was in need of a facelift despite being in its most creative period, and opted to shoot a documentary to make the group seem a tad more down-to-earth. The band was returning to the United States in support of Exile on Main St., and needed to be on their best behavior—considering the band's last show in the country had been at Altamount, where hired Hell's Angels security murdered an attendee (an action caught on film and presented on the documentary Gimme Shelter, an even better film that many cite as marking the end of the '60s as many knew it). As the title to Cocksucker Blues might indicate, this wasn't the P.R. move that management wanted. It features wanton drug abuse and sexuality (including an orgy aboard a plane). Unsurprisingly, the Stones filed a court order to prevent the film from getting a wide release. Instead, it could only be shown four times a year and if filmmaker Robert Frank was present as a curator.
Eric Clapton and His Rolling Hotel (1979)
Eric Clapton was a god (if you believe scrawling on subway walls) and he used his omnipotent rock power to gather one of the greatest touring trios we can imagine, featuring himself, Elton John and blues legend Muddy Waters for a European tour. Furthermore, he decided that the whole tour should be travelled by a specially-commissioned train, and that as a cherry on top, he would have the whole affair filmed for the documentary about his "rolling hotel." Despite having an attractive group of musicians around him, Clapton's hesitance to release the film doesn't derive from jealousy but rather embarrassment: This came during one of the performers darker periods, where he struggled with alcohol abuse. He reckoned that many of the live performances filmed for the project weren't worthy of being aired, due to his intoxication onstage, and his obvious tipsiness offstage only made things worse. This film can still be watched entirely on YouTube however.
The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle (1980)
The Sex Pistols got a little more creative conceptually when arranging their own documentary, setting it as a "mystery" solved by guitarist Steve Jones, pretending to play a private investigator. The film wouldn't be released until after the band's dissolution, and following the overdose death of Sid Vicious. One of the major criticisms against The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle was that it relied too heavily on the account of manager Malcom McLaren, as frontman Johnny "Rotten" Lydon refused to take part. The one-sidedness of the affair allowed McLaren to claim that most of the band's creative direction was his doing. Lydon, naturally, didn't appreciate what he saw, eventually bringing back Julien Temple to also direct the new documentary The Filth and The Fury, which served as a rebuttal to McLaren's claims.