Friday, June 29, 2012

Only Lovers Left Alive

Original wraparound picture by made-to-order photographer Bruce Fleming
Only Lovers Left Alive

photography: Bruce Fleming
According to Andrew Loog Oldham, the Stones' manager, at first he and the band attempted to secure the rights to Anthony Burgess's 1962 novel A Clockwork Orange, but Burgess had already sold the rights to Stanley Kubrick. Oldham and the Stones settled instead on "a second best novel", Only Lovers Left Alive. The Rolling Stones (plus Marianne Faithfull) were about to receive $1 million for making their acting debut in the movie, that would go into production at MGM´s Boreham Wood Studios in the fall of 1966. Their business manager, Allen Klein has also negotiated a $3 million recording contract with Decca for the music.
The book was originally issued in 1964 and the story is from a novel by Dave Wallis, about an imaginary takeover of England by violent and rebellious teenagers once all the adults have been killed, The Seely Street Gang, made up of a number of types of young Brits, including one Mod, struggle to survive the devastation. In the beginning they go wild, orgies of sex, wanton destruction, surging fighting with other gangs, then they face assorted hardships, widespread power outages, a new form of plague, bands of wild dogs and an unexpected pregnancy. It never materialized. Only Lovers Left Alive was forever consigned to "best films never made" lists. When you consider Stones tracks from 1966 that may have found themselves on the ‘Only Lovers Left Alive’ soundtrack if they’d ever got that far, the film would have had a great soundtrack. ‘Mothers Little Helper' and 'It's Not Easy' would fit into any number of scenes. In fact, the album Aftermath was to have been the soundtrack for the never filmed feature Back, Behind And In Front. Filming was about to start in April 1966, and though Oldham had a basic plot for the film, nothing ever happened.
Another "lost film"in this list is Maxigasm, a Carlo Ponti film scheduled, but never shot, with the Rolling Stones in North Africa, late 1968.

KRLA Beat, June 4, 1966
There were persistent stories in the press in 1966 that the movie was underway, and that Nicholas Ray was attached to direct, although Ray apparently got as
far as writing a script, in the end he "was unable to find financial backing, and the Rolling Stones stars lacked confidence in Ray, and the whole matter dissolved"

NEW MUSICAL EXPRESS  September 21, 1968

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