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Friday, November 26, 2021

Review Learning to Live Together: A once-in-a-lifetime group remake

Joe Cocker’s 1970 giant American tour “Mad Dogs & Englishmen” presented itself as a freestyle rock and roll jamboree. Thus, he wowed the audience and released a couple of hit singles. In 2015, the Tedeschi Trucks Band, a top-notch blues rock ensemble, gave a tribute show to the project, which featured many of the surviving members. This documentary, directed by Jesse Lauter, chronicles this endeavor and revisits the counterculture phenomenon that inspired it.

Mad Dogs was “an emergency tour, an emergency band,” singer Rita Coolidge recalls in a new interview. After exhausting Woodstock among other festivals, the exhausted Cocker fired his band, hoping to avoid a long tour. But the dates were booked, and a default would mean financial ruin and career ruin. The American R&B performer and band leader Leon Russell came to the rescue, having gathered a musical commune.

The utopianism, fueled by drugs and booze, reflected in archival material, is replaced in 2015 by a relatively clean life, mutual appreciation and joyous pragmatism.

Not all the memories of the reunited players are pleasant. Coolidge reveals that he was assaulted by Jim Gordon, a drummer who was later convicted of murdering his mother and is serving a life sentence in prison. Mad Dogs’ second drummer, Jim Keltner, turns the old cliché about dysfunctional families upside down: “We were too young to be dysfunctional. I don’t think anyone was over 30 ”. Here, older people seem to be happy to raise a joyous clamor with the generations they have influenced.

Learning to Live Together: The Return of Reservoir Dogs and the British
Not rated. The duration of the performance is 1 hour 51 minutes. In theaters.

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