Cocksucker Blues

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Cocksucker Blues
Cocksucker Blues.jpg
Directed by

Robert Frank

Daniel Seymour
Produced by Marshall Chess
Starring The Rolling Stones
Music by The Rolling Stones
Edited by Robert Frank
Paul Justman
Susan Steinberg
Release dates
Running time
93 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Cocksucker Blues is an unreleased documentary film directed by the still photographer Robert Frank chronicling The Rolling Stones American Tour 1972 in support of their album Exile on Main St.


There was much anticipation for the band's arrival in the United States, since they had not visited there since the 1969 disaster at the Altamont Free Concert, in which a fan was stabbed and beaten to death by Hells Angels, with the incident being caught on camera. Behind the scenes, the tour embodied debauchery, lewdness and hedonism.

The film was shot cinéma vérité, with several cameras available for anyone in the entourage to pick up and start shooting. This allowed the film's audience to witness backstage parties, drug use (Mick Taylor is shown smoking marijuana with a couple roadies and Mick Jagger is seen snorting cocaine backstage),[1] roadie and groupie antics, and the Stones with their defenses down.[2] One scene includes a groupie in a hotel room injecting heroin.[3]


The film came under a court order which forbade it from being shown unless the director, Robert Frank, was physically present.[1][4] This ruling stemmed from the conflict that arose when the band, having commissioned the film, decided that its content was embarrassing and potentially incriminating, and did not want it shown. Frank felt otherwise — hence the ruling.[1][3]

According to Ray Young, "The salty title notwithstanding, its nudity, needles and hedonism was supposedly incriminating and the picture was shelved — this during a liberal climate that saw the likes of Cry Uncle! and Chafed Elbows playing in neighborhood theatres."[5] Deep Throat was released in the same year. A Rolling Stones concert film, Ladies and Gentlemen: The Rolling Stones, was released instead, and Cocksucker Blues was indefinitely shelved.

The court order in question also enjoined Frank against exhibiting Cocksucker Blues more frequently than four times per year in an "archival setting" with Frank being present.[1][3] The film was screened at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in November 2012 as part of a two-week festival, "The Rolling Stones: 50 Years on Film".[2]


For the song "Cocksucker Blues", see "Schoolboy Blues".

In popular culture[edit]

The fourth section of Don DeLillo's magnum opus, Underworld, is titled Cocksucker Blues. The Stones' song/film is referred to in the narrative of that section.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "The Trouble With 'Cocksucker Blues'". Rolling Stone Magazine. November 3, 1977. Retrieved 2 June 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Fricke, David (November 20, 2012). "The Greatest Rolling Stones Movie You've Never Seen: 'Cocksucker Blues'". Rolling Stone Magazine. Retrieved 2 June 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c Doyle, Patrick (October 26, 2009). "Rolling Stones' Controversial Tour Documentary "Cocksucker Blues" Screens in New York". Rolling Stone Magazine. Retrieved 2 June 2013. 
  4. ^ IMDb
  5. ^ Cocksucker Blues Archived September 30, 2015, at the Wayback Machine. at Flickhead

External links[edit]