Friday, July 5, 2024

Blood Of The Vines - Pix That Rock

Pairing‌‌‌ ‌‌‌wine‌‌‌ ‌‌‌with‌‌‌ ‌‌‌movies!‌‌‌  ‌‌‌See‌‌‌ ‌‌‌the‌‌‌ ‌‌‌trailers‌‌‌ ‌‌‌and‌‌‌ ‌‌‌hear‌‌‌ ‌‌‌the‌‌‌ ‌‌‌fascinating‌‌‌ ‌‌‌commentary‌‌‌ ‌‌‌for‌‌‌ ‌‌‌these‌‌‌ movies‌,‌‌ ‌‌‌and‌‌‌ ‌‌‌many‌‌‌ ‌‌‌more‌,‌‌ ‌‌‌at‌‌‌ ‌‌‌Trailers‌‌‌ ‌‌‌From‌‌‌ ‌‌‌Hell.‌‌‌ ‌This week, we turn it up to eleven for a trio of films heavily laced with both rock and roll.

At the age of five, I slept with a big stuffed dog named Bebe. Resting against this huge toy was the door to my future, a transistor radio, one with two speakers and a wire handle. It played "Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini" and songs with even loftier lyrical content. I learned about chain gangs from Sam Cooke, love gone wrong from Roy Orbison and The Everly Brothers. I heard about walking to New Orleans from Fats Domino. Anything Elvis was selling, I was buying. Who knew they'd be making movies about rock'n'roll?

Pirate Radio (The Boat That Rocked) came out in 2009, and it told the story of how rock radio evolved in Great Britain. It evolved by getting outside of Great Britain. As an American, it has always seemed weird to me that the British Broadcasting Company only devoted an hour a day in the mid 1960s to pop music. Rock'n'roll finds a way to seep through the cracks, so adventurous deejay types took to the seas. They broadcast pop to the people from international waters on boats fixed with antennae. They were pirate radio stations.

Radio Caroline was the most famous pirate station, and you can google airchecks of it if you are a radio nerd. If you are reading this, you are probably already a movie nerd, maybe even a wine nerd. It might be wise to limit your nerd exposure.

Pirate Radio is not a British movie, but it has a British feel, owing to the fact that it features Bill Nighy and two guys named Rhys.

For Pirate Radio, say "Aaargh" for a La Sirena Pirate TreasuRed 2019. It's a pirate's booty blend of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Grenache, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and Petite Sirah. Rhône, Bordeaux, Bordeaux, Rhône, pirates don't really care what they are raiding if it's from the Napa Valley. $65 a bottle. 

In 1982 Pink Floyd: The Wall was unleashed on an unsuspecting populace. Or, maybe they were expecting it. After all, it had been three years since the release of Pink Floyd's album of the same name. 

Critics have had a great time writing about this film. "One of the most horrifying musicals of all time," "unrelentingly downbeat and at times repulsive," "unremitting in its onslaught upon the senses." That last one, by the way, was from Roger Waters… of Pink Floyd. One critic offered faint praise, saying it was not unwatchable, then added that if directed by Ken Russell it probably would have been. Just a touch of bad blood there, I'm guessing.

The songs, largely based on Waters' childhood, are the focal point of the movie, besides a pretty good performance from Bob Geldof of The Boomtown Rats. I wonder if he had it written in his contract that he got Mondays off?

It's not The Wall, but would a vineyard called The Walls hit the spot? Their Curiosita Tempranillo sports a label depicting a guy peeking over a wall, a la Kilroy. That counts, right? From Washington's Red Mountain AVA, it's $80 for a bottle, you crazy diamond. Oh, and they have a Grenache Rosé, if you want to keep it pink. 

1987's Hail! Hail! Rock & Roll is Taylor Hackford’s documentary that covers a pair of Chuck Berry concerts. The running time of HHRR is two hours, which leads me to believe there is a lot of interview footage included. I saw Berry in Beaumont, Texas in or around '87, and he ran through every one of his hits in record time. The show didn't last a half hour. Couldn't wait to get paid, I suppose. 

In the film, at least, Berry has an all-star band backing him. Keith Richards and Eric Clapton tip their hats, no doubt in recognition of all the riffs they stole from him. Johnnie Johnson was used to his role as Chuck's keyboard player, while Etta James and Linda Ronstadt contributed some vocalizing. 

This movie screams to be turned up to eleven. That makes the wine pairing easy. Andrew Murray Vineyards of Los Olivos has an extensive line of E11even wines, but the one we want here is Remix, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Petite Sirah. It's a $40 wine with nearly two years of oak behind it. Stand aside, it's coming through. 

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