- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 19, 2015

A pair of aspiring filmmakers looking for their next underground project helped give rise to the one of the world’s greatest rock and roll bands.

This unlikely story comes to light in Lambert and Stamp (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, rated R, $34.99) a documentary, 10 years in the making, from director James D. Cooper.

The first time documentarian explores the creative might of Chris Stamp and Kit Lambert as they attempt to manage, bank roll, produce, mentor and act as muses for The Who.

After a limited release in theaters earlier this year, the near 2-hour-long effort arrives to high-definition home theater screens filled with interviews and a touch of scattered, avant garde-style filmmaking in an attempt to capture the energy of a burgeoning London music scene in the 1960s.

The synergy between the working-class Stamp and upper-class Lambert directed a potent musical experience that focused singer Roger Daltrey’s rage, encouraged guitarist Pete Townshend’s artistic visions, redirected drummer Keith Moon’s manic personality and empowered bassist John Entwistle musical brilliance.

Archival footage, behind the scenes action and interviews bring the group’s productive years to light focusing on the managers’ schemes, their fledgling record label and creativity to conquer the music world.

Fans will appreciate thoughts from Stamp (who died in 2012), Lambert (who passed in 1981), Mr. Townshend, Mr. Daltrey, Stamp’s older brother Terrence (General Zod) Stamp and everybody’s favorite mod Irish Jack.

Mr. Townsend leads the memory train with words that are as introspective as informative as he talks about his birth of “Tommy” and his appreciation for his former managers.

The film even offers the guitar maestro playing an early song called “Glittering Girl” for the approval of Stamp and Lambert way back in 1967.

The other key to the documentary, of course, is watching The Who play music in the early days as their aggressive and chaotic style managed to tap into a generation of frustrated youth ready to worship them.

Extras will appeal to both The Who fan and rock documentary historians alike.

First, an optional commentary track by Mr. Cooper that explores his vision for the work and further looks at what he calls a “collision of opposites,” between managers and band mates. He also explains how he tried to make the style of the film as important as the story of the duo, in terms of the type of documentary they might have made.

Next, a 40-minute interview with Mr. Cooper is led by famed punk lead singer Henry Rollins. The director offers even more information on the subjects of his film and some fun stories such as the pair signing Jimi Hendrix to their record label. It’s often amusing to watch an excited Mr. Rollins jump in to focus the director and offer more stories about the musicians of the era.

Finally, a selection of raw footage of The Who mixes archival interviews with some wacky behavior from the group for promotional segments around the world.


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