Tales from the Tour Bus
BBC Four - 9pm
Who's in it?
Dangly-haired prog rock maestro Rick Wakeman took us on a nostalgic tour of concerts past, in a documentary that would have been music to people’s ears.
In a nutshell
Bleak, black and white footage of British seasides… Shots of portly ladies called Doris serving up fried eggs in bed and breakfasts… wait, was this really a documentary about the glory years of rock ‘n’ roll? Actually it was, and a brilliantly honest one at that, shattering many illusions about what it used to be like to be a pioneering band on the road. Never mind today’s private jets and gold-plated hotel rooms – back then, as the interviewees here told us, it was all about sharing dorms and grabbing snacks at truck stops. Well, at least it was in the 50s and 60s. Things got a little more glamorous in later decades, and we had Peter Hook – of Joy Division and New Order – quipping about how Queen had so much stuff to lug around that their roadies had their OWN roadies. But the best bits of this film concerned those earlier years, when singers and musicians were just like everyone else, scraping by in humdrum places. Ah, them were the days.
What's the verdict?
With a galaxy of old time stars and indie maestros, from Suzi Quatro and the Shadows to Happy Mondays and the Damned, this was a proper feast for musos to gorge on. And it may have made you feel better about never having started that band after all.
Star rating: 4/5