Biographies of pop musicians as just about as old as pop music itself. There have been biopics made of Loretta Lynn, Glen Campbell, Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, The Temptations numerous films and miniseries about Elvis Presley, and most recently Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons and James Brown. The list, in all honesty, is too numerous to list them all. These are the musical acts that I think really need biopics.
Smokey Robinson and the Miracles
William "Smokey" Robinson was the first act signed by Barry Gordy when he founded Motown Records in 1957. He was one of their main producers, and in the label's formative years he was their chief song writer. Smokey defined what has become known as the Motown Sound, and with his group The Miracles he was one of their top acts. Smokey Robinson is not just an R&B pioneer, but he is a pop music pioneer as well. Without Smokey, there would never have been The Temptations or Michael Jackson or anyone else thought of as an icon in the genre. Smokey Robinson didn't just help make Motown, he helped bring rhythm and blues music into the mainstream. His career may not have been filled with a lot of the angst and drama that these movies are usually about, but he definitely blazed a path in the music industry, he saw a tiny start-up record label become one of the major players in the business, and that is a story I think most any music fan would love to see.
Much like Smokey, Nirvana changed the course of popular music. The late 80s and early 90s was a weird place for music. Punk rock was over, New Wave sucked, and the 80s was getting very corny very fast. Then came Nirvana. They pretty much single-handedly defined what rock and roll music was going to sound like for the rest of the decade, and a good part of the next. Much like John Lennon and Jim Morrison before him, Kurt Cobain was the voice of an entire generation. Coming out of a small indy movement called Post-Punk, Nirvana created its own genre, grunge, pretty much from scratch. Pearl Jam, Bush and every other band that helped to make 90s rock and roll music awesome owe their entire existence to Nirvana. The story also has the fact that Kurt Cobain was such a tortured soul, conflicted between his art and his distaste for fame. The world lost Kurt way too soon, and I think a biographical film would serve to let all of his fans who are still listening to his music, and the newer generation who are just discovering it, know this musical icon just a little more intimately.
There have been several movies made about the Beatles' early years, and a few about John Lennon after the Beatles break-up. Nowhere Boy examines Lennon's early life, his first meeting with Paul McCartney and the formation of The Quarrymen, the band that would eventually become the Beatles; Backbeat tells the story of The Beatles in German, just prior to coming to the US and Lennon Naked tells about Lennon's post-Beatles career and his relationship with his estranged father. However, there is one extremely important chapter missing: The Beatles in America! That is the story that has never been told. Their rise to international fame, feuding in the band, and the eventual break up and I think that, in all honesty, is the story most fans want to see.
In all honesty, this is the one I'm most surprised that doesn't already exist. I like Kiss, but let's be real they're music isn't the most prolific. They did, however, leave a huge stamp on the music industry, mostly due to their lively stage shows and their theatrical and colorful appearance. And let's be real again, Gene Simmons is a media whore and will sell his own mother for another million dollars, so, like I said, this is the one that I'm most surprised doesn't already exist. I really want to see this movie because while their music is pretty much standard 70s rock and roll, I think their personalities, especially Gene and Ace, are really quite unique. And I would love to see them tell the story of Ace and Peter being unceremoniously ousted from the line-up (or they quit, depending on who is telling you the story).
Janis Joplin was one of the three main voices of the counter-culture movement of the late 60s. She helped define an entire generation, and even people who don't know her music know of her. She is one of the most famous singers of the 1960s, which is impressive as she died of an accidental heroin overdose at just 27 years old. The Doors have a movie, Jimi Hendrix has a movie, where is Janis Joplin's movie?!
Well, that's what I got. Any other rock stars you would like to see get biopics? Which of these five would you most anticipate seeing in theaters or as television miniseries? Let us know in the comments, located directly south of these words.