Richard wrote about the Mercedes-Benz 600, the car that inspired Janis Joplin to write one of her most famous songs, and provided everyone from Elvis and John Lennon to Kim Jong-Il and Saddam Hussein the most opulent ride of its era.
“The 600s didn’t come cheap. In 1965, a new one would set you back $20,000, when a Cadillac J Coupe deVille had a base price of $5,419.00. At the time “Road and Track” magazine wrote:
‘If, instead of buying a Mercedes 600, you invested the same amount of money in other cars you could get a Lincoln Continental, a Buick Riviera, two Pontiac GTOs and still have enough change left over for two and a half or three Volkswagens….'” Read the whole thing HERE!
Richard writes about two rock ‘n roll rides that defined the anti-establishment era of the 1960s, John Lennon’s 1965 psychedelic Rolls-Royce Phantom V Touring limo and Janis Joplin’s loud-and-proud 1964 Porsche 356 C Cabriolet.
Richard and “Canada AM” host Jeff Hutcheson kick around the weekend’s big releases. They find out if the boss is always right in Melissa McCarthy’s “The Boss,” if Jake Gyllenhaal can overcome his grief in “Demolition,” how Hank Williams became a star in “I Saw the Light” and if “Hardcore Henry” should come with a medical advisory.
The songs of Hank Williams are everything the new movie about his life isn’t.
Emotionally forthright, tunes like “Your Cheatin’ Heart,” “Hey, Good Lookin’” and “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” were perfectly poignant, ripe with universal sentiments. “I Saw the Light” sees Tom Hiddleston hand in a terrific performance in a paint-by-the-numbers biopic that avoids the soul searing greatness of Williams’s work.
The story of Williams’s self destruction isn’t unique in the annals of popular music. He lingered longer than members of the legendary 27 Club—Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain and Amy Winehouse all passed away at the age of 27—but Williams was a trailblazer of the Troubled Artist Syndrome Sect. Prodigious talent plus a predilection for booze, pills and infidelity formed the man and informed his music.
We meet him pre-fame. He’s a twenty-one year old troubadour about to wed Audrey (Elizabeth Olsen), a singer with a longing for fame but without the talent to back up her ambition. Their unsettled union is the thread that weaves its way throughout the story, binding together the biographical elements.
As his fame grows his addictions drive a wedge between him and the people most important to him, Audrey, his band and the Grand Ole Opry. “I’m a professional at making a mess of things,” he says. The best and truest relationship in his life comes from the people he didn’t know, his audience. They understood him in a way that those closest to him never could.
There is rich material to be mined from the life of a man who turned his troubled life experience into art, but “I Saw the Light” chooses to skim the surface. It’s the kind of movie where Williams says, “I’m sorry babe.” She says, “For what?” and, of course, he answers, “Everything.” Hiddleston brings a broken swagger to the role, a combination of charisma and vulnerability, but strains to create any kind of sympathy for a performer who was the architect of his own demise.
The music is terrific so it shouldn’t be a surprise that when the movie focuses one the songs, it sings, but when it looks at the non-musical components of Williams’s life it hits a sour note.