New Music Documentaries Spotlight Legendary American Rock Icons

Published June 7, 2024

Fans of classic American rock music have a treat in store with several recent additions to streaming platforms that delve into the stories behind iconic musicians and bands from the 20th century.

Cyndi Lauper: An In-Depth Portrait

The recent documentary Let the Canary Sing explores the multifaceted life of Cyndi Lauper, highlighting her rise to fame and her impact as a feminist icon in pop music. The film, which premiered on Paramount+, offers a blend of interviews and a detailed study of Lauper's unique style and musical innovation. Notably, it covers how her hit 'Girls Just Wanna Have Fun' became a seminal anthem, influenced in part by the world of professional wrestling, with wrestler Lou Albano featuring in its memorable music video. Alison Ellwood, recognized for her work on 'The Go-Gos,' directs this energizing homage to Cyndi Lauper's indomitable spirit.

Bon Jovi's Rock Legacy

Hulu viewers can embark on a rock journey with Thank You, Goodnight: The Bon Jovi Story, a four-part docuseries that traces Bon Jovi's trajectory from local New Jersey band to global superstars. The series, crafted by Emmy winner Gotham Chopra, is anchored in band rehearsals and features frontman Jon Bon Jovi reviewing their history and success, band dynamics, and the evolution of their fanbase.

The Beach Boys: California Dreams

On Disney+, the documentary titled simply The Beach Boys captures the essence of the surf rock group that encapsulated California's allure in the 60s. Directed by Frank Marshall and Thom Zimmy, the film includes insights from scholars and celebrity fans as it celebrates the band's legacy. It does, however, draw criticism for glossing over the complexities of the relationships within the group, particularly between Mike Love and Brian Wilson, and their groundbreaking works like 'Pet Sounds' and 'Smile.'

Drumming Up Excitement on YouTube

For a more unorthodox approach to music documentaries, Drumeo's YouTube channel provides a thrilling series where famous drummers are challenged to improvise beats for songs they've never heard. The series features Chad Smith of Red Hot Chili Peppers, Megadeth’s Dirk Verbeuren, and many others showcasing their formidable talent. It's an addicting watch that captures the magic of spontaneous creation.

documentary, rock, streaming