If there is one show I have been highly anticipating, it is HBO’s Vinyl.
Sex, drugs, rock ‘n’ roll. You’ve heard it all before. And for any music head, this self-described “rock ‘n’ roll epic” is sure to satisfy your cravings for those smoky 70s dive bars, cocaine-ridden accidents and testosterone-filled stadium rock tunes.
The show, created by Martin Scorsese, Terence Winter, Mick Jagger (who pitched the idea) and Rolling Stone writer Rich Cohen, seems promising as a period rock drama. Initially pitched as a movie that would chart the history of the music business over four decades, the project was brought to Scorsese and Winter, who all felt the story couldn’t be crammed into one film.
Bobby Cannavale stars in the lead-role as Richie Finestra, head of a falling record label caught in the upsurge of 1970s punk, hip-hop, rock and disco. The show features a peak time in the record industry when iconic music genres were emerging and everybody wanted to get their hands–and money–on the talent.
“Director-producer Martin Scorsese does an amazing job re-creating the anarchic spirit of the time, with drugged out fans and sexually available groupies littering the steps up to the main stage,” NPR writes.
And for the heart of Vinyl, it seems to provide a rare “behind-the-scenes” look at the music industry at the time. The show seems hinged on nostalgia, bringing back to life versions of Led Zeppelin, Alice Cooper and the New York Dolls. But, it provides insight into the drugged-up artists riding on money-heavy contracts their agents so hastily seek to protect–or swindle.
The show seems to bring promising talent to the screen as well. Ray Romano stars as Richie’s right-hand man Zak Yankovich at the label; Juno Temple stars as Jamie Vine, an ambitious record label assistant; and Olivia Wilde stars as Devon Finestra, a former model/actress and wife to Richie who has been publicized as “the Muse” (and token eye-candy in the world of rock ‘n’ roll, which might make me cringe in disappointment or just nod in acceptance, since women in this time were always itemized).
Although I can easily see this series falling into a highly predictable, powerful and emotional classic-rock note, I’m still looking forward to it.
As Mick Jagger said in a press conference: “I never play vinyl, personally. But all my children love it.”
If it satisfies my craving and brings me back to the nostalgic music scene of 1970s New York, then I’ll be eating this show up like candy.
The show premiered on Sunday, February 14, 2016 at 9pm on HBO. Did you tune in?