Episode seven of this ten-part documentary miniseries which traces the origins and history of rock and roll music from the late 1940s to the present. Interviews with artists and record executives, and performance footage are included throughout the program. Episode seven, "The Wild Side," examines the metamorphosis of rock music towards the outrageous. Events covered in this part include: the change in rock music's message, as well as the change in the drug of choice, when the 1960s came to an end; how Lou Reed met three avant-garde performers in New York and formed the Velvet Underground; the band's cult following and the many other bands they inspired; how their wild and often risque stage show fascinated audiences; the formation of the Doors and their commercial success writing songs about sex and angst; how the Doors' concerts pushed audiences emotionally and politically, which often resulted in lead singer Jim Morrison being arrested; how Iggy Pop continued the stage antics after Morrison's mysterious death; the problems within the Stooges which plagued Iggy Pop's career with the band; how Alice Cooper took the theatrics a step further and added the horror show element to both the stage and to his music; David Bowie's creation of the image of a rock star from another planet and his bold publicity move which paid-off; how Bowie got to know Reed and Pop and their influence on him; Bowie's creation of his alter-image, Ziggy Stardust, and the tremendous popularity it brought him; how Bowie altered his stage image, moving on to subdued style and wearing a jacket and tie; the change in Bowie's musical style as a reflection of his image make-over; how stages for rock concerts were designed to mirror Broadway's grandeur; and how audiences became bored with performers in drag and were drawn to artists such as Cooper and Kiss. Includes interviews with the following individuals, among others: Velvet Underground member John Cale discusses the large cult following the band had despite low album sales; keyboardist Ray Manzarek talks about how the Doors first met; guitarist Mick Ronson recalls what it was like being a part of Bowie's band; and musicians Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons of Kiss describe their enormous and expensive stage show.

Cataloging of this program was made possible by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.


  • DATE: September 27, 1995 Wednesdasy 9:00 PM
  • RUNNING TIME: 0:56:47
  • COLOR/B&W: Color
  • CATALOG ID: T:43083
  • GENRE: Arts documentaries
  • SUBJECT HEADING: Arts documentaries
  • SERIES RUN: PBS - TV, 1995


    • Elizabeth Deane … Executive Producer
    • David Espar … Senior Producer
    • Hugh Thomson … Producer, For BBC Series, Director
    • Ian Pye … Associate Producer
    • Tom Ware … Researcher
    • Liev Schreiber … Narrator
    • Mike Garson … Performer, Guest
    • Danny Fields … Guest
    • Lou Reed … Guest
    • John Cale … Guest
    • Mo Tucker … Guest
    • Ray Manzarek … Guest
    • Paul Rothchild … Guest
    • Iggy Pop … Guest
    • Alice Cooper … Guest
    • David Bowie … Guest
    • Jane County … Guest
    • Tony Zanetta … Guest
    • Mick Ronson … Guest
    • Jules Fisher … Guest
    • Mark Ravitz … Guest
    • Paul Stanley … Guest
    • Gene Simmons … Guest
    • Tony Visconti … Guest