"Lambert and Stamp" examines the men behind The Who in a new documentary.
The Who will make a rare festival appearance when they play Jazz Fest Saturday, April 25, at 5 p.m. on the Acura Stage. This weekend, the New York Times and Los Angeles Times wrote lengthy stories on the documentary on the band's first managers, Lambert and Stamp, which is out in limited release now.
The film tells the story of how French new wave film enthusiasts Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp aspired to make their own movie with a rock band. That band was The High Numbers, The Who's first incarnation, and while the film never came to completion, the two became the band's managers and guided it through its most successful, impactful years.
Peter Townshend told Amanda Petrusich at The New York Times:
They understood the band when it was in a kind of art-installation stage. They seemed to get the relationship between the stage antics that we were getting into, the destructive art, the relationship with our mod audience. All that stuff — they got it.
The documentary is more than simply The Birth of The Who. At the Los Angeles Times, Susan King wrote:
[James D.] Cooper, a cinematographer who makes his feature debut with "Lambert & Stamp," describes the film as a love story. In fact, he noted, women who have attended screenings have told him that "this is probably the first and most brilliant examination of the vulnerabilities of men."
When he pitched the idea to Stamp, whom he had known for several years, Cooper told him, "I don't want to do a Who documentary. I want to do something about the emotional reality of this."
The trailer looks interesting in and of itself, but the footage of the young Who is almost mind-blowing. You can see every twee British guitarist from the '90s and 2000s in a young Pete Townshend, and the stories of young Roger Daltrey's tough guy rep have traveled well, but he looks punkier than I ever imagined.