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Lambert & Stamp: The Who's Managers Were as Cool as the Who 

Wednesday, Apr 8 2015
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The Who has been the subject of past movies, particularly the seminal The Kids Are Alright, but James D. Cooper's documentary Lambert & Stamp provides a fascinating backstory for both the group and 1960s London with Chris Stamp and Kit Lambert, frustrated filmmakers who stumbled into managing the band. Lambert takes more of the focus, having gotten hooked on heroin and died at age 41, and as such is inherently glamorous; he also was openly queer at a time when it was still very much illegal, just 10 years after Alan Turing's death, though Lambert was protected by his aristocratic lineage. While the timeline gets a bit fuzzy in the 1970s, the picture is as much about the early days of The Who as it is about the class systems of mid-20th-century England, as well as the forgotten rivalry between Mods and Rockers. Though it's not just for Who fans, those well-versed in the band will enjoy picking out some of the more obscure, copyright-friendly songs used in the appropriately loud soundtrack — not always directly related to what's on screen — including songwriter Pete Townshend's demos of "Call Me Lightning" and "Recorders." And as entertaining as Lambert & Stamp is, a film of just the eternally eloquent Townshend talking for two hours would also be plenty satisfying.

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Sherilyn Connelly

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