20 music documentaries you must watch if you liked A Star is Born

13 of 21

The Kids Are Alright

Sometimes, being a fan can really pay off, just ask Freda Kelly or the director of our next film, Jeff Stein, who turned his love of one band into an iconic piece of rock cinema history. Despite having no filmmaking experience, Stein managed to convince The Who to work with him to make a film chronicling the band’s history. He had previously worked with them on a book of photographs (when he was just 17) in 1971.

The original project was just meant to be a short compilation of clips for the band’s fans, but when the band and their crew saw the first cut, they loved it and convinced Stein that the project was worth continuing. For years, he collected film footage from television appearances and from fans around the world, and even rescued discarded footage from literal trash bins to that he could accurately give the background of The Who from 1964 until 1978.

The Kids Are Alright became an iconic movie for fans for several reasons. First, it featured performances from three of the band’s largest concerts which helped solidify their move from British hit to global sensation: Woodstock in 1969, the Pontiac Silverdome in 1975 (with an audience of over 75,000 people), and the Monterey International Pop Festival in 1967. Stein had to track down footage from all of these performances, but he didn’t stop there.

There are several instances in the movie where the filmmakers managed to rescue footage that was thought to be lost or discarded, including The Who’s performance at the London Coliseum, whose footage was scrapped due to poor quality. But most importantly, this film gained notoriety for featuring drummer Keith Moon’s last performances with the band, since he died days after being shown the rough cut of the film in 1978.