‘It felt like a wonderful dream’ DA Pennebaker on making Monterey Pop

In a final, previously unpublished Guardian interview, the late great documentarian looks back at his groundbreaking film with Lou Adler, the legendary music festivals promoter Lou Adler, promoter and producer In 1967 there was a meeting at John Phillips of the Mamas and the Papas. He said: Why dont we do a festival, add more days, and get the acts to play for nothing? This was a chance to elevate how rocknroll was thought of. We had six weeks. Without Berry Gordy understood what we were doing. You had to really buy into it if your acts werent going to get paid. Not on my network Hendrix on stage at the festival in June 1967. Photograph: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images …

Paul McCartney writes first musical, stage version of It’s a Wonderful Life

Former Beatle is to write songs for Frank Capras universal story, working with Lee Hall, author of Billy Elliot He has written perhaps the greatest canon of pop music, collaborated with everyone from Elvis Costello to Rihanna, and even soundtracked a video game, but at 77, Paul McCartney is ticking off another career first: writing a musical. His first stage musical is to be an adaptation of Frank Capras 1946 film Its a Wonderful Life, and will open late in 2020. McCartney will write music and lyrics for the project. Lee Hall, author of Billy Elliot and screenwriter for the recent Elton John biopic Rocketman, is also writing lyrics, and the shows book. The musical was initiated by Bill Kenwright, …

Elton John live review Rocket Man reaches the stars on last ever trip

With an incredible band, a Taron Egerton duet and Aretha-style gospel fervour plus an about-turn on Brexit Eltons farewell tour is wonderfully over the top As his Elton Johns life has been defined by excess too much drink, too much coke, too much love so its appropriate that his final tour is, in a bit of millennial slang that he would surely approve of, extra: Farewell Yellow Brick Road is three years long, with about 300 dates. Before retiring to spend more time with his young sons, his last ever show will be at Londons O2 Arena on 16 December 2020, finishing a 19-date final leg in the UK and Ireland. This then is a little taster, as he pops …

Hot Chip: Escapism is the opposite of what we should be doing

On the eve of their seventh album, the best British pop act of their generation talk about two decades of music-making A quiet Friday afternoon by Londons Regents Canal. Two dads who have known each other since they were 11 theyre now 39 are having lunch without the kids. One is a smiling, broad-shouldered bear in a pink T-shirt. The other is smaller and bespectacled, hiding under a baseball cap. They look slightly hipsterish, but blend into the background seamlessly. A huge yellow bag and rucksack under the table contain their rather different outfits for later that day. Five hours later, Alexis Taylor is in front of thousands at the All Points East festival in Victoria Park, Hackney, his cap …

Rocketmen, raves and rhapsodies: how the music biopic became a Hollywood hit

Elton John is the latest rock star to get the movie treatment in Rocketman. When did singers become as bankable as superheroes at the box office? The doors swing open and through the smoke swaggers a figure in bejewelled orange horns, gold popped collar and fiery plumage. The Avengers have fought their last battle, and this summers superhero has arrived: his name is Elton John (or Taron Egerton) and his superpower is Hollywood hopes getting bums on seats in a projected $25m opening weekend. In the opening scene of the biopic A Star Is Born and Wild Rose followed a Glaswegian mother-of-two fresh from prison and hoping to make it as a country star; Beats, set in 1994, eschews a …

Spice Girls review nostalgia, branding and bad British values

The Poshless group give the fans what they want, but union jacks and product placement cant cover a lack of material Of all the things that might have derailed the Victoria Beckhams non-participation. The bombshell came this spring when Mel B revealed that she and Geri Horner on Mothers Day, of all days, lesbian revelations perhaps being best saved for a monetisable Pride team-up. Amid a rumoured rift, it takes a while for the pair to go near each other, though eventually they join Emma Bunton and Melanie Chisholm in holding hands and exchanging knowing glances. The matter almost sneaks out: Mel C uses her powerful strength to pick up Mel B, who screams. Bunton declares: She loves a good …

Leather and lace: how Stevie Nicks created a new musical language

A career-spanning box set documents the Fleetwood Mac singers influence as a solo artist, starting with her 1981 debut Bella Donna and its beguilingly witchy, feminine energy The original vinyl insert of Bella Donna features just one photo of Fleetwood Mac members solo career. In the liner notes of a deluxe 2016 reissue, Nicks recalled that the Bella Donna sessions started with her, Celani and Perry in the living room of a rented oceanside home, working out harmonies and singing together while the albums musical director, Benmont Tench (keyboardist with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers), added accompaniment. Once these sessions moved into the studio, this carefree camaraderie continued. The women sang together live and recorded live with the other musicians, …

The Coachella experience: California heat and millennial cool

Childish Gambino leads the global pop survey for the lucky and wealthy patrons at the USs premier music festival At Glastonbury, you pray for the ground to dry out; at The 1975 perform with a glowing rectangle behind them a totemic image for this portrait-format generation and is gently, fondly satiric: frontman Matt Healy is clearly as beholden to ego as much as anyone here. Earlier on the main stage, Kacey Musgraves has a slot at golden hour, reflecting the title of her Janelle Mone later on, who proudly announces her queerness and tells us not to give a fuck about pissing off this administration. With the occasional gaps in her songwriting papered over with majestically heavy arrangements and Janet …

Solange: When I Get Home the Snapchat album

Solange Knowless tantalising fourth album conjures fragments and fleeting impressions that get inside your head Frank Ocean to Beyoncs caught on murky CCTV attacking Jay-Z, as a docile Beyonc stood by. The viral clip upped Solanges album streams by 200%, but her career route has never been clear cut: she once released a track called Fuck the Industry (Signed Sincerely) before When I Get Home, but blink and youre halfway through them, your mind fizzing with fluttery choruses and half-riffs. The introverted UK electronic producers James Blake and Time (Is), one of the albums most modest tracks. Some of the albums most snippety bits such Way to the Show is essentially one exquisitely pretty line with an underlying coolness, like …

How we made Booker T and the MGs’ Green Onions

It was originally called Funky Onions but to laced-up, deep-south America, that sounded like a cuss word, so we had to retitle it Booker T Jones, organist I grew up in Memphis and by the time I was 17, I was learning saxophone, piano and Hammond organ, paid for by my paper round. I started going over to Billie Lee Riley, but something hadnt worked out. Hed packed up and left, so we had the studio to ourselves. We started playing around with a piano groove Id been performing in the clubs, trying to emulate Ray Charles. It sounded better on the organ, so I kept on playing that. Stax owner Jim Stewart liked what we were doing and wanted …