Richard Branson’s Virgin Produced has secured the rights to Robert Greenfield’s EXILE ON MAIN ST.: A SEASON IN HELL WITH THE ROLLING STONES, a 2008 book that details the out of control Rolling Stones recording session during the Summer of 1971 that led to EXILE ON MAIN ST., the acclaimed 1972 double album from the Stones.
The recording session took place primarily within the basement of guitarist Keith Richards’ rented French villa, Nellcôte, located in the South of France. The session was famously plagued by feuding, heroin use, a parade of guests, rumors that Richards’ lover Anita Pallenberg had briefly switched to Mick Jagger, and other similarly themed wild times as members of the band hid away from the British government due to exceptionally high taxes. Through all of this and just two years past the death of founding bassist Brian Jones and the Altamont killing of a gun-toting Stones fan by a member of the Hell’s Angels, who was working security at the event, the Exile sessions wound up producing a loose, yet potent album that has often been called the band’s best.
No word yet on a writer or a director, and casting is far down the line — still, with such a well known season of debauchery and madness that led to a work of genius through a haze of drugs and turmoil, one would hope that the filmmakers will be empowered to steer clear of the usual bio-pic saccharin and tell the brutal truth — and that’s reason enough to be excited.