Joe Cocker’s short-lived “Mad Dogs And Englishmen” tour in 1971, led and arranged by Leon Russell, was one of necessity. Cocker had lost his band after Woodstock, but quickly pulled together a replacement, albeit one that ballooned to a mammoth 32-piece group. Nearly 45 years later, guitarists Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks revived the band. The film showcases inspired performances from the reunion show, along with an exclusive look at the history of the tour, clips from the original film MAD DOGS AND ENGLISHMEN — which itself is currently unavailable to stream or to book in a theater (we’ve tried!) — and never-before-seen archival materials, commentary from the original members, and notable fans who attended shows on the original tour — and featuring the last filmed interview with the late Leon Russell.
“The drug-and-booze-fueled utopianism reflected in the archival footage is replaced in 2015 by what appears to be relatively clean living, mutual appreciation and joyous pragmatism…. Here the now-elders seem delighted to make a joyful noise with the generations they influenced.” —Glenn Kenny, New York Times
“The Mad Dogs tour was chaotic both on paper and in practice. Cocker, already coping with an overwhelming wave of post-Woodstock fame, was told by immigration authorities that he had to tour right away or lose his working papers…. With only a week to prepare, Russell was hired to pull together a 10-piece band — and a 10-person group of backup singers called the Space Choir — and rehearse for the 48-show run.” —David Browne, Rolling Stone
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