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The term rockumentary is a neologism denoting a program on television or a movie documentary about rock music or its musicians. It is a portmanteau of the words "rock" and "documentary." The term was used by Bill Drake in the 1969 History of Rock & Roll radio broadcast, and by Rob Reiner in the 1984 mockumentary film This Is Spinal Tap.


Rolling Stone magazine's first use of the term "Rockumentary" was in 1969 to describe the radio show "The History of Rock and Roll which, as its name implied, aimed to document the major artists of rock and roll to its date. It was next used to describe concert films with multiple artists.

List of "rockumentary" titles

Audio rockumentaries

Title Creators Year Narrators Info
The History of Rock and Roll Bill Drake, Gene Chenault 1969, 1978, 1981 Robert W. Morgan, Humble Harve Miller ,
The Pop Chronicles John Gilliland 1969 John Gilliland, Sie Holliday, Thom Beck ,

Rockumentary films

Film Band Year Director IMDB
Flight 666 Iron Maiden 2009 Sam Dunn & Scot McFadyen tt1361558
Heavy Metal in Baghdad Acrassicauda 2007 Suroosh Alvi & Eddy Moretti [32531]
Runnin' Down A Dream Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers 2007 Peter Bogdanovich tt0965382
Bring on the Night Sting 1985 Michael Apted tt0088855
Another State of Mind Social Distortion, Youth Brigade 1984 Adam Small & Peter Stuart tt0198307
Woodstock various at Woodstock festivalmarker 1970 Michael Wadleigh tt0066580
The Last Waltz The Band final concert 1976 Martin Scorsese tt0077838
Gimme Shelter The Rolling Stones at Altamontmarker 1970 Albert and David Maysles & Charlotte Zwerin tt0065780
Metal: A Headbanger's Journey Various Artists 2005 Sam Dunn, Scot McFadyen, Jessica Joy Wise tt0478209
Lord Don't Slow Me Down Oasis 2007 Baillie Walsh tt1167522
Come Rain or Shine Genesis 2008 Anthony Mathile tt1232771
Live at Pompeii Pink Floyd 1972 Adrian Maben tt0069090
Stop Making Sense Talking Heads 1984 Jonathan Demme tt0088178
Kiss Loves You KISS 2004 Jim Heneghan tt1102243
The Kids Are Alright The Who 1979 Jeff Stein
|| tt0079400
The Song Remains the Same Led Zeppelin 1976 Peter Clifton, Joe Massot tt0075244
Dont Look Back Bob Dylan 1967 D.A. Pennebaker tt0061589
LoudQUIETloud Pixies 2006 Steven Cantor, Matthew Galkin tt0449121
Anvil! The Story of Anvil Anvil 2008 Sacha Gervasi tt1157605
Meeting People Is Easy Radiohead 1998 Grant Gee [32532]

Rock-mockumentary films

Film Director Year Writers Info
A Mighty Wind Christopher Guest 2003 Christopher Guest & Eugene Levy The Folksmen, The New Main Street Singers, Mitch & Mickey
Get Ready to be Boyzvoiced Espen Eckbo, Henrik Elvestad, Mathis Fürst 2000 Espen Eckbo & Henrik Elvestad Boyzvoice
All You Need Is Cash Eric Idle, Gary Weis 1978 Eric Idle The Rutles
Electric Apricot: Quest for Festeroo Les Claypool 2006 Les Claypool
The Rutles 2: Can't Buy Me Lunch Eric Idle 2002 Eric Idle The Rutles
This Is Spinal Tap Rob Reiner 1984 Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, Harry Shearer, & Rob Reiner
The Naked Brothers Band: The Movie Polly Draper 2005 Polly Draper The Naked Brothers Band


MTV in the late 1980s and early 1990s had a series called Rockumentary. Some of the artists that were featured were: AC/DC in 1991, Aerosmith in 1990, Eric Clapton in 1990, Def Leppard in 1988 and 1992, Don Henley in 1990, Rod Stewart in 1988, Pink Floyd in 1989, Mötley Crüe in 1989, Genesis in 1992, Metallica in 1992 and 1996, The Rolling Stones, Madonna, Led Zeppelin, The Doors, Van Halen and one on Heavy Metal music.

Rock-mockumentaries on TV

TV Series Network Director Year Writers Info
The Naked Brothers Band Nickelodeon Polly Draper, Melanie Mayron, Rosario Roveto, Jr., Jonathan Judge, Mark Salisbury 2007-2009 Polly Draper, Magda Liolis, Michael Rubiner & Bob Mittenthal, Will McRob & Chris Viscardi

New Media

The concept of the Rockumentary Podcast was coined by Brinkley Warren in 2005 in conjunction with, a start-up non-profit that produces rockumentaries in multimedia podcast form. "ATHCAST" is a music preservation podcast started by Mike Ewing and Brinkley Warren that consists of video, audio, and interactive slideshows that preserve and disseminate the legendary music scene in Athens, GAmarker.

See also


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