Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Grand Theft Auto IV is a video game "masterpiece"

Tuesday, Apr 29, 2008 By Scott Hillis

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Video gamers geared up on Monday for the midnight launch of "Grand Theft Auto 4," as early reviews hailed the criminal action title as a brutal and satirical "masterpiece" equal to films like "The Godfather."

The near-universal accolades lavished on "Grand Theft Auto 4" also helped boost the shares of publisher Take-Two Interactive Software Inc as much as 3.4 percent, with analysts saying it could help the company's bargaining position as it faces a takeover offer from rival Electronic Arts Inc.

Judging from early reviews, "Grand Theft Auto 4" -- made by Take-Two's Rockstar studio -- appears on track to be the best- rated video game ever and one that could cement video games as a serious art form.

"'Grand Theft Auto IV' is a violent, intelligent, profane, endearing, obnoxious, sly, richly textured and thoroughly compelling work of cultural satire disguised as fun," The New York Times said.

Based on more than a dozen reviews compiled by Metacritic, a widely tracked aggregator of gaming reviews, the version of GTA4 for Sony Corp's PlayStation 3 game console has scored a perfect 100, while the one for Microsoft Corp's Xbox 360 has achieved a 99.

"Rockstar's magnum opus is a modern-day masterpiece that could change the way the world views video games," gaming news and reviews Web site GameSpy wrote, awarding the game a perfect five-star rating.

"You'll quickly come to realize that the nuanced story telling and presentation is on par with the finest films by directors like Martin Scorcese or Francis Ford Coppola."

The glowing reviews may bolster the position of Take-Two Interactive Software Inc Chairman Strauss Zelnick, who has rejected EA's offer as too low and has insisted on waiting until after the game's launch before entering discussions.

"These ratings are quite extraordinary. It's something special and helps us understand why Take-Two was so confident and adamant that they wanted to wait," said UBS analyst Ben Schachter.

The Tuesday launch of "Grand Theft Auto 4" is expected to be the biggest entertainment event of the year, with first-week sales forecast to be up to $400 million, beating those of last year's "Halo 3" from Microsoft Corp.

Many outlets of chains such as GameStop Corp and Best Buy Co Inc have taken advance orders for weeks and are throwing open their doors at midnight to accommodate gamers eager to be among the first to play.

"Our expectations are very high, higher than analysts give the game credit for," Take-Two Chief Executive Ben Feder told Reuters. "All the analysts had a (sales) number, give or take, and I think we will be on the upside of that."

"Grand Theft Auto 4" casts players as an Eastern European immigrant who delivers drugs, shoots cops and beats up prostitutes after falling in with a crime syndicate, stuff that has drawn fire from family groups and politicians.

Entertainment website IGN praised "Grand Theft Auto 4" for showing the effects of depravity on the main character.

"'GTA IV gives us characters and a world with a level of depth previously unseen in gaming and elevates its story from a mere shoot-em-up to an Oscar-calibre drama," IGN said.

Critics saved some of their most fulsome praise for the game's setting, a fictionalized New York called Liberty City, with distinct neighbourhoods and colourful inhabitants who react intelligently to the player and each other.

"The idea of a 'living, breathing city' has always been somewhat of a joke in gaming. Every city in the past has felt artificial in some way. But Liberty City feels like a real place," IGN said.

Some reviewers said the game was not without its faults, with many pointing out some graphical glitches and difficulty completing some of the nearly 150 missions on offer.

"Flawless? No. But it's about as close to a game can come to being perfect," popular gaming blog Kotaku.com said.

(Reporting by Scott Hillis, editing by Gerald E. McCormick/Andre Grenon)

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Springsteen keyboardist Danny Federici dies at 58

Friday, Apr 18, 2008

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Keyboardist Danny Federici, who for four decades played alongside rock star Bruce Springsteen as part of the E Street Band and helped define his rollicking sound, has died of melanoma. He was 58.

Federici's death at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York on Thursday was announced on Springsteen's official Web site and the rocker postponed a pair of weekend concerts in Florida.

"Danny and I worked together for 40 years - he was the most wonderfully fluid keyboard player and a pure natural musician. I loved him very much ... we grew up together," Springsteen said on the Web site.

Federici had suffered from melanoma for three years and last played with the E Street Band at a concert in Indianapolis on March 20, delivering an accordion solo on the song "4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)."

Like Springsteen, Federici was born in New Jersey and played the accordion from an early age, performing at parties and clubs and developing an interest in jazz and blues music.

He first joined Springsteen in the late 1960s, when the singer songwriter who would become known as "The Boss" was still an unknown, and Federici's organ, accordion and keyboard work was considered a key part of the E Street Band's signature sound on such songs as "Hungry Heart."

Nicknamed "Phantom," he was often overshadowed onstage by the out-sized presence of saxophone player Clarence Clemons, but on leaving the band to seek treatment for his illness in November of last year, Federici was described by Springsteen as "one of the pillars of our sound."

When Springsteen put the E Street Band on hiatus during the 1990s to explore other projects, Federici recorded a solo jazz album titled "Flemington" after his New Jersey hometown. He released a second album, "Sweet," in 2004.

(Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)

David Bowie to release 1972 concert bootleg

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Ziggy Stardust is rising again.

David Bowie will release a widely bootlegged live recording taken from his first U.S. tour in 1972, when he transformed himself into his androgynous, alien-rocker alter ego.

"David Bowie: Live Santa Monica '72," set for release on July 8 via Virgin/EMI, is taken from a show at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium in Los Angeles. The October 20 concert was recorded by a now-defunct radio station KMET-FM, and underground copies have made the show a fan favourite.

Bowie is also fond of the recording, according to a statement released on Thursday by EMI Music Marketing.

"We trainwreck a couple of things, I miss some words and sometimes you wouldn't know that pianist Mike Garson was onstage with us, but overall I really treasure this bootleg. (Late guitarist) Mick Ronson is at his blistering best."

About half of the tracks from his 1972 studio album "The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars" appear on the disc, including concert opener "Hang On To Yourself" and "Suffragette City."

Tunes from such earlier releases as "Hunky Dory" and "The Man Who Sold the World" also made the set list. Additionally, Bowie previewed "The Jean Genie," which would appear on his 1973 album "Aladdin Sane."

The CD and double-vinyl versions of the EMI release will include photos taken at the show and a reprint of Los Angeles Times pop music critic Robert Hilburn's review. It is also available as a digital download.

(Reporting by Dean Goodman)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Wild boys Duran Duran

from reuters.com

Duran Duran "cool" at last. Thursday, Apr 17, 2008

By Alastair Himmer

TOKYO (Reuters) - Duran Duran, who shot to fame for a string of smash hits and dodgy suits in the 1980s, are officially cool at last.

Once panned for being pretty boys who used enough hairspray to blow a hole in the ozone layer, the band have become a reference point for many of today's chart-topping acts, such as indie rockers Arctic Monkeys and American outfit The Killers.

"It's the greatest form of flattery," Duran Duran drummer Roger Taylor told Reuters in an interview before a sell-out Tokyo show earlier this week.

"Sometimes the music press try to write us out of music history a little bit, so it's been really cool that bands have actually said we were a good band, and they were good songs and they want to be a little bit like us and take something from Duran Duran."

While videos of them on yachts wearing silk suits might be painful to watch now, over 100,000 Internet pages are devoted to Duran Duran, who have sold more than 90 million albums.

The band counted the late Princess Diana among their legions of female fans during their 1980s heyday with hits such as "Girls on Film" and "Hungry Like the Wolf."

However, Duran Duran bristle at the notion they are 80s relics, pointing to a new album made in collaboration with Justin Timberlake and top American producer Timbaland.

"I think people who grew up in the 80s are often going to think of us," said keyboard player Nick Rhodes. "That was when we started out so it's inevitable to a degree. We did have quite an impact musically at that time.

"But we've always carried on working, throughout the 1990s. In fact (1993 comeback single) 'Ordinary World' was, world-wide, the biggest hit we ever had.

"It's good to think we've been around almost 30 years and we've put together a new album like 'Red Carpet Massacre' which feels very fresh and sharp."


Rhodes and singer Simon Le Bon are the only two of the original five members to stick with Duran Duran through thick and thin, the band losing the last of its unrelated trio of Taylors with bassist John Taylor's departure in the late 1990s.

"All the Taylors went missing," smiled Rhodes. "It was very careless of us. That was a very difficult time without a doubt."

Although the original five members reformed in 2003, guitarist Andy Taylor has since left again.

"There was only one album we made completely Taylor-free," continued Rhodes. "It definitely didn't feel like the essence of Duran Duran anymore."

It has been a long and often painful catharsis for Duran Duran, with stories of bust-ups, spells in rehab and the occasional boating accident splashed across the tabloids.

"In the 80s our core audience were like 12, 13-year-old girls...very hormonally strung-out teenagers," said Roger Taylor, who quit the band in 1985 and bought a farm.

"We'd turn up at a hotel and we couldn't go anywhere because there would be thousands of them outside, glued to the window. We were just kept in our rooms.

"We would get torn apart if we went out. It was a very intense period of time. I just wanted to get away. I bought a farm. I wasn't really a farmer -- that was just a myth."


A generation on from the frilly-shirted exuberance of 1981 debut "Planet Earth," the former heart-throbs have lost none of their flair for courting controversy.

The video for the single "Falling Down" -- a Britney Spears-inspired portrayal of anorexic-looking models in rehab -- was banned for being too raunchy.

Although the musicians are now in their late 40s, Duran Duran concerts regularly sell out in minutes, the crowd mania at this week's Tokyo show testament to their enduring popularity.

Lifetime achievement awards from the music industry further underline the impact the band have had on popular culture.

"I'm sure when people see us come into the room they see a history," said Taylor. "I think it's very important that we keep looking forward. We rarely talk about the early days or listen to the music. It's bad to get stuck in an era."


Saturday, April 12, 2008

Alice Cooper and Slash honoured for work with addicts

Saturday, Apr 12, 2008
LOS ANGELES (Billboard) - After 26 years of sobriety, Alice Cooper has some advice to pass along to the younger generation: "I don't think you need to die for your art."

The shock-rocker will be honoured for his work with fellow addicts during a May 9 benefit dinner and concert in Hollywood organized by the MusiCares MAP Fund, which provides members of the music community access to addiction recovery treatment.

"I've made myself very available to friends of mine," says Cooper, who will receive the Stevie Ray Vaughan Award. "They're people who would call me late at night and say, 'Between you and me, I've got a problem.'"

MusiCares will also honour Velvet Revolver guitarist Slash for his dedication to the organization's mission and goals.

Cooper and Slash will perform at the alcohol-free event, at the Music Box at the Fonda theatre, as will Cat Power, Blind Melon and all-star group Camp Freddy.


Thursday, April 10, 2008

Elton John and Hillary Clinton

Elton John laments U.S. misogyny

Thursday, Apr 10, 2008

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Elton John, playing a fund-raiser for Hillary Clinton in New York on Wednesday, said he was amazed at the misogyny of some in America and he hoped that wouldn't stop her being president.

At the fund-raiser which Clinton's campaign manager said raised $2.5 million (1.26 million pounds), John said there was no one more qualified to lead the United States into the next era.

"Having said that, I never cease to be amazed at the misogynistic attitude of some people in this country. And I say to hell with them," he said, drawing cheers from the crowd at Radio City Music Hall in Manhattan.

"The reason I'm here tonight is to play music, but more importantly as someone who comes from abroad, and is in America quite a lot of the time (and) is extremely interested in the political process because it effects the whole world."

"I've always been a Hillary supporter," he said.

Introducing him, Clinton recalled that the entertainer had played at the White House at a state dinner when her husband Bill Clinton was president.

The New York senator, who is trailing Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, vowed to take her battle for the Democratic nomination to the end of the primary process, saying all the states should have their say.

Clinton said she couldn't sing but "What I want you to know is 'I'm still standing,'" -- echoing the title of an Elton John song.

John opened his set with the track "Your Song," dwelling on the line "How wonderful life is when you're in the world." Other hits he sang included "Daniel" and "Rocket Man."

(Reporting by Claudia Parsons, editing by Todd Eastham)

Prince a late addition to California festival

from http://reuters.com.

Thursday, Apr 10, 2008

NEW YORK (Billboard) - Prince will make what is believed to be his first U.S. festival appearance ever at the Coachella festival in southern California later this month.

He will headline the Saturday (April 26) lineup, organizers confirmed said Wednesday, joining previously announced headliners Jack Johnson (April 25) and Roger Waters (April 27).

The addition is reminiscent of 2006, when Madonna joined the Coachella bill just a few weeks before the show. But she performed just five songs in the dance tent, whereas Prince will play a full show on the main stage.

Other Coachella acts include Kraftwerk, Portishead, the Verve, Aphex Twin, My Morning Jacket, Spiritualized, the Breeders and Serj Tankian.

Prince has just one other date on his upcoming schedule: a June 16 show at Dublin's Croke Park.

According to gossip columnist Perez Hilton (http://www.perezhilton.com), Prince was paid almost $4 million (2 million pounds) for the appearance. The report could not immediately be confirmed, but the figure comes close to the $5 million that rocker Morrissey said two years ago his former band the Smiths turned down to reunite at Coachella.


Lionel Richie and Steve Miller honoured at L.A. awards

Lionel Richie and Steve Miller honoured at L.A. awards

Thursday, Apr 10, 2008

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Lionel Richie didn't dance on the ceiling, and Steve Miller didn't fly like an eagle, but both veterans seemed pretty thrilled to pick up lifetime achievement honours at a music industry awards show in Hollywood on Wednesday.

Richie and Miller received Golden Note Awards during the 25th annual Pop Music Awards organized by ASCAP, an organization that collects public-performance royalties for its member songwriters and copyright owners.

The black-tie event, which took place at the Kodak Theatre, honours the writers and publishers of ASCAP's most-performed compositions during the past year. R&B producer Timbaland was named songwriter of the year, while Fergie's "Big Girls Don't Cry" and Gwen Stefani featuring Akon's "The Great Escape" shared the award for song of the year.

Miller, 64, took to the stage to perform six songs, including such '70s hits as "The Joker" and "Fly Like An Eagle," accompanied by his eponymous band.

In accepting his award, the rock guitarist said, "I never saw myself receiving any awards or doing anything."

Richie, 58, who did not perform, paid tribute to his former bandmates in the Commodores, the Motown hitmaking machine from which he launched a hugely successful solo career in the 1980s. Pondering a video retrospective that preceded the presentation, Richie joked that the only thing he wished he could go back and change was his hairstyle.

Timbaland was unable to accept his award in person, sending a message that said he was busy mixing the new solo album by former Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell.

Black Eyed Peas singer Fergie recalled that she came up with "Boys Don't Cry" five years ago while she was living at her mother's place and collecting unemployment benefits.

(Reporting by Dean Goodman)

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Disney previews 10 new animated movies

from http://reuters.com

Disney previews 10 new animated movies

Tuesday, Apr 08, 2008

By Michelle Nichols

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Walt Disney Studios previewed 10 animated movies on Monday that it will release during the next four years, including further installments in the "Toy Story" and "Cars" series and two new fairy tales.

With the exception of "Wall.E," a robot love story opening on June 28, and "The Princess and the Frog," a hand-drawn animated fairy tale set in New Orleans and due to open Christmas 2009, the remaining eight movies will be made in digital 3-D.

"We're excited to be pushing the boundaries of 3-D and computer technology to tell our stories in the best possible way," said John Lasseter, chief creative officer for Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios.

Digital 3-D still requires moviegoers to wear geeky glasses, but the left- and right-eye images are calibrated so finely that most viewers experience no headache or eyestrain.

The first Disney digital 3-D movie for release is "Bolt," the story of a dog of the same name who thinks he has superhero powers. John Travolta gives voice to Bolt while hit teen singer/actress Miley Cyrus is voicing Bolt's owner Penny in the movie, due to open on November 26.

"Up," the story of an unlikely 78-year-old adventurer and his 8-year-old sidekick, is due to be released on May 29, 2009. "Toy Story" and "Toy Story 2" are due to be re-released in digital 3-D on October 2, 2009 and February 12, 2010 respectively, while "Toy Story 3" is due to hit screens on June 18, 2010.

All the original cast from the previous "Toy Story" films, including Tom Hanks, Tim Allen and Joan Cusack, are returning for the third film, which picks up with Andy grown up and about the head off to college.

The classic Brothers Grimm fairy tale "Rapunzel," about a girl trapped in a tower whose long golden hair is the only way for anyone to climb up to her, will be released at Christmas 2010.

Next comes "Newt," a story of the last two blue-footed newts on the planet that aims to show that love is not a science, which is due to hit screens in summer 2011.

Another new original fairy tale, "The Bear and the Bow" -- an action-adventure about a royal family in rugged and mythic Scotland -- is slated to open Christmas 2011 starring the voices of Reese Witherspoon, Billy Connolly and Emma Thompson.

"Cars 2," in which Lightning McQueen and his best friend Mater bid to take on the world's fastest cars, is due for release in summer 2012. "King of Elves," based on a 1953 short story by Phillip K. Dick, will hit screens at Christmas 2012.

(Reporting by Michelle Nichols)

Friday, April 4, 2008

"Smoke on the Water" still top riff

Smoke on the Water" still top riff

Friday, Apr 04, 2008

By Atholl Simpson

LONDON (Reuters) - Deep Purple's 1973 hit "Smoke on the Water" is the greatest guitar riff of all time, according to a poll by a London music school that has taught members of top bands like Radiohead, The Kinks and The Cure.

The majority of the 25 songs selected by current students of the London Tech Music School, were recorded in the 1960s, 70s and 80s. Only seven were recorded in the last 20 years.

"It was the iconic era for the electric guitar." head of the school's Guitar and Bass section John Wheatcroft told Reuters.

"A lot of our students started listening to their parents records and discovered these bands through them."

The most recent song selected was "7 Nation Army" recorded by American rock duo The White Stripes in 2003.

But Wheatcroft does not believe this spells the end of modern music.

"The great riffs can simply be the ones that withstood the test of time." he said. "It might just be a question of waiting till the dust settles and in 10 years time it could be completely different."

Other songs include "Purple Haze" by Jimi Hendrix (1967), "Walk This Way" by Aerosmith (1975) and "Money For Nothing" by Dire Straits (1984).

A list of the top songs chosen follows:

1. Smoke On The Water - Deep Purple (1973)

2. Smells Like Teen Spirit - Nirvana (1991)

3. Walk This Way - Aerosmith (1975)

4. Purple Haze - Jimi Hendrix (1967)

5. Sweet Child O Mine - Guns N' Roses (1987)

6. Paradise City - Guns N' Roses (1987)

7. Ace Of Spades - Motorhead (1980)

8. Enter Sandman - Metallica (1991)

9. Under The Bridge - Red Hot Chilli Peppers (1992)

10. Welcome To The Jungle - Guns N' Roses (1987)

11. Run To The Hills - Iron Maiden (1982)

12. Walk - Pantera (1992)

13. Johnny Be Goode - Chuck Berry (1958)

14. Back In Black - AC/DC (1980)

15. Immigrant Song - Led Zeppelin (1970)

16. Wake Up - Rage Against The Machine (1992)

17. Highway to Hell - AC/DC (1979)

18. My Generation - The Who (1965)

19. 7 Nation Army - The White Stripes (2003)

20. Born To Be Wild - Steppenwolf (1968)

21. Give It Away - Red Hot Chilli Peppers (1991)

22. Paranoid - Black Sabbath (1970)

23. Voodoo Chile (Slight Return) - Jimi Hendrix (1967)

24. Eye Of The Tiger - Survivor (1982)

25. Money For Nothing - Dire Straits (1984)


Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Stone Temple Pilots reunion

Stone Temple Pilots plotting extensive tour

Tuesday, Apr 01, 2008

By Mitchell Peters

LOS ANGELES (Billboard) - The recently reunited Stone Temple Pilots will next week announce plans for a summer tour of more than 50 amphitheatres, sources said.

The L.A. rock group has already confirmed a handful of festival dates, beginning with the Rock on the Range festival in Columbus, Ohio, on May 17-18.

Further details about STP's tour will be announced during an April 7 news conference at the Harry Houdini Estate in Los Angeles. It is still unclear whether the band will record new material.

Rock on the Range will be Stone Temple Pilots' first show since 2002, when it played 13 concerts to promote its final album, 2001's "Shangri-La Dee Da."

Singer Scott Weiland went on to co-found Velvet Revolver, which is about to conclude a European tour in support of its second album. But he and drummer Matt Sorum are engaged in a public feud, casting doubt on the outfit's future.


Reading Festival England

Rage to headline Reading Festival

By Daniel Magnowski

LONDON (Reuters) - Political rock band Rage Against The Machine will headline the first day of this summer's Reading music festival, organisers said on Monday.

Festival goers can look forward to Rage's potent mix of heavy guitar-based rock and lyrics addressing human rights, capitalism and globalisation, with some of the band's hardest-hitting tracks such as "Killing in the Name" and "Bullet in the Head" expected to have fans on their feet.

Rage's debut album sold more than three million copies in the United States and band members have courted controversy since by attempting to gatecrash the New York Stock Exchange in 2000 and calling for the Bush administration to be tried for war crimes at an American music festival last year.

Rage Against The Machine will kick off the Reading Festival in the south of England on August 22, while indie rockers The Killers, who already boast a reputation as a blistering live act as well as a multimillion-selling band on both sides of the Atlantic with hit singles including "When You Were Young" and "Somebody Told Me," will headline the second day.

Californian heavy metal behemoths Metallica, widely credited with creating ultra-fast, ultra-loud "thrash" metal are scheduled to be the main event on the festival's third day.

Also on the bill are menacing Californian rock band Queens of the Stone Age, British hip-hop star Dizzee Rascal and Welsh polemicists Manic Street Preachers.

Pete Doherty, who is as notorious for his frequent arrests and non-appearances at gigs as he is feted for his musical output, is due to perform with his group Babyshambles on the first day, while his former Libertines band mate Carl Barat's current project Dirty Pretty Things play the following day.

As well as established acts, the three-day festival will feature performances from over 150 bands including newcomers Vampire Weekend, Foals and The Wombats.

(Reporting by Daniel Magnowski, editing by Paul Casciato)

Rolling Stones film set for U.S. release

Rolling Stones film set for U.S. release

Monday, Mar 31, 2008

By Christian Wiessner

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Director Martin Scorsese won't say the Rolling Stones are like the underworld characters in many of his movies, but he admits the band's music evokes memories of the rough, mob-tinged street life he grew up around.

The Academy Award winner and the legendary band founded in London in 1962 have combined on "Shine A Light," a concert documentary shot at New York's intimate Beacon Theatre in October 2006.

Scorsese and band members Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ron Wood and Charlie Watts held a press conference on Sunday ahead of the film's U.S. release on April 4.

"I don't know if I can make any direct associations," Scorsese said with a laugh when asked what similarities he sees between the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame members and the brutal criminals he has depicted in films such as "Goodfellas," "Casino" and "The Departed."

But the native New Yorker says their music has always struck powerful chords with him, so much that he used the group's violence-laced song "Gimme Shelter" in three of his previous films.

"The music has been very important to me over the years. It dealt with aspects of the life that I was growing up around, that I was associated with or saw or was experiencing and trying to make sense of," Scorsese said.

"It was tougher, it had an edge. Beautiful, honest and brutal at times. And it's always stayed with me and become a well of inspiration to this day," he added.

The film offers 17 songs mainly comprised of concert warhorses like "Jumpin' Jack Flash," "Start Me Up" and "Brown Sugar," and features guest appearances by blues legend Buddy Guy, White Stripes guitarist Jack White and singer Christina Aguilera.

The film's opening minutes show band front-man Jagger and Scorsese in a transatlantic teleconference tug-of-war over stage dimensions, camera placement and the song list.

Archival footage of the band and limited contemporary interviews also are included, but the film mainly is a straight depiction of the concert.

While Jagger initially wanted to film a larger concert -- possibly the band's February 2006 show at Brazil's Copacabana Beach that drew a crowd estimated at well over 1 million -- Scorsese pushed for the smaller venue.

Guitarist Richards said he was happy about the scaled-down show, especially because of his love of the Beacon Theatre.

"The Beacon Theatre is special for some reason ... The room sort of wraps its arms around you, and every night it gets warmer," Richards said. "And this band, you know, didn't start off in stadiums."

While filmed in a smaller venue, Jagger said the movie will have a larger-than-life look when it is shown in the huge-screen IMAX format. The film also will be released in theatres with regular screens.

"The funny thing is that Marty decided he wanted to make this small intimate movie and I said, 'Well the laugh is that, Marty, in the end, it's going to be blown up to this huge IMAX thing ...' But it looks good in IMAX," Jagger said.

The band was long on praise for Scorsese, who after five previous Best Director nominations finally won an Oscar for 2006's "The Departed."

"He's a fantastic director and ... very painstaking on the editing to produce the movie that you see," Jagger said.

"We didn't choose Marty, Marty chose us," said Richards.

(Editing by Vicki Allen)