The Greatest Rock n Roll Documentary You've Never Seen

by Lee Roy Chapman -

After a few years on the road playing and producing concert documentaries with Joe Cocker (Mad Dogs and Englishmen, 1970)  and George Harrison (Concert for Bangladesh 1972), Leon Russell was ready to shake the shackles of the music industry and return to his own turf in Northeastern Oklahoma. It was 1972 and his plan was to build a music empire, producing, recording, and distributing Rock N Roll. No more sharecropping with the big labels and local unions in Los Angeles. So, he bought a property in Tia Juana, Oklahoma, just a stone's throw from the Grand Lake O' the Cherokees, then imported a crew of Austinites to come north and build some cabins, finish out a studio, paint some psychedelic murals and start recording for his new label, Shelter Records. To document his DIY move, he and his manager Denny Cordell contacted the National Film Institute looking for a filmmaker. The NBI recommended a man name Les Blank.