HBO’s Vinyl relives wild ’70s music scene with the help of Jagger and Scorsese

The cast of HBO's Vinyl (photos courtesy HBO)

The cast of HBO’s Vinyl (photos courtesy HBO)

In this age of “peak TV,” the choices are overwhelming. But HBO is always a great place to view the best from the top creative forces in the entertainment industry. And Vinyl (debuts February 14) can boast of Mick Jagger and Martin Scorsese as the production team behind the new drama about the wild ’70s era music business at a New York record label.

At the recent Television Critics Association’s winter press tour during the HBO interview panel, executive producers Mick Jagger and Martin Scorsese talked about their passion for the Vinyl project, a 10-episode series starring Bobby Cannavale, Olivia Wilde and Ray Romano.

Vinyl stars Bobby Cannavale & Olivia Wilde

Vinyl stars Bobby Cannavale & Olivia Wilde

Jagger and Scorsese may sound like an odd pairing, but Mick reminded this reporter that he and Scorsese have worked together before on a concert movie. So my next question to the super-celebrated duo was–What do you admire about each other?

Jagger answered, “I’ve always admired Marty’s movies from the ’70s onwards. Marty is a great connoisseur of music. He’s one of the first that really used rock ‘n roll in movies wall to wall. Before Marty, people used music occasionally, like rock and other kinds of popular music, but not like he did. He more or less invented this kind of use of music that we are now totally at home with. We have a kind of shorthand, and so we’ve chatted about this project (Vinyl) over the years on and off. So I don’t think we find it very difficult to communicate even though it appears that we come from different worlds. I suppose we do, but we meet somewhere in the middle.”

Scorsese was even more profuse with his praise of Jagger. Marty explained, “I’m his audience, and that music (by the Rolling Stones), when I first heard it through the ’70s and ’80s and into now, it’s stuff that is basically the inspiration for a lot of the visualizations that I have of scenes throughout my films, particularly in Mean Streets or even in Raging Bull, all the way up to The Wolf of Wall Street. So it’s very much a part of my life.”

The filmmaker said, “It was a natural for us to try to do something together, but I never really saw the Rolling Stones perform until 1970. So all of the work that they did before was really the stuff that I heard and I imagined in my head, (and) became something that was a constant inspiration, designing shots, designing scenes, along with other music, of course. But his is the one I always went back to.”

Scorsese directed the pilot of Vinyl and helped write the story along with Jagger, Rich Cohen and Terence Winter. Tune in for a ’70s blast from the past. #


Margie Barron has written for a wide variety of outlets including Gannett newspapers, Nickelodeon, Tiger Beat and 16 Magazine, Fresh!, Senior Life, Production Update, airline magazines, etc. Margie is also proud to have been half of the husband & wife writing team Frank & Margie Barron, who had written together for various entertainment and travel publications for more than 38 years.