Showtime’s “Sheryl” premieres this weekend.
Griping about who the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame left out is almost as entertaining as watching who goes in. If Sheryl Crow wasn’t already on your wish list, she will be after watching a new documentary about her arduous journey to stardom.
The nine-time Grammy winner celebrates a career that is still going strong in “Sheryl,” which premieres this weekend on Showtime and is available on the channel’s app. The Ledge Amphitheater in Waite Park, Minnesota, will host her current tour on July 5.
During a virtual press conference in February, Crow, 60, told TV reviewers, “I’ve always felt like documentaries were told after someone had already gone on after a fiery plane accident.” “‘You’ve got a powerful tale,’ remarked my manager, who has been with me since the very beginning. It’s time for you to say something.'”
If the film had been longer than 90 minutes, the story would have been more compelling.
Crow claims to have been sexually harassed by a manager, but gives little details. Some of her best work is neglected, such as “Good Is Good,” “Steve McQueen,” and her cover of Cat Stevens’ “The First Cut Is the Deepest.”
Her relationship with disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong receives nearly as much attention as a montage of her two adopted children. Her relationship with Eric Clapton isn’t mentioned. (Did her hit “Favorite Mistake” have anything to do with him? It’s possible we’ll never know.)
However, filmmaker Amy Scott devotes significant attention to a handful of her subject’s more difficult moments, such as her appearance on “The Late Show With David Letterman” in 1994, in which she appeared to take entire credit for penning “Leaving Las Vegas.” Her collaborators were irritated with the interview. Three weeks later, novelist John O’Brien, who gave the song’s title, committed suicide.
The emotional focus of the film is Crow’s memory of the entire affair.
“I expected the Letterman sequence to be difficult. How will we deal with this in an open and honest manner? “Scott, who had joined Crow in the virtual meeting, inquired. “But it felt genuine when we arrived because she was so vulnerable. If she hadn’t been, the story would have been different, and my perception of her would have been different.”
Crow is as open about other issues, including as sadness and her breast cancer diagnosis. But she saves her most passionate remarks for the topic of being a small-town Missouri woman trying to make a living in a sexist industry.
“It was a challenge. I sat there for hours, remembering, contemplating, and returning, and it was quite emotional “she explained the interview procedure. “I’m a lady. Many things have changed in my lifetime. I’ve also seen a lot of things that haven’t changed much. So, yes, it was an emotional experience. It was exhausting at times, but ultimately rewarding.”
While she recalls watching “Amos ‘n’ Andy” repeats with Michael Jackson when she was a backup vocalist on his tour, and Keith Richards marvelling on how she held her own on stage with Mick Jagger, the film has its lighter moments. On “Everyday Is a Winding Road,” there’s also footage of Crow jamming with Prince. Crow makes a Bob Dylan impression at one point in the film.