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Vinyl: Martin Scorsese and Mick Jagger Define the '70s New York Rock Scene

Sex, drugs and HBO, baby.

Megan Vick

If you're going to make a TV show about rock 'n' roll in 1970s New York, could you find two better caretakers for that vision than Mick Jagger and Martin Scorsese?

Vinyl, a gritty, behind-the-scenes look at a struggling music label run by the conniving Richie Finestra (Bobby Cannavale), is a carnival of sex, drugs and corruption.

Scorsese told critics at the Television Critics Association winter previews that the project was an intuitive fit for both he and Jagger. "I'm [Mick's] audience and that music, when I first heard it all the way through the '70s and '80s until now, was basically the inspiration for a lot of the visualizations I had of scenes from one of my films," he said.

The pair previously collaborated on the 2008 Rolling Stones concert film Shine a Light.

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"[Scorsese] was one of the first people that really used rock 'n' roll, like wall to wall. Before Marty, people used music occasionally, like rock music and other kinds of popular music, but not really like he did," Jagger said.

For the show's cast, working with Scorsese and Jagger was surreal. "It was great being lead by somebody like Marty, who, anywhere you are when you're shooting in New York City, he's got a story about it. That's really valuable and [links] to the authenticity of it all," Cannavale said.

Ray Romano, who plays Cannavale's right-hand man Zak Yankovich, feels similarly honored. "I feel like I'm in a dream," he said. "You go on set and you see the coolest things in the world. There will be so many scenes that I look at like, 'How am I on this show?' I don't know. It's so cool. I'll tell you one thing. This is the first thing I've done with HBO and I'll tell you, they put their money into their stuff."

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Vinyl premieres Feb. 14 on HBO.