|The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus|
|Directed by||Michael Lindsay-Hogg|
|Produced by||Sandy Leiberson|
|Starring||The Rolling Stones, Jethro Tull, the Who, Taj Mahal, Marianne Faithfull, the Dirty Mac, Yoko Ono, Sir Robert Fossett's Circus and the Nurses.|
|Cinematography||Anthony B. Richmond|
|Edited by||Ruth Foster, Robin Klein|
|12 October 1996 |
(New York Film Festival),
6 December 1996
October 2004 (DVD)
The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus was a concert show organised by the Rolling Stones on 11 December 1968. The show was filmed on a makeshift circus stage with Jethro Tull, the Who, Taj Mahal, Marianne Faithfull, and the Rolling Stones. John Lennon and his fiancee Yoko Ono also performed as part of a one-shot supergroup called the Dirty Mac, featuring Eric Clapton, Mitch Mitchell, and Keith Richards. The original idea for the concert was going to include the Small Faces, the Rolling Stones, and the Who, and the concept of a circus was first thought up between Mick Jagger, Pete Townshend and Ronnie Lane. It was meant to be aired on the BBC, but instead the Rolling Stones withheld it. The Rolling Stones contended they did so because of their substandard performance, clearly exhausted after 15 hours (and some indulgence in drugs).There is also the fact that this was Brian Jones last appearance with the Rolling Stones; he drowned some seven months later while the film was being edited. Some speculate that another reason for not releasing the film was that the Who, who were fresh off a concert tour, seemingly upstaged the Stones on their own production. Led Zeppelin was considered for inclusion but the idea was dropped. The show was not released commercially until 1996.
The Rolling Stones are an English rock band formed in London in 1962. The first stable line-up consisted of bandleader Brian Jones, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Bill Wyman (bass), Charlie Watts (drums), and Ian Stewart (piano). Stewart was removed from the official line-up in 1963 but continued to work with the band as a contracted musician until his death in 1985. The band's primary songwriters, Jagger and Richards, assumed leadership after Andrew Loog Oldham became the group's manager. Jones left the band less than a month before his death in 1969, having already been replaced by Mick Taylor, who remained until 1974. After Taylor left the band, Ronnie Wood took his place in 1975 and continues on guitar in tandem with Richards. Since Wyman's departure in 1993, Darryl Jones has served as touring bassist. The Stones have not had an official keyboardist since 1963, but have employed several musicians in that role, including Jack Nitzsche (1965–1971), Nicky Hopkins (1967–1982), Billy Preston (1971–1981), Ian McLagan (1978–1981), and Chuck Leavell (1982–present).
Jethro Tull are a British rock band formed in Blackpool, Lancashire, in 1967. Initially playing blues rock, the band later developed their sound to incorporate elements of hard and folk rock to forge a progressive rock signature. The band is led by vocalist/flautist/guitarist Ian Anderson, and has featured a revolving door of lineups through the years including significant members such as guitarists Mick Abrahams and Martin Barre, keyboardist John Evan, drummers Clive Bunker, Barriemore Barlow, and Doane Perry, and bassists Glenn Cornick, Jeffrey Hammond, John Glascock, and Dave Pegg.
The Who are an English rock band formed in London in 1964. Their classic line-up consisted of lead singer Roger Daltrey, guitarist and singer Pete Townshend, bass guitarist John Entwistle and drummer Keith Moon. They are considered one of the most influential rock bands of the 20th century, selling over 100 million records worldwide.
The project was originally conceived by Mick Jagger as a way to promote the new record Beggars Banquet beside conventional press and concert appearances.Jagger approached Michael Lindsay-Hogg, who had directed two promos for Rolling Stones songs (and would go on to direct the Beatles' Let It Be documentary), to make a full-length TV show for them. According to Lindsay-Hogg, the idea of combining rock music and a circus setting came to him when he was trying to come up with ideas; he drew a circle on a piece of paper and free-associated.
Sir Michael Philip Jagger is an English singer, songwriter, actor, and film producer who gained worldwide fame as the lead singer and one of the founder members of the Rolling Stones. Jagger's career has spanned over five decades, and he has been described as "one of the most popular and influential frontmen in the history of rock & roll". His distinctive voice and energetic live performances, along with Keith Richards' guitar style have been the trademark of the Rolling Stones throughout the band's career. Jagger gained press notoriety for his admitted drug use and romantic involvements, and was often portrayed as a countercultural figure.
Beggars Banquet is the seventh British and ninth American studio album by English rock band The Rolling Stones. It was released in December 1968 by Decca Records in the United Kingdom and London Records in the United States. The album marked a change in direction for the band following the psychedelic pop of their previous two albums, Between the Buttons and Their Satanic Majesties Request. Styles such as roots rock and a return to the blues rock sound that had marked early Stones recordings dominate the record, and the album is among the most instrumentally experimental of the band's career, as they infuse Latin beats and instruments like the claves alongside South Asian sounds from the tanpura, tabla and shehnai and African-influenced conga rhythms. Its release marks the beginning of the most critically acclaimed period of the Rolling Stones' career.
Sir Michael Edward Lindsay-Hogg, 5th Baronet is a British television, film, music video, and theatre director. Beginning his career in British television, Lindsay-Hogg became a pioneer in music film production, directing promotional films for the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. Following his work with these bands, he branched out into film and theatre, while still maintaining successful careers in television and music video production.
The Rolling Stones and their guests performed in a replica of a seedy big top on a British sound stage—the Intertel (V.T.R. Services) Studio, Wycombe Road, Wembley pm on 11 December 1968, but setting up between acts and reloading cameras took longer than planned, which meant that the final performances took place at almost 5 o'clock in the morning on the 12th.—in front of an invited audience. The performances began at around 2
In common usage, a sound stage is a soundproof, hangar-like structure, building, or room, used for the production of theatrical film-making and television productions, usually located on a secured movie or television studio property.
By that time the audience and most of the Rolling Stones were exhausted. It was only due to Jagger's sheer enthusiasm and stamina that they kept going until the end. Regardless, Jagger was reportedly so disappointed with his and the band's performance that he cancelled the airing of the film, and kept it from public view. Pete Townshend recalled:
Peter Dennis Blandford Townshend is an English multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter best known as the guitarist, backing and secondary lead vocalist, principal songwriter, co-founder and leader of the rock band the Who. His career with the Who spans over 50 years, during which time the band grew to be one of the most important and influential rock bands of the 20th century.
When they really get moving, there is a kind of white magic that starts to replace the black magic, and everything starts to really fly. That didn't happen on this occasion; there's no question about that. They weren't just usurped by The Who, they were also usurped by Taj Mahal – who was just, as always, extraordinary. They were usurped to some extent by the event itself: the crowd by the time the Stones went on were radically festive.
White magic has traditionally referred to the use of supernatural powers or magic for selfless purposes. Practitioners of white magic have been given titles such as; wise men or women, healers, white witches or wizards. Many of these people claimed to have the ability to do such things because of knowledge or power that was passed on to them through hereditary lines, or by some event later in their lives. White magic was practiced through: healing, blessing, charms, incantations, prayers, and songs.. With respect to the philosophy of left-hand path and right-hand path, white magic is the benevolent counterpart of malicious black magic. The eternal dualism of night and day may compromise the totality of its sphere of action. Because of its ties to traditional Paganism, white magic is often also referred to as "natural magic".
Black magic has traditionally referred to the use of supernatural powers or magic for evil and selfish purposes. With respect to the left-hand path and right-hand path dichotomy, black magic is the malicious, left-hand counterpart of the benevolent white magic. In modern times, some find that the definition of "black magic" has been convoluted by people who define magic or ritualistic practices that they disapprove of as "black magic".
Henry Saint Clair Fredericks, who uses the stage name Taj Mahal, is an American blues musician, a singer-songwriter and film composer who plays the guitar, piano, banjo, harmonica, and many other instruments. He often incorporates elements of world music into his works and has done much to reshape the definition and scope of blues music over the course of his more than 50-year career by fusing it with nontraditional forms, including sounds from the Caribbean, Africa, and the South Pacific.
This was the last public performance of Brian Jones with the Rolling Stones,and for much of the Stones performance he is inaudible, although his slide guitar on "No Expectations", maracas on "Sympathy for the Devil", and rhythm guitar on "Jumpin' Jack Flash" remain clear. Ian Anderson remarked:
Lewis Brian Hopkin Jones was an English musician, best known as the founder and the original leader of the Rolling Stones. Initially a slide guitarist, Jones would go on to play a wide variety of instruments on Rolling Stones recordings and in concerts, such as rhythm and lead guitar, sitar, dulcimer, various keyboard instruments such as piano and mellotron, marimba, wind instruments such as harmonica, recorder, saxophone, as well as drums and numerous others.
"No Expectations" is a song by English rock band the Rolling Stones featured on their 1968 album Beggars Banquet. It was first released as the B-side of the "Street Fighting Man" single in August 1968. The song was recorded in May 1968. Brian Jones' acoustic slide guitar on the recording represents one of his last major contributions before leaving the band.
"Sympathy for the Devil" is a song by English rock band the Rolling Stones, written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. It is the opening track on their 1968 album Beggars Banquet.
Brian Jones was well past his sell-by date by then… We spoke to Brian and he didn't really know what was going on. He was rather cut off from the others – there was a lot of embarrassed silence. But a delightful chap, and we felt rather sorry for him… I was approached for an interview by a chap from Record Mirror … I inadvertently remarked that the Stones were a bit under-rehearsed and that Brian couldn't even tune his guitar, which was literally the truth but a bit tactless and inappropriate for me to say. This was duly reported, whereupon Mick Jagger was mightily upset. I had to send a grovelling apology to his office.
The last song, "Salt of the Earth", was sung live by Keith Richards and Mick Jagger to the pre-recorded tape from the Beggars Banquet studio album on which the song had been released.
According to Bill Wyman's book, Rolling with the Stones, the Rolling Stones also performed "Confessing the Blues", "Route 66" and an alternative take of "Sympathy for the Devil" with Brian Jones on guitar.Nicky Hopkins supplemented the Rolling Stones on piano.
The project was abandoned until director Michael Lindsay-Hogg attempted to edit the film in 1992 but, due to missing principal footage, the project was put on hold. Some of the footage of the concert was thought to be lost or destroyed until 1993, when it was discovered in a bin in the Who's private film vault by director/producer team Michael Gochanour and Robin Klein. Subsequent to their discovery, Gochanour and Klein completed the unfinished film in fall of 1996.
A significant segment, featuring the Who, had been shown theatrically in the documentary The Kids Are Alright (1979), the only public viewing of the film until its eventual release. The Rolling Stones' film was restored, edited, and finally released on CD and video in 1996. Included on the recordings are the introductions for each act, including some entertaining banter between Jagger and Lennon.
This concert is the only footage of Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi performing as a member of Jethro Tull, during his brief two-week tenure as replacement for Mick Abrahams. Coincidentally this is also the first live footage of Jethro Tull ever made; no footage of the original lineup with Abrahams (December 1967 – December 1968) is known to exist. The band mimed to the album version of "A Song for Jeffrey" and "Fat Man," so the guitar heard is actually Abrahams, and not Iommi, who may not have known his part sufficiently after only a few days in the band. The Rolling Stones forced them to cut their rehearsal time short, although Ian Anderson sings and plays flute live on "A Song For Jeffrey". "Fat Man" never made the final release, although it is not unreasonable to assume he also sang that live, as the released version (which appears on Stand Up ) wasn't recorded until four months later. Finally, the footage shows Ian Anderson's first clumsy attempts at his now famous flute-playing position of standing on one leg.
In a 1996 review, Janet Maslin lauded the "sleek young Stones in all their insolent glory presiding over this uneven but ripely nostalgic show"; although "rumor had it that the Stones... thought they looked tired and felt upstaged by the high-energy Who", "it hardly looks that way as Mick Jagger's fabulous performance nearly turns this into a one-man show."She called Jethro Tull's performance a "shaky start" by "arguably the most unbearable band of their day", said The Who "turn up early and stop traffic, delivering a fiery [performance]", and notes Yoko Ono's "glass-shattering shrieks" are "dutifully" backed by the Dirty Mac. She calls the concert-ending sing-along of "Salt of the Earth" smug and condescending, a "song about little people living in the real world".
The film premiered on 12 October 1996 at the Walter Reade Theater as part of the New York Film Festival.
In March 2019, it was announced that the film would be receiving a limited theatrical release in Dolby Cinema in early April, as the first concert film was due to be remastered with Dolby's Atmos and Vision, in conjunction with what was—still then—the ongoing North American leg of the Rolling Stones' No Filter Tour (before it was later postponed). Indeed, a limited U.S. remastered theatrical release of the film run during the first week of April 2019.
The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus was released in October 1996 on VHS and laserdisc following two days of screenings at the Walter Reade Theater as part of the New York Film Festival.
A DVD version, produced by Gochanour and Klein, was released in October 2004,with audio remixed into Dolby Surround by Gochanour and co-producer Klein. The DVD includes footage of the show, along with extra features directed by Gochanour and Klein, which include previously "lost" performances, an interview with Pete Townshend, and three audio commentaries. Of particular interest in the Townshend interview is his description of the genesis of the Circus project, which he claims was initially meant to involve the performers travelling across the United States via train (a concept used for a short concert series in Canada that was later documented in the feature film Festival Express ). The remastered DVD also includes a special four-camera view of The Dirty Mac's performance of The Beatles' "Yer Blues" (showing Yoko Ono kneeling on the floor in front of the musicians, completely covered in a black sheet).
Keith Richards is an English musician, singer, and songwriter, best known as the co-founder, guitarist, secondary vocalist, and co-principal songwriter of the Rolling Stones. Rolling Stone magazine called Richards the creator of "rock's greatest single body of riffs" on guitar and ranked him fourth on its list of 100 best guitarists in 2011, and the magazine lists fourteen songs that Richards wrote with the Rolling Stones' lead vocalist Mick Jagger on its "Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time" list.
"Jumpin' Jack Flash" is a song by English rock band the Rolling Stones, released as a single in 1968. Called "supernatural Delta blues by way of Swinging London" by Rolling Stone magazine, the song was perceived by some as the band's return to their blues roots after the baroque pop and psychedelia heard on their preceding albums, Aftermath (1966), Between the Buttons (1967) and especially Their Satanic Majesties Request (1967). One of the group's most popular and recognisable songs, it has featured in films and been covered by numerous performers, notably Thelma Houston, Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner, Peter Frampton, Johnny Winter and Leon Russell. To date, it is the band's most-performed song: the band has played it over 1,100 times in concert.
Unfinished Music No. 2: Life with the Lions is the second of three experimental albums of avant-garde music released by John Lennon and Yoko Ono, released in May 1969 on Zapple, a sub label of Apple. It was a successor to 1968's highly controversial Unfinished Music No. 1: Two Virgins, and was followed by the Wedding Album. The album peaked in the United States at number 174. The album, whose title is a play on words of the BBC Radio show Life with The Lyons, was recorded at Queen Charlotte's Hospital in London and live at Cambridge University, in November 1968 and March 1969, respectively. The Cambridge performance, to which Ono had been invited and to which she brought Lennon, was Lennon and Ono's second as a couple. A few of the album's tracks were previewed by the public, thanks to Aspen magazine. The album was remastered in 1997.
"Yer Blues" is a song by the English rock band the Beatles, from their 1968 double album The Beatles. Though credited to Lennon–McCartney, the song was written and composed by John Lennon during the Beatles' retreat in Rishikesh, India. The song is a parody of blues music, specifically English imitators of blues.
"You Can't Always Get What You Want" is a song by the Rolling Stones on their 1969 album Let It Bleed. Written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, it was named as the 100th greatest song of all time by Rolling Stone magazine in its 2004 list of the "500 Greatest Songs of All Time" before dropping a place the next year.
"Honky Tonk Women" is a 1969 hit song by the Rolling Stones. It was a single-only release, available from 4 July 1969 in the United Kingdom, and a week later in the United States. It topped the charts in both nations.
The Dirty Mac were a one-time English supergroup consisting of John Lennon, Eric Clapton, Keith Richards and Mitch Mitchell that Lennon put together on 11–12 December 1968 for the Rolling Stones' TV special titled The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus.
The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus is the fifth release of The Rolling Stones music by former manager Allen Klein's ABKCO Records after the band's departure from Decca and Klein. Released in 1996, The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus is a live album that captures the taping of their ill-fated 1968 TV special, which was not broadcast until almost two decades later.
"Waiting on a Friend" is a song by the Rolling Stones from their 1981 album Tattoo You. Released as the album's second single, it reached No. 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart in the US.
"The Last Time" is a song by the English rock band the Rolling Stones, and the band's first single written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. Recorded at RCA Studios in Hollywood, California in January 1965, "The Last Time" was the band's third UK single to reach number one on the UK Singles Chart, spending three weeks at the top in March and early April 1965. It reached number two in the Irish Singles Chart in March 1965.
"It's Only Rock 'n Roll " is the lead single from English rock band the Rolling Stones' 1974 album It's Only Rock 'n Roll. Writing is credited to Mick Jagger and Keith Richards and the single reached the top ten in the UK charts and top 20 in the United States.
The Rolling Stones' 1969 Tour of the United States took place in November 1969. Rock critic Robert Christgau called it "history's first mythic rock and roll tour", while rock critic Dave Marsh would write that the tour was "part of rock and roll legend" and one of the "benchmarks of an era."
"Little T&A" is the fourth song on rock and roll band The Rolling Stones' 1981 album Tattoo You. The song is sung by guitarist Keith Richards.
Jagger/Richards is the songwriting partnership of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, a musical collaboration whose output has produced the majority of the catalogue of the Rolling Stones. They are one of the most successful songwriting partnerships in history. In addition to Jagger and Richards's songwriting partnership, they have also produced or co-produced numerous Rolling Stones albums under the pseudonym The Glimmer Twins.
"All Down the Line" is a song by rock band the Rolling Stones, which is included on their 1972 album Exile on Main St.. Although at one point slated to be the lead single from the album, it was ultimately released as a single as the B-side of "Happy."
"Parachute Woman" is a song by the Rolling Stones featured on their 1968 album Beggars Banquet.
Bridges to Babylon Tour '97–98 by the Rolling Stones is a concert DVD released in December 1998. It was filmed in the TWA Dome in St. Louis, Missouri on 12 December 1997 during the Bridges to Babylon Tour 1997–1998. Featuring performances by Dave Matthews and Joshua Redman.
The Stones in the Park was a free outdoor festival held in Hyde Park on 5 July 1969, headlined by The Rolling Stones and featuring Third Ear Band, King Crimson, Screw, Alexis Korner's New Church, Family and The Battered Ornaments, in front of a crowd estimated at between 250,000 and 500,000 fans.