LONDON (CelebrityAccess) — The 50th anniversary of the filming of the Rolling Stones Rock & Roll Circus will be marked with a special, invitation-only screening at London’s Dolby Screening Room on Tuesday, December 11.
The Rock & Roll Circus, an extraordinary concert organized in 1968 by the Stones, was filmed on a makeshift circus stage and featured rock legends 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, which also featured Eric Clapton, Mitch Mitchell, and Keith Richards.
The performance was originally intended to be broadcast on the BBC, but that was canceled after the Stones seemingly got cold feet. At the time, they attributed their reluctance to broadcast the show due to a poor performance after being awake (and maybe intoxicated) for 15 hours before they took the stage, with some observers noting that the Stones appear to have been upstaged by the Who, who had just concluded a successful tour.
The show was also the final appearance with the Stones for Brian Jones, who would die by accidental drowning several months after the filming of the Circus, while the film was being edited.
Whatever the reason, the concert was never broadcast and became the stuff of legends.
The 50th Anniversary edition of Rock and Roll Circus was produced by ABKCO’s Robin Klein and Mick Gochanour, the Grammy award-winning team behind Sam Cooke: Legend and (The Rolling Stones) Charlie Is My Darling – Ireland 1965. Gochanour noted, “Watching it in widescreen is like seeing a whole new film at times with amazing intimacy and detail.”
In conjunction with its 50th anniversary, ABKCO will release an expanded edition of The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus in Spring 2019. It will be the first concert film to be presented in both Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos sound. The film’s 4K restoration was sourced from the 35mm internegative and, for the first time, presented in widescreen format (16:9 for home and 1:85 for theatrical showings supervised by original cinematographer Tony Richmond).
“Michael Lindsay-Hogg . . . is a very creative guy,” noted Mick Jagger with some ellipses. “We came up with this idea and the whole idea, obviously, is to make it a mixture of different music acts and circus acts, taking it out of the normal and making it slightly surreal . . . mixing the two up. And also we wanted as many different kinds of music as possible. So that’s why we thought about who would be the best kind of supporting acts.”