On October 14th, 1996 the historical TV Film was finally out for the public to watch
Why was the amazing “The Rolling Stones Rock And Roll Circus” only released 28 years later after it was filmed
One of Rock’s finest moments, the TV special “The Rolling Stones Rock And Roll Circus” was projected by The Rolling Stones to be a blend of Rock music and Circus acts and as a promotion for their album “Beggars Banquet”, it was directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg (who later directed The Beatles “Let It Be” and filmed on December 11th, 1968. The show featured a parade of Rock royalty, including names such as The Who, John Lennon, Marianne Faithful, Eric Clapton, Jethro Tull, The Rolling Stones themselves performing several songs from their latest album “Beggars Banquet” and even a extraordinary supergroup created for the event, The Dirty Mac, consisting of John Lennon, Eric Clapton, Keith Richards and Mitch Mitchell .Yoko Ono and violinist Ivry Gitlis are featured on their second song, a jam called “Whole Lotta Yoko”. However, despite all these fine features, the show end up being shelved and never broadcast. Only in 1996, 28 years later, The Rolling Stones finally released the footage from it, the official story is that the band wasn’t pleased the final result of it, but by watching it, we cannot really understand what was that they were not pleased about, their performance it’s fantastic, and although this was the last time Brian Jones would play live with the band and despite being obviously under the influence, he still does some great guitar playing, specially the slide guitar on “No Expectations”; “Sympathy For The Devil” performance it’s one of the best caught in tape, but there are rumors that for the majority of the show Jones guitar sound was cut off, except for “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” and the mentioned “No Expectations and “Sympathy For The Devil” , the later had two takes, one remaining unreleased which is the one featuring Jones on main guitar. So what was wrong? The rumor is that The Stones weren’t very pleased, not with the final results of the show, but, with The Who’s performance, that they thought had stolen the spotlight from them. The Who performed a fantastic version of “A Quick One While He’s Away” and was indeed one of the highest moments of the show just like The Dirty Mac who performed a stunning version of The Beatles “Yer’Blues” with John Lennon on vocals and rhythm guitar, Mitch Mitchell from The Jimi Hendrix Experience on the drums, Keith Richards on bass guitar and Eric Clapton on guitar. On a curiosity note, future Rock royalty, back then an unknown name, the guitarist Tony Iommi, Black Sabbath’s founding member, also starred on the show as the Jethro Tull’s guitar player, where he stayed during two weeks in 1968 before returning to Black Sabbath. Whatever the reason was, it’s wonderful that on October 14th, 1996 the show was finally released for everyone to enjoy.
Watch the official trailer of “The Rolling Stones Rock And Roll Circus”
Watch a clip from the show featuring The Rolling Stones performing “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”
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