It's been more than 50 years since The Rolling Stones and a host of friends converged at Intertel TV Studio in Wembley to film The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus, the concert film that featured the band alongside friends like The Who, Jethro Tull, The Dirty Mac (a supergroup featuring John Lennon, Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, and Mitch Mitchell). The once-lost documentary has been newly restored and will be screened in select theaters throughout the United States in early April.
Originally directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg, the film was conceived as a BBC-TV special that was part rock concert and part sideshow, with a cavalcade of rock and blues stars, as well as fire-eaters, clowns, and other circus attractions. Rock and Roll Circus featured the original lineup of The Rolling Stones - Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Brian Jones, Charlie Watts, and Bill Wyman - who served as the main music draw and the hosts of the proceedings. Their closing set featured such classics as "Jumping Jack Flash," "Salt of the Earth," "You Can't Always Get What You Want," and an incendiary "Sympathy for the Devil." But The Rolling Stones weren't the only ones firing on all cylinders. Rock and Roll Circus also included The Who, whose performance of their mini-opera "A Quick One, While He's Away" became the stuff of legend, an explosive performance from the band, pre-Tommy. There's also Jethro Tull (in an early lineup with pre-Black Sabbath Tony Iommi on guitar), Marianne Faithfull, Taj Mahal, and the one-time-only Dirty Mac blasting through The Beatles' "Yer Blues."
Though the acts turned out fantastic performances, the special was kept from view for nearly thirty years. It wasn't until its original VHS, LaserDisc, and DVD release 23 years ago that fans could finally see the full performance.
Now, The Rolling Stones and ABKCO have partnered with Screenvision Media to present a newly created 4K restoration of the film, sourced from the original 35mm internegative and boasting an immersive surround sound mix. The restored Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus will be shown in select theaters nationwide on April 1, 3, 4, and 5 in Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos sound, promising the best, most engaging viewing experience possible and "a truly unique and immersive experience that fans won't be able to get anywhere else."
In addition to the film, there have been reports of a 3-LP reissue of the film's soundtrack sometime this spring, due to include previously unreleased recordings. Though the record company has yet to confirm, we'll be sure to cover news of any upcoming physical release relating to The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus. But for now, prepare to immerse yourself in the film on the big screen!
The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus is must-see viewing for rock and roll fans that captures the talented lineup of acts at key points in their careers, delivering their all for the camera. You can purchase your tickets and find a listing of participating theaters at RockAndRollCircusTheFilm.com. Scroll down to check out the new trailer and see a list of the film's scenes.
The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus - Scenes
- David Dalton's introduction/Entry of the Gladiators/Parade/Mick Jagger introduces Rock and Roll Circus
- Mick Jagger introduces Jethro Tull
- Jethro Tull - Song for Jeffrey
- Keith Richards introduces The Who
- The Who - A Quick One, While He's Away
- Interlude: Over the Waves
- Taj Mahal - Ain't That a Lot of Love
- Charlie Watts introduces Marianne Faithfull
- Marianne Faithfull - Something's Better
- Keith Richards introduces Danny Camara/Fire Eater
- Mick Jagger and John Lennon introduce The Dirty Mac
- The Dirty Mac - Yer Blues
- The Dirty Mac with Yoko Ono and Ivry Gitlis - Whole Lotta Yoko
- John Lennon introduces The Rolling Stones
- The Rolling Stones - Jumping Jack Flash
- The Rolling Stones - Parachute Woman
- The Rolling Stones - No Expectations
- The Rolling Stones - You Can't Always Get What You Want
- The Rolling Stones - Sympathy for the Devil
- The Rolling Stones - Salt of the Earth/credits
I wonder if there will be any bonus footage for the cinema? Otherwise, it will be a fairly brief cinema attraction.
Sam Stone says
Hi Mike, thanks for reading! I haven’t heard anything yet about bonus footage. It would be great to see some of the rehearsals or outtakes, for sure! I’ll keep everyone posted if I learn any news about the screening.
Marc Rettus says
The rumor for it’s initial nonrelease was that the performance of The Who was significantly better than the hosts.
Sam Stone says
Their performance is up there with the best of their career! I suspect it will be a thrill to see “A Quick One While He’s Away” in 4K resolution with Dolby Atmos sound.
Marc Rettus says
Thanks for this info! (And to think both bands are touring this year.)
In his book, I think Pete Townshend said the Stones were the last to perform, and, due to delays and problems, it had gotten late, just about everyone was tired. Townshend, though, stated that this wasn't the case with Mick, who *always* gave a good show.
Can't wait to see it!!