Rock 'n' Roll Circus at Regal Cinemas Oct. 11
brianinatlanta2001 at yahoo.com
Thu Sep 16 05:58:04 CDT 2004
Stones' 'Circus' DVD Getting Big Top Promo
By Chris Morris
LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - No moss is
gathering on Abkco Records' promotion of its "The
Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus" DVD, due Oct. 12.
On the evening of Oct. 11, the label will mount rare
theatrical showings of the little-seen 1968 feature,
which stars the Rolling Stones and other '60s rock
luminaries, on more than 50 Regal Entertainment
screens across the country. Classic rock stations in
each market will be involved with on-air ticket
"Rock and Roll Circus" was long one of the most
elusive of rock artifacts. Shot Dec. 11-12, 1968, and
planned as a BBC-TV special and theatrical release,
the 65-minute picture mated the aerialists,
fire-eaters and acrobats of Robert Fosset's Circus
with the day's top rock talent.
Highlights include the Who blasting through the
mini-opera "A Quick One While He's Away" and John
Lennon -- backed by an ad hoc supergroup that included
Eric Clapton, the Stones' Keith Richards (on bass) and
Jimi Hendrix Experience drummer Mitch Mitchell --
making his first solo flight outside the Beatles. Yoko
Ono, Jethro Tull, Taj Mahal and Marianne Faithfull
rounded out the lineup.
The Stones headlined, playing a six-song set that
climaxed with singer Mick Jagger writhing like a man
possessed through "Sympathy For the Devil." But the
band, exhausted by the daylong shoot, was unhappy with
Abkco senior vp Iris Keitel says, "The Stones and
(then-manager and Abkco owner) Allen Klein thought
that, because they came on so late, the performances
weren't up to par." There were competitive issues as
well, she adds: "The Who had just come off the road,
and they really kicked ass."
Thus, "Rock and Roll Circus" remained in the vaults
for nearly three decades. However, in 1996, the
feature was screened at the New York Film Festival to
coincide with its first videocassette release.
"It sold out really fast," Keitel recalls. "It was a
great experience, seeing it on a big screen."
Rock-friendly Regal Entertainment, which owns the
Regal, Edwards and United Artists chains, hopes to
replicate that experience nationwide on Oct. 11. The
company has done similar one-night promotions of DVDs
from Elvis Presley, the Who, Godsmack and matchbox
twenty, among others.
"These shows are really historical events," says Regal
vp business development Dan Diamond. "This is the
classic rock fan's dream come true."
Regal's sister company AEG Live has lined up radio
partners in the Infinity Broadcasting chain for the
Stones event. AEG executive vp business development
Tommy Nast says, "It's the right radio stations for
the right artists."
The day after the big-screen promotion, "Rock and Roll
Circus" will hit stores, remastered in 5.1 surround
sound, with additional footage; new commentaries by
Jagger, Richards, Ono, director Michael Lindsay-Hogg,
ex-Stones bassist Bill Wyman, and others; and a film
interview with the Who's Pete Townshend.
Keitel says, "It's an important piece of history, and
it's something not just for us older folks. Younger
folks should see it, to see what the times were, and
to see what was possible."
-Brian in Atlanta
The Who This Month!
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