NEW YORK – Fans celebrating the Rolling Stones’ 50th anniversary get a never-before-seen look at the band on tour in 1965 with a new film revealing the young musicians chased by crazed fans, poking fun at musical rivals and playing raw versions of songs that would become legend.
“The Rolling Stones Charlie is my Darling – Ireland 1965,” premiered at the New York Film Festival held this week, featuring painstakingly restored footage from a hand-held camera of the band’s two-day journey to Belfast and Dublin.
Shot in the wake of the release of “A Hard Day’s Night” with its close-up look at the Beatles, the filming was an effort to get the Rolling Stones used to being followed around by a camera, said producer Robin Klein. It was shot by filmmaker Peter Whitehead.
“They didn’t know what they were going to do with it at the time,” she told reporters at the festival, which like the Stones is also celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. “It was just to have them in front of the camera.”
While edgier and darker than many of their musical contemporaries, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Brian Jones, Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts nevertheless exude a youthfulness and affability as they cavort for the camera.
But their sophistication shines through, particularly in Jagger’s comments pondering the band’s success and the politics of the era. Also on display is the Stones’ sexual power, as the notorious front man seduces audiences into such a frenzy that the band is chased off stage in Belfast by excited fans.
The tour took place just weeks after “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” hit the top of the musical charts.
Behind the scenes, the film shows Jagger and Richards playfully singing the Beatles’ tunes “I’ve Just Seen a Face” and “Eight Days A Week” and imitating Elvis Presley crooning “Are You Lonesome Tonight.”
“Charlie” features more than 90,000 hand-restored individual frames, and more than half of it has not been seen publicly before, said director Mick Gochanour.
Two earlier and shorter versions were made from the footage in the 1960s but never formally released, although they made their way into the bootleg market, said film publicist Tracey Jordan.
“Charlie is my Darling,” will be released in DVD and Blu-ray formats as part of a box set on sale worldwide on Nov. 6.