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Originally filmed in December 1968, "The Rock and Roll Circus" was originally intended to be released as a television special. The special was filmed over two nights and featured not only ... See full summary »
Through concert performances and interviews, this film offers us an "inside look" at this famous rock group, "The Who". It captures their zany craziness and outrageous antics from the initial formation of the group to its major hit "Who Are You", and features the last performance of drummer keith Moon just prior to his death. Written by
Concorde - New Horizons (with permission).
The band's performance on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour (1967) ends with "My Generation" and their trademark wrecking of their equipment - the climax being the explosion of the drum kit. During rehearsal, Keith Moon ("Patent British Exploding Drummer") had persuaded stage hands to load more flash powder into the kit than usual (possibly by bribery) so that when the explosion occurred at the very end of the performance, it was so big that it temporarily blinded the TV cameras and injured the rest of the band. Singer Roger Daltrey was deaf for a long period after the show, Moon was cut on the arm by a cymbal, and guitarist Pete Townshend's hair was singed - he can be seen in the film with smoke coming from his head. Townshend later attributed his partial hearing loss to the incident, though years of extreme on-stage sound levels are probably more to blame. Backstage, other guests of the show were also affected: Bette Davis fainted into Mickey Rooney's arms. See more »
Rick Danko of The Band is listed in the end credits as appearing in the film, even though his segment was deleted from the final print. See more »
If you steer clear of quality, you're alright.
But wouldn't you say a group like The Beatles have a certain musical quality?
Oooh, that's a tough question. Alright, actually, this afternoon, John and I were listening to a stereo LP of The Beatles, in which the voices come out of the one side and the backing track came out of the other. And when you actually hear the backing tracks of The Beatles without their voices, they're flippin' lousy.
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At the end of the opening "Smothers Brothers" clip where The Who demolish their equipment, Keith Moon's bass drum with the Who logo on it explodes, and the very same logo spirals forward to the middle of the screen. Then the words of the title of the film pop up from the bottom of the screen while Pete Townshend smashes Tommy Smothers' acoustic guitar. See more »
This film came out shortly after Who drummer Keith Moon's death and as such, is a hybrid between a tribute to his work with the band and what it was probably originally intended to be, a collection of performances and material showcasing their development through their first quarter-century.
There are some great live performances here: including a smashing live version of the extended Won't Get Fooled Again', stuff from the sixties' German pop show Beat Club, and many more. There are interviews (including the famous one with Russell Harty from the mid-seventies), and other bits and pieces put together. This was always the definitive line-up of the band, when their songs had spirit and their performances were technically accomplished with a touch of humour.
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