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The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus (1996)

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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 »

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Himself - Jethro Tull
Glenn Cornick ...
Himself - Jethro Tull
Clive Bunker ...
Himself - Jethro Tull
Tony Iommi ...
Himself - Jethro Tull
Himself - The Who
Himself - The Who
Himself - The Who
Himself - The Who
Taj Mahal ...
Jesse Ed Davis ...
Himself - Taj Mahal's Guitarist
Gary Gilmore ...
Himself - Taj Mahal's Bassist
Chuck Blackwell ...
Himself - Taj Mahal's Drummer
Himself - The Dirty Mac
Himself - The Dirty Mac


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 the Rolling Stones but The Who, Jethro Tull (with future Black Sabbath guitarist Tommy Iommi filling in for the recently departed Mick Abrahams), Marianne Faithful and an all-star jam featuring John Lennon, Eric Clapton, Keith Richards and Mitch Micthell. Sadly, this also marked the final appearance of the Stones founder and original guiding light, Brian Jones, who would be dead within six months after filming the special. Written by Brian Washington <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


For a brief moment, it seemed Rock & Roll would INHERIT THE EARTH.


Documentary | Music





Release Date:

12 October 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


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Did You Know?


Filmed at a studio in Wembley using an unusual hybrid type of camera, supporting both 16mm film and monochrome video. The idea was that TV production techniques could be used, with the cameramen framing shots on the video camera viewfinders, whilst a vision mixer inter-cut the camera feeds "on the fly", simultaneously controlling the film stop/start mechanisms in the cameras. Output was thus on film and could be easily edited, and prepared for final program sales. However the system was still in development and was unreliable. Equipment problems caused the tight filming schedule to overrun and the Stones finally went on stage in the small hours of the morning, after much delay. See more »


Mick Jagger: You've heard of Oxford Circus, you've heard of Piccadilly Circus, and this is the Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus, and we've got sights and sounds and marvels to delight your eyes and ears, and you'll be able to see the very first one of those in a few moments.
See more »

Crazy Credits

SPECIAL THANKS Everyone's Mum... See more »


Featured in The Kids Are Alright (1979) See more »


Ain't That A Lot Of Love
Written by Willia Dean Parker and Homer Banks
Published by Irving Music, Inc.
Performed by Taj Mahal
See more »

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User Reviews

Getting' Down And Dirty With The Dirty Mac
18 October 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Most people who watch "The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus," a TV program that the Stones put together for the BBC in December '68--but that was never aired--will likely be struck by the same thought: How could this remarkable show fail to have been shown back when? The program turns out to be a godsend for fans of '60s rock, featuring as it does not only "The World's Greatest Rock 'n' Roll Band," but also Jethro Tull, The Who, Marianne Faithful, Taj Mahal and a band called Dirty Mac, interspersed, under the big top, with some amusing circus acts, and observed by a small but enthusiastic audience in whimsical regalia. All the performers are in top form here, but the highlights for me were Jethro Tull, here with future Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi filling in for the recently departed Mick Abrahams, and the two songs performed by the Dirty Mac. This was a one-shot supergroup consisting of Mitch Mitchell on drums and Eric Clapton, Keith Richards and John Lennon on guitars! The version of the Fab Four's "Yer Blues" that they dish out here is just awesome, and when Yoko Ono hits the stage to caterwaul on the instrumental blues romp "Whole Lotta Yoko"...well, just hold on to your eardrums! This program, fittingly, belongs to the Stones, however, and the six tunes that the boys give us are just terrific, especially that "Sympathy for the Devil," during which Mick Jagger gets to prove again that he really is rock's best frontman. Whotta high-energy display; no wonder John Lennon can be seen boogying his pies off in the audience! Bottom line: If you're a fan of any of the artists mentioned above, this DVD is for you!

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