Filming for The Rolling Stone’s Rock N’ Roll Circus began, 49 years ago

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The Rolling Stones Rock N’ Roll Circus documentary film featuring some of the biggest bands in Britain began filming on December 11, 1968.

Along with The Rolling Stones, the event featured the likes of The Who, Marianne Faithful, Taj Mahal, and Jethro Tull. The Circus also featured the one time super group known as the Dirty Mac. The group featured John Lennon, Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, and Mitch Mitchell.

The idea for the special came when Mick Jagger was looking for a new way to promote The Rolling Stones new album “Beggars Banquet.” Jagger paired with director Michael Lindsay-Hogg to create a circus themed television event. The event would begin with all the performers coming out at once and Mick Jagger would come out as a ring master and introduced everything to the crowd.

Each band would perform for the first half of the event with The Rolling Stones performing for the last half. Highlights of the first half included Tony lommi’s only appearance with Jethro Tull and the short but historic set of The Dirty Mac. The group performed two songs with “Yer Blues” and “Whole Lotta Yoko.” Yoko One did make her way into the performance and added her own screaming vocals.

The Rolling Stones performed for the last half of the show. The filming took over 15 hours and you could tell the band was rather exhausted. The performance would be noted for this being Brian Jones last performance with The Stones. Brian would be fired from the band six months later and then passed away a month after.

The band played a six song set and for whatever reason, hated their performance. The band was so disappointed they didn’t release the recording for another 28 years. Despite the Stones initial disappointment, the recording would receive critical acclaim. The circus would become a huge moment in Rock N’ Roll and would be one of the last times some of the biggest names in London came together,

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Jimi Hendrix played his last live concert, 47 years ago today

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At the Open Air Love and Peace Festival in Fehmarn, Germany, Jimi Hendrix gave his final concert on this day, 47 years ago. The Jimi Hendrix Experience looked different from a couple years ago with their new lineup. Jimi Hendrix was of course on vocals and guitar, Mitch Mitchell stayed on drums, and the newly appointed Billy Cox was on bass. All of this however would not stop the band from giving a great performance.

The band was originally supposed to play the night before but got pushed back a day because of rain. Hendrix said on the event,”I’ll play tomorrow. Tomorrow at noon. I don’t have to, but I want to. The fans are out there in the dirt, I have to play for them. They came because of me. Otherwise I would have a bad conscience.” The band was also about to play a concert for the sixth night in a row. Two of the six concerts included headlining the Isle of Wight Festival and performing in Berlin five days later.

Despite the multiple days of playing in a row, this did not stop the band from playing an electrifying 13 song set. The set opened with a cover of “Killing Floor” which Jimi famously played the night he jammed with Eric Clapton to Clapton’s amazement. The set also included hits like,”Hey Joe,” “All Along The Watchtower,””Purple Haze,” and “Voodoo Child”to close out the night.

The only recording of the event is found on The Jimi Hendrix Experience: Live at the Isle of Fehmarn which was released in 2005. The sound quality of the concert is not great. Concert promoters recorded the concert using two overhead stage microphones into a consumer grade Revox reel-to-reel tape machine that Hendrix did not know about.

There was a rumor circulating that a stage-hand named Rocky was shot in the leg during the concert. The problem was there was no one who worked with Jimi on the road named Rocky. The only credible fact that may make this true is the trouble the Hells Angels caused during the weekend. The concert promoter’s trailer was later burned down which was reportedly caused by the Hells Angels.

Despite all the violence, there was no denying the historical impact of the concert. Though historical for an unfortunate reason, this was not supposed to be the band and Jimi’s last concert. The band was supposed to play in Rotterdam on September 13th but was cancelled when Billy Cox became sick. Jimi was also supposed to play on September 15th at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in Soho with Eric Burdon and War, but that was put off when Jimi was too stoned to perform.

Jimi would end up playing some songs with Burdon the next night which would end up being his final live performance and public appearance. Jimi was shockingly and tragically found dead in his girlfriend’s apartment in London just two days later. Jimi laid down a foundation the World will never forget and inspired a generation like no one else could.

Check out some footage and background on the show below:

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