Thursday, December 27, 2012

Charlie Is My Darling

What strikes me most about this previously never-before-seen road movie is how crazy the kids were in Dublin when the Stones came to town (Satisfaction had just hit No.1 on the charts in 1965). There's an insane stage-rush scene, where fans tried to make physical contact with the band and wreck total havoc, which still looks mindblowing even today. There are short but mesmerizing performances of The Last Time, Time Is On My Side, Chuck Berry's Around & Around, Satisfaction. Even as a relatively young (and innocent looking) band at that time, in particular Mick Jagger, Brian Jones and Bill Wyman were quite articulate in their interviews to the camera, and didn't come off as a bunch of drugged-out punks only looking to get rich. The approach of the film follows Bob Dylan's Don't Look Back, also of the same era, cinema verite style. It's certainly not the best Stones film; Gimme Shelter and Cocksucker Blues were more affecting, but Charlie is another important treasure that simply needs to be seen to be believed, not only because there is so little existing live and backstage footage of them from the '60s, but it's essentially also a rare glimpse of an already great band on the road to further greatness. After this, the sex and the drugs and lots of other shit got in the way, though that didn't stop them from their rise to the top. Big thanks to Andrew Loog Oldham for finally releasing this. And what better timing than on their 50th Anniversary!