A promo copy of this DVD came into our office a month or so ago. I eventually bogarted it for look see. It was shot originally on 16mm by Rollin Binzer during a four-night stretch in Fort Worth and Houston in 1972 when the Stones were touring in support of their album Exile on Main Street.
Earlier this year, there was a DVD on the making of that underated Stones album that I blogged about here. After being transferred to 35mm Ladies & Gentlemen: The Rolling Stones received a limited theatrical release in 1974 using the then revolutionary Quadraphonic sound system.
As far as concert films go, it isn’t the most dynamic. The technology back then was pretty limited so it was a huge challenge to be able to capture the overall concert experience. Only near the end do you get a sense of the audience. Otherwise, the camera remains focussed pretty much on Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.
The film blends cuts from all four concerts. Musically, it’s relatively seamless. But because the band didn’t wear the same clothes every night, it’s a little jarring to see them dressed in a certain way for one song, then there’s a switch in camera angles and Mick and the boys are dressed differently.
Still, Binzer did a great job of capturing the raw energy of the Stones’ performance and the blues-based album that they were then showcasing. Featured also on the DVD is an interview with Jagger reflecting back on the tour. To close, here’s footage of them doing “Happy”.