Ladies and Gentlemen: The Rolling Stones
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|Ladies and Gentlemen: The Rolling Stones|
|Directed by||Rollin Binzer|
|Produced by||Rollin Binzer, Marshall Chess|
|Starring||The Rolling Stones|
|Music by||The Rolling Stones|
|Cinematography||Steve Gebhardt, Bob Freeze|
|Edited by||Laura Lesser, Barbara Palmer|
|Distributed by||Dragonaire Ltd.|
Ladies and Gentlemen: The Rolling Stones is a concert movie featuring the British rock band The Rolling Stones that was first released in 1974. Directed by Rollin Binzer and produced by Binzer and Marshall Chess, it was filmed in 16mm by Bob Freeze and Steve Gebhardt of Butterfly Films (which was owned by John Lennon) during four shows in Fort Worth and Houston, Texas from the band's 1972 North American Tour in support of their classic 1972 album Exile on Main St.
The film was blown up to 35 mm with a "fluid gate" process for theatrical release. The concerts were recorded in 32 tracks and the soundtrack was mixed in Twickenham Studios in England. In its initial U.S. theatrical run it was released in "Quadrasound" which was a variation of the four-track magnetic sound format. Instead of the usual right, centre, left and single surround tracks, Quadrasound fed right and left screen speakers and right and left (split surround) speakers. The objective of the quadraphonic sound recording was to transform the 650 seat motion picture theatre auditorium into the auditory phenomenon of a 10,000 seat rock 'n roll arena. The film began before most audience members even realized it: a black screen and quadraphonic audience noise fooled theatergoers into accepting the recorded ambience as coming from their own venue, intensifying the aural intimacy when the Stones began to play.
The film was sold by The Rolling Stones as a tax-incentive based venture capital investment. Nine investment groups competed to acquire the film and the winning group formed Dragonaire Ltd., a one-film distribution company that was formed to "four-wall" the film throughout the United States. In accordance with the Rolling Stones' contractual requirements, Dragonaire Ltd. proceeded to rent theatres on a "four-wall" basis for limited engagements in major markets (commencing at the Ziegfeld Theatre in New York City on 15 April 1974) and sell tickets not only at the theatre but also through concert ticket vendors such as Ticketron for the limited engagements. The objective here was to create a limited access single venue event that fans could access from any ticket seller in town.
The Quadraphonic presentation of Ladies and Gentlemen... required a 44 JBL driver sound system (four systems were built and used by Dragonaire in its road show performances of the film). Each sound system was capable of generating 3300 Watts RMS, and was transported to each venue in a 14 ft. bed truck. Played at 100 dbA in evening and midnight performances, the sound track had to be mixed by a sound engineer based on the number of people in the audience in order to achieve optimal clarity. Sound engineers accompanied the road show presentations.
The film was played in limited road show engagements during which advertising was stopped (want ads were used after the first two markets) because the word of mouth for the film increased attendance every day throughout the run. Limited engagements were conducted in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Houston, Chicago, Miami, and Los Angeles before the picture was sold to Plitt Theatres which released the film in a "flat" screen monaural version.
2010 theatrical re-release
Prior to 2010, after initial showings in 1974 the movie was only commercially available in the early 1980s in Australia on VHS by Video Classics, of which bootleg copies had since been circulated. The Rolling Stones re-claimed the film from No Moss Partners, the original investment limited partnership in the late 1990s, and held off from re-releasing it until 2010. On 16 September 2010, a digital re-mastered version of Ladies and Gentlemen: The Rolling Stones was shown in select theaters in the United States, presented by Omniverse Vision, Eagle Rock Entertainment and NCM Fathom. Re-mastered in HD digital, the film also features an introduction by Mick Jagger, interviewed in summer 2010 at the London Dorchester Hotel. This segment features Jagger reflecting on memories of the tour during this legendary time, and the status of The Rolling Stones. This film was released at selected Showcase Cinemas in UK the following day, on Friday 17 September 2010. On 12 October 2010, it was issued on DVD and Blu-ray. Supplements to the concert footage includes tour rehearsal footage from the Montreux Jazz Festival, a 1972 Old Grey Whistle Test interview with Mick Jagger, and a 2010 interview with Mick Jagger. During the performance, Styrofoam Frisbee-like discs with the Stones 'Tongue' emblem were thrown out into the audience to add to the excitement and enhance the realism as if you were actually attending the concert.
The tracks in the film followed the running order of a typical setlist of the 1972 tour, with no original dating earlier than 1968. "Dead Flowers" was played at one of the filmed shows in Fort Worth but only occasionally elsewhere on the tour and "Rocks Off," played at all of the 1972 tour shows was notably absent from the film. All songs written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, except for "Love in Vain" by Robert Johnson, and "Bye Bye Johnny" by Chuck Berry.
- Mick Jagger – vocals, harmonica on "Midnight Rambler" and "Sweet Virginia"
- Keith Richards – Rhythm guitar, lead on "Bitch" and "Bye Bye Johnny", acoustic on "Sweet Virginia, lead vocals on "Happy", backing vocals
- Mick Taylor – Lead guitar, slide on "Love In Vain" and "All Down The Line", rhythm on "Bitch" and "Bye Bye Johnny", acoustic on "Sweet Virginia"
- Bill Wyman – bass guitar
- Charlie Watts – drums
- Nicky Hopkins – piano
- Bobby Keys – saxophones
- Jim Price – trumpet, trombone
- Ian Stewart – piano on "Bye Bye Johnny"
|Australian Music DVDs Chart||8|
|Austrian Music DVDs Chart||2|
|Belgian (Flanders) Music DVDs Chart||3|
|Belgian (Wallonia) Music DVDs Chart||2|
|Danish Music DVDs Chart||2|
|Dutch Music DVDs Chart||6|
|Finnish Music DVDs Chart||2|
|German Albums Chart||20|
|Italian Music DVDs Chart||4|
|New Zealand Music DVDs Chart||4|
|Swedish DVDs Chart||1|
|Swiss Music DVDs Chart||1|
|UK Music Videos Chart||1|
|US Music Video Sales||1|
|Canada (Music Canada)||2× Platinum||20,000^|
|New Zealand (RMNZ)||Gold||2,500x|
|United States (RIAA)||Platinum||100,000^|
^shipments figures based on certification alone
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