“The Beatles were so big that it’s hard for people not alive at the time to realise just how big they were.” – Mick Jagger
We set the Far Out time machine back to 1965 as a very bored Rolling Stones attempt to cull some free time with an impromptu version of The Beatles song ‘Eight Days a Week’. It shows that despite what you may have read in the past – and continue to read today – The Stones and The Beatles weren’t all that dissimilar.
A lot has been said and written about The Rolling Stones and The Beatles’ rivalry during their 1960s heydey. While publicly each band refused to be drawn into any frivolous comparisons, they still found themselves taking up column inches with salacious rumours of their impending pop showdown.
In the end, of course, The Beatles wouldn’t see much of the next decade at all and The Rolling Stones, bar a few personnel changes, would keep on rocking and selling out stadiums, seemingly forever. But something that The Stones knew back then – and certainly knows now – is that while there may have been some jealousy floating around, one has to admit that John Lennon and Paul McCartney knew how to write a song.
It’s meant that over the years, the groups have even shared the odd tune here and there. But still, looking back on this vintage footage, it is hard not to feel anything but a pang of excitement. The footage was shot during the Stones’ second tour of Ireland and captured as part of the first documentary film about the band. Produced by their manager Andrew Loog Oldham and entitled Charlie Is My Darling, the film was a part of a larger marketing plan for Mick Jagger and the band.
Despite the movie being given its premiere at the Mannheim Film Festival in 1966, it was never handed an official release as the Stones ended up in a bitter legal battle with businessman and music publisher Allen Klein. It was always going to be an uphill struggle from there and would start a trend that would sadly last a lot of the band’s career.
A mysterious and unsolved burglary at manager Oldham’s house resulted in the only tapes of the documentary being stolen. Some 50 years later, however, newly restored versions of the film were released by Klein’s ABKCO Records, the company which owned the rights to all older Stones material and was released into the wild to be devoured by fans like us.
The 64-minute documentary, directed by Peter Whitehead and Michael Gochanour, follows the band from their car trip out of London to Heathrow Airport and then on to Dublin, where they would play to huge crowds.
Behind the scenes of one of those shows, we’re treated to an unplanned rendition of The Beatles song by a very young Mick Jagger who sings along with a wry smile while Keith Richards strums on the guitar.
See the clip, below.