The existence of the film “Charlie is My Darling” has been a thing of Rolling Stone’s legend for decades and now after 40 years of sitting on a dusty shelf the documentary is finally being released.
After the success of the Beatle’s “A Hard Day’s Night,” Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham requested that director Peter Whitehead capture footage of the band during a two day, four show appearance in Ireland in the fall of 1965, the result was the film “Charlie is My Darling” which was never officially released.
The film captures the band at a pivotal moment in their career; “Satisfaction” had just reached #1 on the charts but major superstardom still lies in the future for the young musicians. The film features the bands original lineup of Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Bill Wyman, Charlie Watts and Brian Jones, who left the band 4 years later in 1969 and drowned just a few months later.
The plans to restore “Charlie is My Darling” have been the project of filmmakers Mick Gochanour and Robin Klein since the 90’s but it was only recently, with the discovery of previously unknown concert footage and improved technology that their dream became a reality. Much of the surviving footage was in tatters and required labor and time intensive efforts to restore. Several months were required just to repair the many tears, stains and scratches on the 35 reels of film. By the time Gochanour and Klein were finished, some 90,000 individual frames were restored by hand. Even after the film was restored the filmmakers had to tackle the audio portion of the film. Gochanour told CNN that: “There were many issues and challenges we were dealing with, not the least of which was the audio. Since it was not shot as a concert film, there were no logs or documentation.”
The film also features rare and candid interviews with the band right before they were overwhelmed with the burden of fame and notoriety making this a special glimpse into the bands formative years and a historically important addition to their 50 year anniversary festivities.