The Rolling Stones – Charlie Is My Darling – Ireland 1965
May 12, 2013 § Leave a comment
I worry that I’ve not raised my children to understand love. I, of course, want proof that they do – that they know how to give it, or at least remember its first source, the gooey pulsing womb waters- and wait for them to acknowledge that memory with a phone call on Mother’s Day.
Hello! Me, I’m the mother. And I’m proud of you, like it or not. But I swear I’ll tear your throats out if you haven’t learned love, or better, and perhaps less overwhelming, and here’s the mother giving you a break again, at least human kindness.
Seque to the most stirring documentary I’ve seen since Tiffany Shlain’s “Connected”:
Andrew Loog Oldman’s 1965 film by Peter Whitehead, “Charlie is my Darling- Ireland 1965.”
It’s about the Rolling Stones.
I always thought Mick Jagger was the guy I’d not take home to mother, and probably not the first pick I’d make for a friend to my sons. He’s the genius whose band’s music I’ve adored and, as a sweet dull Southern girl, felt paranoid to emulate. In any way. I mean, my god, drugs and sex and rock and roll? I was a toddling Republican in the sixties and a prig of a good student through the eighties. Then a wife.
And then a mother.
A mother and a woman suddenly, very seriously, respecting Mick Jagger, who chats for the camera in this first documentary film made not as that, exactly, but to acclimate the freshly famous band to being filmed and also to check which of its members the camera loved best.
Spoiler alert! It’s Charlie they claim the camera loved.
Notice almost humorous cameraman misses when he pans off Mick or Keith, not aware that fifty years down the road we’d kill to see nothing but Mick right then, vintage learning-his-act moments, or just Keith’s hands. For a LONG time… jeezus, pan out, give us Mick’s whole body, he’s patenting that stiff leg thing… it’s like filming your baby’s birth and cutting away to the nurse.
But who knew?
At any rate, here’s what the website, www.charlieismydarling.com has to say about the film:
The Rolling Stones Charlie is my Darling – Ireland 1965 was shot on a quick weekend tour of Ireland just weeks after “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” hit # 1 on the charts and became the international anthem for an entire generation. Charlie is my Darling is an intimate, behind-the-scenes diary of life on the road with the young Rolling Stones featuring the first professionally filmed concert performances of the band’s long and storied touring career, documenting the early frenzy of their fans and the riots their live performances incited
Yep. Stampede to the video store, cue up Netflix, whatever. Hurry. No Kidding. It’s that good.
But why promote “Charlie is my Darling” on a woman’s blog on Mother’s Day?
Watch the documentary. My heart went out to Mick. He is freakin’ genuine. And almost evasive of the limelight. Until, as he bluntly states, it’s time for him to become the egomaniacal actor for the audience. From such an at-that-point promising performer, such clarity and understanding. Such humanity.
I was stunned when my own heart raced as I watched the “boys” hang out and sing whatever Keith happened to start playing on his acoustic. In a crummy hotel room in Ireland.
The sheer ineffable talent. The beginning. Of what’s now as much a part of my own brain scape as the Doxology chanted in church and the silver pattern my grandmother left me.
A boy who became bigger than human but apparently, and again I say watch “Charlie is my Darling,” is a simple, compassionate guy. Or at least started out that way- proof’s on film. Mick Jagger. Go figure.
Okay, so if the “spectre” of sex and drugs and rock stars being evil deep down can pop like a zit in the mirror of documentary watching for the cynical likes of me, Grendel’s mother, I feel safe that even my kids, who might overlook Mother’s Day because they’re going about a happy day of their own, and for that I’m glad; I feel safe that they, too, whose lives likely won’t have the fabulous public trajectory and overwhelming pressure Mick’s does, probably learned love and human kindness, too.
But a phone call would be nice. I’ll report back. HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY, all, with love.