The Rock and Roll Circus

Here’s an example of muscle memory. I lived in Southern California for a little more than 35 years. Up until mid-1998, my TV came from Los Angeles, where CBS is on channel 2. So last night, after a few or so beers, I put the TV on to watch a Letterman rerun before calling it a night. What remote button does my beer-soaked finger automatically push? You guessed it.

Here in Mee-yami, the CBS affiliate is channel 4 or 6 or something; I’m not sure. Anyway, my point is that channel 2 here is the local PBS station. And when I hit that channel last night, I saw a clip of Mick Jagger and John Lennon talking. I squinted at the screen and sort of cocked my head, like, “What the hell is going on here?”

Turned out this is PBS fundraiser week and they were airing “The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus.” Unfortunately, I had missed about half of the program – Mick and John’s conversation was the introduction to Lennon and the Dirty Mac doing “Yer Blues.” After that, I saw “Whole Lotta Yoko,” then a few Stones performances.

I gotta admit that I have never seen the entire “Rock and Roll Circus” show. I was bummed about missing Marianne Faithful, especially since even the PBS guy was raving about her. I also understand that Tony Iommi’s performance with Jethro Tull is notable as part of his very short time with that band before moving on to other things.

The history behind “The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus” is well known, so I probably don’t need to get into it here. The Wiki entry is pretty concise if you need some quick background.

In the Magic City, “Rock and Roll Circus” airs again Dec. 10 at midnight. The rest of you, check your local PBS schedules. And maybe send ‘em a few bucks if you can.

Something Better.mp3 - Marianne Faithful
Yer Blues.mp3 - John Lennon and the Dirty Mac
Salt of the Earth.mp3 - Rolling Stones

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