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Directing the Beatles Was Just One A part of His Long and Winding Profession


“Mick is creative,” he said, “but he’s also extremely practical.”

In 1968, across the time of the discharge of the Rolling Stones album “Beggars Banquet,” Mr. Jagger asked him to direct a TV concert film. A couple of weeks later, Mr. Lindsay-Hogg called Mr. Jagger and said, as he recalled it: “‘I’m going to say seven words to you: “The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus.”’ And he got it. It just sounded right.”

The production, filmed during a grueling one-day shoot on a London soundstage, included performances by the Who, Jethro Tull and a supergroup called the Dirty Mac featuring John Lennon, Eric Clapton and Yoko Ono. The Rolling Stones closed the show. Now considered a classic, the film was shelved until 1996, when it premiered on the Recent York Film Festival.

“In late January ’69, while doing ‘Let It Be,’ I showed a rough cut to Mick, Keith and Allen Klein,” he said, referring to the guitarist Keith Richards and the group’s manager on the time. “When it was over, they thought the Who were great, but didn’t think the Stones were pretty much as good as they could possibly be. Keith said, ‘If it were called “The Who’s Rock and Roll Circus,” I wouldn’t mind.’”

Mr. Lennon’s appearance got here as little surprise. Mr. Lindsay-Hogg had been working with the Beatles since 1966, when he directed promotional movies for “Paperback Author” and “Rain.” Two years later, he was on the helm for the videos for “Revolution” and “Hey Jude.”

In late 1968, Mr. McCartney asked him to direct a television special meant to accompany the album the band was about to record. Mr. Lindsay-Hogg was enthusiastic, but he knew from experience that “4 Beatles could be 4 opinions.”

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