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50 Years Ago: Rolling Stones Fans Riot in Dublin

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The Rolling Stones ended the summer of 1965 with their first No. 1 single just behind them and their new album, Out of Our Heads, also sitting on top of the charts. It was an exciting time for the band to be on tour, in other words — sometimes a little too exciting.

One early example of Stones mania getting out of control occurred on Sept. 3, 1965, during a stop at the Adelphi Theatre in Dublin. The band was making a second pass through Ireland after visiting earlier in the year, and unsurprisingly, as its chart fortunes soared, so did its audience’s enthusiasm — to the point that, as you can see in the above clip, they got out of their heads and rushed the stage, bringing the set to a premature conclusion.

The teen riot occurred during a pivotal moment for the band — and rock in general — when older audiences were still largely trying to make sense of music that one Irish critic, after observing a Stones concert, deemed “chaotic, tuneless and with little or no presentation.” Still, the review was forced to concede that the band provoked a “mob of girls screaming damply,” ample evidence of which is preserved on film.

As luck would have it, the cameras were rolling for a tour documentary, titled Charlie Is My Darling, that premiered at the Mannheim Film Festival the following fall. Legal battles between the band and ABKCO chief Allen Klein eventually scuttled an official release, and the movie sat in the vault for decades before finally making its full-length bow in 2012. As former manager Andrew Loog Oldham told Rolling Stone, the results offer an intriguing look back at a moment that might otherwise have been lost to history.

“I was infatuated by film,” he admitted. “I just wanted to get the Stones in the mood for dealing with the film business and deciding what we would or would not do. I figured if they’d been filmed for a few days they’d be up for the crap that was to come. It was also a great opportunity to see which of the Stones the camera fancied, and it turned out to be Charlie Watts, hence the title of the movie.”

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