The Rolling Stones: Rare And Unseen is a pretty interesting collection of various footage shot over the past 45 years. As the title implies, most of this material is pretty rare. There are a few fairly lengthy interviews, with Mick Jagger and Bill Wyman in particular. But most of the one-hour DVD comes from news programs. If there is one thing The Rolling Stones have always excelled at, it is making news.
Some of the most riveting imagery comes during the aftermath of a 1964 concert riot. The well-scrubbed crowd have absolutely lost their minds, literally tearing the theatre apart because The Stones have gotten them so excited. There is a fair amount of ephemera devoted to the member’s various drug busts as well. One of the funniest of these segments is when some BBC crew follows the waiters of a five-star London restaurant as they deliver Mick and Keith’s gourmet lunches to them in jail.
Another highlight is the infamous Beggar’s Banquet food-fight, probably Brian Jones’ last great moment as a Rolling Stone. A later clip concerns Charlie Watts, and his favorite record store. For the 40th anniversary of Ray’s Jazz Records, Charlie showed up to help celebrate. One of the more telling moments was when he and Ray went into the basement to look at the drum set Charlie used to borrow for club gigs. It remains completely battered.
Rare And Unseen is not officially authorized by the band, so there is no music at all on the DVD. Everything the editors have collected is in the public domain. But as a fairly big Stones fan, I can vouch for the fact that most of the material really is pretty rare. Most of it is in surprisingly good condition as well.
I recommend The Rolling Stones: Rare And Unseen to fans like myself who just can’t get enough of the band, even without the music. Oh, and Keith’s comments at the 2008 premiere of Shine A Light show that he remains the funniest member of the group by a long shot.