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In December of 1969, four months after Woodstock, the Rolling Stones and Jefferson Airplane gave a free concert in Northern California, east of Oakland at Altamont Speedway. About 300,000 people came, and the organizers put Hell's Angels in charge of security around the stage. Armed with pool cues and knifes, Angels spent the concert beating up spectators, killing at least one. The film intercuts performances, violence, Grace Slick and Mick Jagger's attempts to cool things down, close-ups of young listeners (dancing, drugged, or suffering Angel shock), and a look at the Stones later as they watch concert footage and reflect on what happened. Written by
Michael Lang, who was one of the promoters responsible for Woodstock, was also one of the promoters for Altamont. He is seen being interviewed about the building of the stage, as well as onstage during the concert. See more »
You don't hassle with anybody in particular. You gotta keep your bodies off each other unless you intend love. People get weird, and you need people like the Angels to keep people in line. But the Angels also - you know, you don't bust people in the head for nothing. So both sides are fucking up temporarily; let's not keep FUCKING UP!
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There's sort of two documentaries here: one shows the actual concert in Altamont, and the other shows the Rolling Stones watching the footage to see where everything went wrong. In the concert part, one can easily tell that all the peace and love inherent in Woodstock was unfortunately not to be here; in the review part, one can see that the Stones are stoned.
Yes, I guess that we have to admit that the '60s were great while they lasted, but this was unfortunately the end (no doubt the whole Manson thing also contributed). But either way, it's a great documentary. I suspect that the Stones got satisfaction by working on it.
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