Originally filmed in December 1968, "The Rock and Roll Circus" was originally intended to be released as a television special. The special was filmed over two nights and featured not only ... See full summary »
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
The concert originally was originally going to be held at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, but the city wouldn't give a permit after hearing that The Rolling Stones would be on the bill and feared a huge crowd. The concert was then moved to Sears Point (now Infineon) Raceway in Sonoma, but after a dispute with the track's owner, the stage and all the sound equipment was moved to Altamont within 24 hours before the concert was to take place. See more »
They told me, if I could sit on the stage so nobody climbed over me, I could drink beer till the show was over.
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I've never seen a concert documentary that concerned itself more with building a feeling of dread and suspense than showing the hits. Even if you don't know the events surrounding Altamont, you get a sense that the end of this concert won't be a rousing finale, but death. I've never seen a stranger concert film, but ultimately it is an unforgettable experience, with an absolutely horrifying capture of a murder in front of the stage.
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