When three hundred thousand members of the Love Generation collided with a few dozen Hells Angels at San Francisco's Altamont Speedway, the bloody slash that transformed a decade's dreams into disillusionment was immortalized on this film.
A documentary on the Rolling Stones' 1969 US tour and the tragic events that concluded it. We see footage of their concerts and of them making the Sticky Fingers album in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. However, the main focus of the film is on one concert - Altamont Speedway, outside San Francisco, 6 December 1969. A free concert, it is the Stones' idea and it was meant to be the Woodstock of the West (Woodstock having occurred four months earlier). Other bands performing included Jefferson Airplane, The Flying Burrito Brothers, Ike and Tina Turner, Crosby Stills Nash and Young and Santana. However, it is far from being the peace and love of Woodstock. Part of the problem is that the Stones hired the Hells Angels as security. The other problem was that a large portion of the crowd were high on drugs. Friction ensues. During the Stones' set, Meredith Hunter, high on methamphetamine and armed with a gun, makes a lunge for the stage and is stabbed to death by the Hells Angels. The peace and ...Written by
When the Stones were recording at Muscle Shoals, they did it pretty much in secret due to the fact that they didn't have the proper work visas to allow them to do any any recording in the United States. See more »
Baby, I'll even buy you anything you want, anything you want me to buy.
But you got what I want.
But you got what I want.
And you got what I need.
And, baby, you, you got what I need.
And I want you to give it to me.
And I want you to, I want you to give it to me. If you just, just stay with me and make me stay here. Oh, baby! Oh, oh, baby. Oh, wee! Baby. Oh, just - sock it. Sock it! Sock it to me, baby! Oh!
See more »
Re-released in 1992 with some uncensored dialog and some more brief nudity; this version is rated R. See more »
When you see this movie you really understand how sanitised, safe and corporate the music scene is today.
The Stones were possibly the biggest band in the world at the time, so by today's standards it seems unbelievable they'd put on a free concert where the venue was changed at the last minute, the set was still being constructed as the 300,000 very fried looking hippies turned up, and there was no security for their satanic majesties except for the San Francisco Hell's Angels who were paid in beer and brought along pool cues with lead weights at the end for added security - as well as the standard knives and baseball bats. And they weren't afraid to use them, even on the bands, especially Jefferson Airplane's Marty Balin.
Throw in some of the original Satanic rock band's finest sinister creations and you get the real deal, not some pantomime metal/goth horror facsimile. At the time many people really did believe that they could change the world and looked to bands like the Stones as leaders of the counterculture, and you really get the impression things like this mattered a hell of a lot more, but after Altamont, well...
Nevertheless, the version of Under My Thumb that Jagger delivers as he's watching the terrible action unfold in front of him is, for whatever reason, devastatingly understated and desperate, compared to all the OTT cavorting earlier in the set. But it's the genuine craziness of the 'fans' that makes this film seem like it was shot on another planet. Gimme Shelter is the most rock'n'roll film ever made, for all the right and wrong reasons.
34 of 38 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this