Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Gimme Shelter

A radio DJ informs us there were four births and four deaths at the Altamont Speedway in San Francisco, the last of which was an alleged stabbing under investigation, during the closing concert of the Rolling Stones 1969 tour. We then see Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, and Ronnie Wood speechlessly regarding the footage of a Hell's Angels member, hired to do security, mortally attacking an unruly fan. The film then doubles back showing the band in New York booking the gig, setting up for the massive show (and making incredibly shortsighted decisions in the process), and performing in what many see as a nightmarish symbol to the end of the tumultuous 60s and the death of the pathetic counterculture. Brothers Albert and David Maysles' rock doc "Gimme Shelter" is a vivid, uncanny, and terrifying record which was the result of bad decisions, bad drugs, and a general air of bad feelings, all of which is captured along with powerful Stones' performances from throughout the tour.