Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Movie Review: ***^Gimme Shelter; Altamont Pass Concert 1969 (to mmboe)

I watched this movie on You Tube.  Gimme Shelter is a very disturbing look at the 1969 concert at the Altamont Speedway.  It starts with the showing the summer tour of the Rolling Stones throughout the United States, and ends with the tragic free concert at the Altamont Speedway.  300,000 people crowded the speedway and the surrounding area.  There was not enough parking, not enough restrooms, and there was too much drugging and boozing.  Part of the problem was crowd control.  There was not enough security.  And Hells Angels ended up providing most of the security.  It didn't work.  There were other performers throughout the day.  Jefferson Airplane's lead singer was hit.   Mick Jagger was hit arriving at the concert.  Needless to say it was a mess.

The problems started with the venue had to be changed at the last minute.  As a result fans were allowed to get too close to the stage, and into equipment and on scaffolding.  The concert saw four births and four tragic deaths.  There was a hit-and-run acident in which a vehicle drove over two people who passed away, another person drowned in the canal which was close by.  The fourth was a tragic murder, ruled in self defense, when a young black man, high on meth, pulled a gun and was stabbed by a Hell's Angel.

The concert is from the perspective of the Rolling Stones and shows their reaction to the events.  At the moment of the murder at the concert, they knew their had been a scuffle, but not that any one had died, and went ahead and finished their concert.

A warning about the movie.  It seems some people wore less and less clothing as the concert went on, including topless men and women.

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