"Gimme Shelter" Stones Doc...reflections on symbolism

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by djalt, Jul 1, 2015.

  1. djalt

    djalt Tele-Holic

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    Hey guys. Dark moment here. Just finished watching this for the first time ever. Some here may have even attended the Speedway on the day.

    Am I alone or was this documentary deeply disturbing on a few levels to you too?
     
  2. Paul in Colorado

    Paul in Colorado Telefied Ad Free Member

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    It's a mix of things. I was at Altamont. I didn't stay for the Stones. Things were already too weird for me in my psychic state. As I was leaving people were still coming in and all I could think was that they were lambs for the slaughter.

    That Stones tour was amazing musically, but Altamont was a perfect storm of everything that could go wrong.

    I haven't watched that movie in a long time.
     
  3. christhee68

    christhee68 Friend of Leo's

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    I remember someone comparing Altamont to Woodstock. They said Woodstock was peace and love and Altamont was like the walking dead because the drugs were different or something to that effect. The people were stoned in a bad way; like zombies.
     
  4. Paul in Colorado

    Paul in Colorado Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I'll disagree. It was the same drugs, maybe better. People came with a good vibe. But the environment was wrong. It was a dry dusty hillside with no facilities and a last minute thrown together stage. I won't point fingers as there's enough blame to go around for everyone involved. Someone should have pulled the plug, but the wheels were in motion and there was no way to stop that train.

    Think of having the best day of your life, happily walking down a street, turning a corner and finding yourself in the middle of a brutal murder scene. That was Altamont.
     
  5. djalt

    djalt Tele-Holic

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    That's a similar feeling I got simply watching it. Hmm. It'll take me awhile to process this.
     
  6. teleamp

    teleamp Poster Extraordinaire

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    When you let a rogue biker gang be security at a large event, what can go wrong? Great flic, good music.
     
  7. djalt

    djalt Tele-Holic

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    I guess the point is, watching this changed my viewpoint of the music and the 1969 era. Makes it all more dark and less about chords and tone. Does that make sense?
     
  8. johnb

    johnb Tele-Meister

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    Fortunately there were more good times than bad for music.
    As a whole the '60s and early '70s had many scary moments due to societal change and the unpopular war; race riots, Kent State, just a lot happening.
    We were ripped from our Leave It To Beaver - Ozzie & Harriet cocoons and forced to deal with the realities of the world while jet-fueled by a steady stream of increasingly stronger drugs.
    I loved every crazy minute of it.

    P.S. I didn't take everything offered and I don't endorse the self-medication.
     
  9. Mjark

    Mjark Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Well...Rock festivals were much different back then. I never bought a ticket to any I attended. They were pretty much out of control. But not usually very violent.

    But having Hells Angels as your security staff was a stupid idea.

    I can't imagine what they're like now.
     
  10. Mjark

    Mjark Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Not really. How so? It was just one ugly day out of 365. Not that there weren't many others. There was a lot of social upheaval then, sort of like now, but not.

    Music was more important then than it is now. At least it feels that way to me.
     
  11. djalt

    djalt Tele-Holic

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    I guess watching this made me reflect on the huge shift in culture and music that seemed to explode in 1967. Experimentation with certain chemicals (which were inexplicably suddenly widely available) the promotion of such starting with Monterey Pop and well obviously at the Speedway. There is something larger that was going on, just can't fully nail it down just yet. Like a huge social experiment orchestrated by bigger players.
     
  12. Larry F

    Larry F Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    I had a very strong sense of impending doom around that time. The assassinations coming weeks apart, horror stories told by soldiers returning to my home town (with tips for us on how to survive), and, especially for my town, the Manson murders. Sharon Tate was a local girl, famous for her beauty before even leaving town.

    The music was becoming less vibrant, to me. Bands breaking up, everything starting to go wrong. Weathermen, My Lai, it was becoming hell. And I was just getting good enough to gig a lot. It was bad, from my point of view.
     
  13. bloomz

    bloomz Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

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    delete
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2015
  14. brianswindall

    brianswindall Tele-Afflicted

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    The Stones were always in the thick of it.
     
  15. Coop47

    Coop47 Poster Extraordinaire

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    That's pretty much how I imagine it to be - the feeling that the world is starting to spin off its axis. It's amazing to me how well the song "Gimme Shelter" seems to sum up Altamont even though it was written before it happened.
     
  16. djalt

    djalt Tele-Holic

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    I wasn't initially going to go there LarryF...it seems too cliche to name drop Charlie and say 1969 was a scary time. But since you had the hometown connection that span of 36 months must be indelibly registered on your memory. Would you or any others confirm I'm not being overly "paranoid"? Kenneth Anger making his "films" with no uncertain connection to Crowley. Ken Kesey's Magic bus. Dennis Wilson starts hanging out with CM at Melcher's, Paul hears Pet Sounds and the Fab Four make Sgt. Pepper. Crowley's on the cover. John Phillips and his business ventures set the stage for a certain chemical mass distributed to live music audiences. Kenneth Anger/Bobby Beausoleil are doing their thing...Mick starts delving into the whole "dark side" a little too seriously...then boom! It all ends up with an angel from hell onstage wearing an animal on his head and a guy gets killed in front of them. Mick himself says leading up to the event...,"something always happens when we start into that number..." My 2c...
     
  17. Coach56

    Coach56 One of the Boys

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    A big part of the issue was that the biker clubs in England were still based around the veterans who originally formed them after WWII. Much more tradition on that front. Many bands had used them as security in England to great effect.

    The Hells Angels, CA were a different animal altogether, they already way into the hard drug trade and all the unsavory business that came with it.

    The Stones really did not realize what they had gotten into. That said it was yet another early example of business capitalizing on the musicians and their trade.
     
  18. Hudsonduster

    Hudsonduster RIP Ad Free + Supporter

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    This is the Media paradigm, but the culture was in place & in full operation before Monterey, in both the LA and SF areas. a big population of easygoing kids coalesced around musical events and acted out the hang-loose-get-loaded-enjoy-life thing together, and for a moment we could all believe it. But those events were always organized by someone, whether it be concert events by Chet Helms or Bill Graham with their disparate business styles, or rental sound truck park events held wherever.

    If you really want to find a pivotal moment in this - that spot where the amorphous party-where-you-sit culture got wrapped up in The Staged Event - it wasn't Monterey. While Monterey was the first big coming-out party of AOR Rock (scooped to a lesser extent by the Magic Mountain Music Festival in Marin back that Spring), it was still an elaborate fairgrounds revue. Woodstock was the defining moment. BUT, don't count the Stones down just yet: look at their Rock And Roll Circus film, and you'll see the germ that grew into Altamont. That TV special, never released in its day, was the Stones' attempt to use their fame to create a significant artistic overview of rock music; and even then, they came up short. They weren't ready! Some of their guests, particularly Taj Mahal and mos' definitely The Who (who'd been working five nights a week since ever and could do this opera in their sleep), were upstaging the headliners. They'd conceived an Event, and The Event rolled right over them.

    Sound familiar?

    What was missing at Altamont was a single cohesive vision: the stage had originally been built to sit at the low hill in the Golden Gate Park polo grounds, and was airlifted into that valley when the SF deal fell through. And the British version of the Hells Angels had been used for events over there, so somebody thought it'd be a good idea to have these guys with the same name do the security over here - and so on.

    If I look back on it all, my own life included, I would conclude that We Just Didn't Think Things Through. And, since most of us survived to parse it out today, I would conclude that thing without a whole lot of rueful irony attached.
     
  19. teleamp

    teleamp Poster Extraordinaire

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    I miss the hippie camps of the 60's....
     
  20. harlycarly

    harlycarly Tele-Afflicted

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    To blame the entire disaster on the Hells Angels would be pretty short sighted. The entire thing was a cluster%*#$ from the beginning, with bad drugs fueling a derailed train. I think the movie made that all pretty clear.

    I attended a show An Evening with the Grateful Dead presented by the NYC Hells Angels somewhere around 1970 or so. It was held in the Anderson Theater which was on 2nd Ave a couple blocks down from the Fillmore East. The HA were great hosts, The Dead played well past dawn and there was an abundance of every type of intoxicant known to mankind. People went nuts but behaved, if you can understand that concept. We even joked that it was the only time where some bozo didn't try to climb up on the stage while the band was playing.

    Altamont was said to mark the end of the 60's in more ways than one.

    Poor Mick Taylor. It should have served as a message.
     
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