Monday, March 19, 2007


Simple, or difficult words, refuse me while I write this -- how can one say it, and not ramble incoherent prose to declare that this is absolutely, so beautiful. The documentary film, Gimme Shelter, features the Stones most controversial and famous concert, Altamont Speedway in Northern California -- where 3,00,000 people attended the free show, in December 69.
The tracks they play are available in the album Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out!, but the movie is tough to find your hands on. The name of the film comes from the title song of arguably the best Rolling Stones' album Let it Bleed (an in-your-face-answer to Beatles' Let it Be', when released). Gimme Shelter is that one song that every once in a time I hear it sends shivers down me spine, grants an invalid paradise of an excite-to-death ecstasy, and a perfect reason to confirm me being a voyeur.
"Everytime we do this song, something funny happens," quips Sir Mick when the Stones get down to playing Sympathy for the Devil -- and what a song it is, that challenges the ordinary conventions with stirring imagery of religion, politics and war to one ugly, but beautiful, cauldron of evil and absinthe. The lake of fire is bliss. Yes it is true that the song was inspired by Bulgakhov's The Master and Margarita.
The Hells Angels that were to manage the show, who were paid in beer instead of money, killed a man while the show went on. A numerous scuffles broke loose and The Glimmer Twins were almost sent home for inciting the violence with their music.
There's one long scene in the film where Mick's singing and one Hell's Angel asshole is staring at him, and his looks are sinister; as though in terrible contempt. Its now rumoured that ever since the fated show numerous assassination have been planned by the Angels on the Stones.
It's commonly alleged, more apparent fingers point from Don Mclean's American Pie, that the man killed by the Angels, were when the band play Sympathy. The concert confirms that it was during Under My Thumb, with the actual, only, footage of the killing.
It is also said that a young George Lucas was filming the movie as well, but his camera conked off in the middle.
There's one scene where the Stones sitting in a studio are recording Wild Horses, Keef lying on his back and Mick grinning, watch it to know it.
From Jumpin' Jack Flash to Robert Johnson's Love in Vain, it sounds maddening, surreal, almost dangerous and hell-like. Satisfaction riffs to blues Honky Tonk to Gimme Shelter with the closing credits, the movie glimpses an epoch you travel with unsophisticated mystification.

5 Comments:

Blogger InExile said...

somebody is on a rolling stones trip eh ? ;)

12:47 PM, March 20, 2007  
Blogger moonstruck maniac said...

hey jerrry i love this film. did u know that legendary BB King opened for the rolling stones tour, in addition to Ike Turner and Tina Turner. cool!!!

9:46 PM, March 20, 2007  
Blogger Snake Anthony said...

I take it that you saw them on their Forty Licks tour? Oh and did you know that Jagger attended the LSE?

1:23 AM, March 21, 2007  
Blogger Ricercar said...

now i want to hear all this stuff :)

8:40 AM, March 21, 2007  
Blogger moonstruck maniac said...

ya.. more trivia. hey snake, did he really go to LSE?

5:15 PM, March 22, 2007  

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