Gimme Shelter

Gimme Shelter is a 1970 British-American documentary movie directed by Albert and David Maysles and Charlotte Zwerin chronicling the final weeks of The Rolling Stones’ 1969 US tour which culminated within the disastrous Altamont Free Live performance. The movie is called after “Gimme Shelter”, the lead observe from the group’s 1969 album Let It Bleed. Gimme Shelter was screened out of competitors because the opening movie of the 1971 Cannes Movie Pageant.[1]


This counterculture period documentary is related to the Direct Cinema motion of the Nineteen Fifties and Sixties. It was directed by the Maysles Brothers who’re sturdy figures of the period.[2] The motion revolves across the philosophy of being a “reactive” filmmaker, recording occasions as they unfold naturally and spontaneously quite than investigating the subject material via documentary strategies similar to interviews, reconstruction and voiceover.


The movie depicts a few of the Madison Sq. Backyard live performance later featured on the 1970 stay album, Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out! The Rolling Stones in Live performance, in addition to Charlie Watts and a donkey filmed on the M6 motorway close to Birmingham throughout a images session for the album cowl. It additionally exhibits the Stones at work in Muscle Shoals, Alabama recording “Brown Sugar” and “Wild Horses”, and photographs of Ike and Tina Turner opening for the Stones at their Madison Sq. Backyard live performance, to Mick Jagger’s remark, “It is good to have a chick sometimes”.

The Maysles brothers filmed the primary live performance of the tour at Madison Sq. Backyard in New York Metropolis. After the live performance, the Maysles brothers requested The Rolling Stones if they may movie them on tour, and the band agreed.

A lot of the movie chronicles the behind-the-scenes dealmaking that passed off to make the free Altamont live performance occur, together with a lot footage of well-known legal professional Melvin Belli negotiating by phone with the administration of the Altamont Speedway. The film additionally features a playback of Hells Angels chief Ralph “Sonny” Barger’s well-known call-in to radio station KSAN’s “day after” program in regards to the live performance, whereby he remembers, “They advised me if I may sit on the sting of the stage so no one may climb over me, I may drink beer till the present was over.”

Altamont Free Live performance

The main target then turns to the 1969 live performance itself on the Altamont Speedway, the safety for which was offered by the Hells Angels (armed with pool cues). Because the day progresses, with drug-taking and ingesting by the Angels and members of the viewers, the temper turns ugly. Fights get away throughout performances by The Flying Burrito Brothers and Jefferson Airplane; Grace Slick pleads with the group to calm down. When Mick Jagger arrives to the grounds by way of helicopter, he’s punched within the face by an unruly fan whereas making his approach to his trailer.

At one level Jefferson Airplane lead male singer Marty Balin is knocked out by a Hells Angel; Paul Kantner makes an attempt to confront “the individuals who hit my lead singer” in response, saying: “Hey, man, I would like to say that the Hells Angels simply smashed Marty Balin within the face, and knocked him out for a bit. I would prefer to thanks for that.” Hells Angel “Candy William” Fritsch, sitting on stage, grabs a microphone and replies: “You are speaking to my folks. Let me let you know what’s occurring. You, man, you’re what’s occurring!” Slick herself warns the Angels after they proceed hitting folks: “You do not problem with anyone particularly. You gotta maintain your our bodies off one another until you propose love. Folks get bizarre, and also you want folks just like the Angels to maintain folks in line. However the Angels also– , you do not bust folks within the head for nothing. So either side are fucking up briefly; let’s not maintain fucking up!” Jerry Garcia and Phil Lesh arrive, however The Grateful Lifeless choose to not play after studying of the incident with Balin from Santana drummer Michael Shrieve. (Santana and Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Younger additionally carried out on the live performance however usually are not proven within the film.)

The Stones are proven showing onstage that night and carry out “Sympathy for the Satan” as the strain continues to construct. In the course of the subsequent tune, “Below My Thumb”, a member of the viewers, 18-year-old Meredith Hunter, tried, with different crowd members, to pressure his approach onto the stage[citation needed], and in consequence was struck by the Hells Angels guarding the band. Hunter then drew a revolver earlier than being attacked by Hells Angel Alan Passaro and killed by a minimum of six stab wounds. Hunter’s stabbing was captured on movie by a minimum of one of many many digital camera operators filming the documentary, and appeared within the ultimate minimize of the movie. Based on Albert Maysles, the stabbing was filmed by Baird Bryant; different sources have additionally credited Eric Saarinen.[3][4] The movie sequence clearly exhibits the darkish silhouette of a handgun in Hunter’s hand in opposition to the crocheted vest of his girlfriend, Patty Bredehoft, as Passaro enters from the proper, grabs and raises Hunter’s gun hand, turns Hunter round, and stabs him a minimum of twice within the again earlier than pushing Hunter off digital camera.

The credited digital camera operators for Altamont included a younger George Lucas.[5] On the live performance, Lucas’ digital camera jammed after taking pictures about 100 toes (30 m) of movie. None of his footage was included into the ultimate minimize.[6]

Essential reception

As of 2020, the movie holds a rating of 93{ae90547d17d4d74b17007ee836a04674fd006933c139011dc78eb03c100070a7} on Rotten Tomatoes based mostly on 29 scores, with a mean ranking of 9.17/10. The web site’s essential consensus reads “Equal components important and chilling, Gimme Shelter gives a spine-tingling take a look at how The Rolling Stones’ music paralleled the tip of the counterculture motion”.[7] In a 1971 evaluation for The Miami Information, Susan Brink wrote that it was a “lovely, trustworthy movie”.[8]

Songs carried out

The Rolling Stones

  • “Jumpin’ Jack Flash”
  • “(I Cannot Get No) Satisfaction”
  • “You Gotta Transfer”
  • “Wild Horses” (in studio at Muscle Shoals)
  • “Brown Sugar”
  • “Love in Useless”
  • “Honky Tonk Ladies”
  • “Avenue Preventing Man”
  • “Sympathy for the Satan”
  • “Below My Thumb”
  • “Gimme Shelter” (stay model, over closing credit)

Ike and Tina Turner

  • “I’ve Been Loving You Too Lengthy” (at Madison Sq. Backyard)

Jefferson Airplane

  • “The Different Aspect of This Life” (at Altamont)

Flying Burrito Brothers

  • “Six Days on the Highway” (at Altamont)

See additionally

  • Listing of American movies of 1970


  • Bernard, Sheila (2007). Documentary Storytelling: Making Stronger and Extra Dramatic Nonfiction Movies (2nd ed.). Burlington, MA: Focal Press. ISBN 978-0-240-80875-8.
  • Kirkpatrick, Rob (2009). 1969: The 12 months The whole lot Modified. New York: Skyhorse Publishing. ISBN 978-1-60239-366-0.
  • Saunders, Dave (2007). Direct Cinema: Observational Documentary and the Politics of the Sixties. London: Wallflower Press. ISBN 978-1-905674-16-9.

  • Official web site at
  • Gimme Shelter at IMDb
  • Gimme Shelter at AllMovie
  • Gimme Shelter Producer, Ron Schneider
  • Gimme Shelter: The true story” at
  • Gimme Shelter: The True Adventures of Altamont an essay by Stanley Sales space on the Criterion Assortment

Latest Posts
Jim Bowen
Product categories

Gimme Shelter  
Arsenal begin talks to sign 22-year-old with 9 goals and 11 assists last season *  Croire: Comment allez-vous composer avec le stress, les peurs et les incertitudes qui augmentent sans cesse dans votre… *  Apple releases third developer beta for iOS 17, macOS Sonoma, and more *  *-* Croire: Comment allez-vous composer avec le stress, les peurs et les incertitudes qui augmentent sans cesse dans votre… *  Luna guitars HEN O2 SPR Guitare Folk électro-acoustique *  Liuer 2PCS Mat Tapis Température Adjustable Chauffage Chauffant avec Réglage de la Température Tapis Chauffant pour… *  -*-