Sunday, May 28, 2017


Having recently both re-watched the classic documentary GIMME SHELTER and read Joel Selvin's engrossing news(ish) book on the subject, it was fascinating to go back and listen to the audio of the full Rolling Stones performance at that tragic free concert at the Altamont Speedway in 1969, certainly one of rock and roll's first big collective tragedies and still a very dark day in its now sixty-plus years history.

This audio was audience recorded and seems to be pieced together from several sources, but the low-fi of the recording certainly adds to the whole menacing ambience, and often puts you right in the middle of all the madness. The bad vibes can clearly be heard in the air before the first guitar chord is even struck, and things are already in full chaotic breakdown by the time of the third song (which, chillingly appropriate, is "Sympathy For the Devil").

It should also be mentioned that, despite the menace and tension all around them, the Stones are absolutely on fire here.