rolling stones altamont festival lost footage 2022video

ROLLING STONES ON VIDEO: Altamont Festival rare footage unveiled by Library of Congress (2022)

If you like this please consider supporting the site. Your donation helps to do what I do. Thank you!  *Donate here

Altamont Festival rare footage unveiled by the Library of Congress (2022)

If you like this please consider supporting it. Your donation helps to do what I do. Thank you! *Donate with PayPal

Silent, edited footage of the free concert at Altamont Speedway on the afternoon and evening of Saturday, December 6, 1969. The film begins and ends with a shot of burning wood. The footage taken in the daytime features Santana, Jefferson Airplane, The Flying Burrito Brothers, and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. Keith Richards and Mick Jagger appear as spectators during The Flying Burrito Brothers’ set. The nighttime footage features the Rolling Stones. The footage is quite dark, with Mick Jagger most visible. Most of the footage is of the performers onstage. There are also long shots of the crowd and of individuals dancing and singing. In both the daytime and nighttime footage, there are shots of Hells Angels on stage with the performers, and some shots of them getting rough and pushing people off the stage.


From The Washington Post:
When Library of Congress film expert Mike Mashon heard about newly found reels of Rolling Stones concert footage, he thought they were copies from a show the band did in London in 1969.
But when the silent, color film was sent to be digitized, his technicians contacted him and told him, “You gotta come see this,” he said.

The footage was not from the London concert that July. It was from the notorious show five months later at Altamont Speedway near San Francisco, where one fan was killed, three others died and, many believe, the social revolution of the 1960s began its end.
“Every once in a while in a film archive, you get this thrill of discovery,” Mashon said.
The films have never been publicly seen, he said.

The free concert on Dec. 6, 1969, featured other rock superstars such as Santana, the Jefferson Airplane and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. The Grateful Dead were supposed to play, but backed out when they heard about the violence.
The show drew about 300,000 people and lots of drugs and alcohol. Crowd control was handled by the Hells Angels motorcycle gang — a “constant and menacing presence” in the footage, Mashon said.

Fights quickly broke out. Rolling Stones lead singer Mick Jagger was punched in the face shortly after he arrived. The Jefferson Airplane’s Marty Balin was slugged and knocked out.
Members of the Hells Angels beat concertgoers with pool cues. And an African American teenager who pulled a gun during a melee was stabbed to death.

“Gimme Shelter,” a famous 1970 documentary made by Albert and David Maysles and Charlotte Zwerin, captured much of the chaos. But none of the newly discovered film appears in that documentary, said Mashon, head of the library’s moving image section at its campus in Culpeper, Va.
(Ref. altamont festival)

“I don’t think there’s really anything in the film that adds to our understanding of the tragic events of Altamont,” he said. “But it’s definitely a new perspective …[and] a wonderful artifact to have of a time and place and an event.”
The footage, which shows hints of the mayhem, was discovered in February 2020, right before the coronavirus pandemic broke out in the United States, Mashon said. He unveiled the find in a library blog post on Tuesday.
“We genuinely think that this is what we call an orphan film,” he said. “If an owner emerges, certainly we’d be interested in hearing that. Somebody with proof. But as far as we know this film was abandoned.”

“If we had been able to track down a name we would have pursued that,” he said. “But there were no clues, and the fate of the person behind the camera that day is unknown.”
The 8mm film is on two reels, probably shot with a home movie camera by someone onstage. The footage is 26 minutes long. Whoever shot it later took it to be developed and never picked it up, Mashon said.
The first reel, filmed during the day, features Santana, the Jefferson Airplane, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, and the Flying Burrito Brothers. There are close-ups of key members of those bands, and Jagger and Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards can be seen watching in the background.

At one point the Hells Angels shove an intoxicated-looking bystander off the stage. There are shots of the vast crowd, and of fans dancing wildly to the music.
The second reel, shot at night, features the Rolling Stones.The film quality is poor. Jagger is seen as he performs in near darkness. (He tried in vain to calm the crowd during the fighting in front of the stage.) Other members of the band appear in the shadows. Light glints off drummer Charlie Watts’s cymbals.
Men in Hells Angels jackets mill about the stage. A man in the background looks overcome by the music, or by something else, as he runs his fingers through his hair. The camera pans across some worried-looking fans in front of the stage. Not much else is clear.
(Ref. altamont festival)

The reel doesn’t capture the stabbing of 18-year-old Meredith Hunter Jr., which happened just off camera and is glimpsed in “Gimme Shelter.” (The concert’s other deaths reportedly were those of one fan who drowned in an irrigation canal and two others who were run over by a car.)
After the show, the footage was apparently taken to be developed at a company called Palmer Films in San Francisco. It was never picked up. “Why … I don’t know,” Mashon said.When that firm was going out of business in the 1990s, noted film archivist and scholar Rick Prelinger acquired a huge batch of its reels for his collection.
In 2002, the Library of Congress acquired more than 200,000 reels from Prelinger, Mashon said. Experts are still sifting through them.

When the new reels turned up in February, 2020, they had been labeled “Stones in the Park.” Mashon said he thought they might be copies of the 1969 TV film called “The Stones in the Park,” about the band’s outdoor show in London on July 5, 1969.
Instead, they were about Altamont.“I have a feeling that this film is going to show up in future rock-and-roll documentaries,” he said. “It’s too good. It really is some high-class footage. Whoever shot it did a great job.”
(Ref. altamont festival)