Lost footage of Rolling Stones at notorious Altamont festival uncovered | The Rolling Stones

Twenty-six minutes of unseen footage of the huge and notoriously violent Altamont music festival held in northern California in 1969 have been unexpectedly uncovered.

The home-movie footage – which is vividly shot on 8mm movie, however frustratingly silent – has been published by the Library of Congress on its website.

It isn’t recognized who filmed it, because the footage had been left with a movie improvement firm and by no means collected. When the corporate, Palmer Movies, went out of enterprise within the mid-Nineteen Nineties, a cache of its movies had been acquired by archivist Rick Prelinger, whose massive assortment was in flip acquired by the Library of Congress who’ve been working to edit and publish the footage ever since.

The Rolling Stones’ headline efficiency is filmed from the aspect of the stage, with closeup pictures of a smiling, clapping Mick Jagger – in addition to extra tense and frenetic scenes, as burly Hells Angels flank the stage.


The bike gang had been employed to offer safety, however had attacked each performers and attenders throughout the day. Throughout the Stones’ set, one festival-goer, Meredith Hunter, tried to get on stage together with a quantity of different followers. Separate movie footage confirmed that Hunter was carrying a gun, and he was stabbed and killed by Hells Angel member Alan Passaro. Mike Mashon of the Library of Congress states that the footage “doesn’t add something to our understanding” of the killing.

Hunter’s dying, and the reportedly bleak temper of the occasion extra usually, has turn out to be symbolic for the corruption of Sixties hippy idealism. The festival was individually chronicled by administrators Albert and David Maysles and Charlotte Zwerin for the movie Gimme Shelter.

In addition to giving a way of the massive scale, and a few alternative dance strikes and style of the period, the misplaced footage is a chance to see performances in additional element that had been edited out of the Stones-focused Gimme Shelter. It options an lively and clearly funky efficiency by Carlos Santana and his band, and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Younger are filmed within the golden gentle of sundown – they didn’t seem in Gimme Shelter at all, as they advised the administrators they weren’t pleased with their efficiency.

Grace Slick fronts Jefferson Airplane at Altamont festival, California, 1969, in footage uncovered by the Library of Congress.
Grace Slick fronts Jefferson Airplane at Altamont festival, California, 1969, in footage uncovered by the Library of Congress. {Photograph}: Library of Congress

Grace Slick is filmed charismatically fronting Jefferson Airplane, and the film-maker captures scuffles with Hells Angels on stage, together with one viewers member being pushed off and threatened; singer Marty Balin was infamously knocked unconscious by one of the bikers throughout the efficiency.

Mashon writes of a barechested and magnificently hirsute Gram Parsons: “It was particularly nice to see Gram Parsons fronting the Flying Burrito Brothers, because you solely see the again of his head in Gimme Shelter. Even higher, there are good pictures of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards off-stage watching him carry out.”

Mashon advised the Washington Put up relating to the unknown film-maker: “If an proprietor emerges, actually we’d be eager about listening to that. Anyone with proof. However so far as we all know this movie was deserted.”

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