Metal My Movie - Gimme Shelter

Photo Credit: IMDb

What can be said about The Rolling Stones that can make this Rock and Roll band seem Metal, besides their longevity as a band that still tours or those Keith Richards memes. It could be the band’s persona as the “Bad Boys” of Rock and Roll or the infamous Altamont Free Concert, which would later become known as a disaster. The band’s persona and the concert are the focus of Albert and David Maysles documentary, Gimme Shelter (1970). From these two themes we can analyze this documentary from a Metal perspective. 

Even though they are a Rock and Roll band, the persona of The Rolling Stones can be seen as the “Bad Boys” of Rock and Roll, with The Beatles on the polar opposite of the spectrum. The Rock and Roll lifestyle of alcohol and drugs are on display, both with the band and fans partaking in this lifestyle. The band has a Hard Rock aesthetic that is also associated with the genre of Metal. Their thematics have a darker tone than the regular light Rock and Roll fare with songs like “Paint It Black” and “Sympathy For The Devil”.  They have their own onstage persona to go alongside their performances, just as a Metal band have their own onstage personas. 

The Altamont Free Concert was a recipe for disaster when you factor in that it was a free concert that could not hold everyone that was coming. Add  the lifestyle of some of the fans of the music, including alcohol and drugs use, and you have a concert that might get out of hand. As for security, they hired The Hells Angels, who were also participating in the drinking and the drugs. Even before the Stones took to the stage there were violent altercations happening, notably between one of The Hells Angels and the male lead singer of Jefferson Airplane, Marty Balin. Once the Stones took the stage, the concert had gotten way out of hand as one of the fans rushed the stage during “Under My Thumb” that led  security to violently remove him, resulting in his death. 

Not the normal scene you will see at a concert going experience, whether it being Rock and Roll or Metal. However, the Maysles capture the chaos of the event and playback the video footage to The Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger, who seems distraught by the events of the Altamont Free Concert. Jagger is also seen pleading with the crowd for 
peace and civility between song sets. But, based on the lifestyle that surrounded the band and their fans, the outcome of their Altamont Free Concert could have been predicted. 

This is the last segment of Metal My Movie for Metal March. Got a movie suggestion for next seasons Metal My Movie then send them to