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They rescue half an hour of images of The Rolling Stones and other artists at the Altamont festival in 1969

They rescue half an hour of images of The Rolling Stones and other artists at the Altamont festival in 1969

The US Library of Congress retrieved almost half an hour of footage shot in 8mm never seen before of the Rolling Stones, the Flying Burrito Brothers, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and other artists performing at the famous festival of Altamont in 1969.

As reported Variety, the images -without sound- were posted on the Congress website. The material appears raw and due to the quality of it, it does not seem to have been recorded by the documentary crew that filmed what ended up being the movie about Altamont: Gimme Shelter.

The parts that include the Stones’ night performance, according to the same source, are nothing more than a memento barely fit for fans and nothing appears related to the stabbing death of the person in the audience, an event that made Altamont sadly go down in history.

The Altamont Festival Intended To Become A Replica Of Woodstock, On The West Coast Of The United States.  Photo Video Capture

The Altamont festival intended to become a replica of Woodstock, on the West Coast of the United States. Photo Video Capture

In search of the “Woodstock effect”

On December 6, 1969, that chaotic festival took place. The original idea was to replicate the woodstock effect on the West Coast. Put together something similar four months after the “Weekend of love”.

At the concert there was one homicide and three accidental deaths (two due to car accidents and one drowned in a canal). a snippet of Gimme Shelter shows the exact time of the murder. At that time the Rolling Stones finished playing Under My Thumb.

But in the footage that has now come to light, close-ups of some of the celebrities of the time are seen from a position close to the stage, brushstrokes that were never seen in Gimme Shelter. In other words, a behind the scenes with friendly moments of communion between the members of the different bands.

The Hell'S Angels, In Charge Of Security, Took On A Tragic Role During The Stones' Show.  Photo Video Capture

The Hell’s Angels, in charge of security, took on a tragic role during the Stones’ show. Photo Video Capture

an abandoned tape

According to the Library of Congress website posting, the footage is believed to be “an orphan work, in this case abandoned by whoever filmed it, which was simply never picked up from the lab.”

The unpublished material was discovered in 1996, when the collector Rick Prelinger bought 200,000 rolls of the photographic laboratories PalmerLabs, located in San Francisco, when it was about to close. According to the collector, the purchase of the “lot” was made at random, without any particular interest.

In 2002 the collection was purchased by the Library of Congress, which announced at the time that “it would take several years to make it accessible.”

Neil Young, In The Middle Of A Crowd, Waiting His Turn To Go Upstairs To Play With Crosby, Stills And Nash.  Photo Video Capture

Neil Young, in the middle of a crowd, waiting his turn to go upstairs to play with Crosby, Stills and Nash. Photo Video Capture

never seen images

The digitization process 2K revealed that it was Altamont and that it contained footage from multiple performances: Santana Y Jefferson Airplane, among others, as well as the aforementioned groups.

“Although the recording is mute, we are all delighted to see close-up images of the artists at the concert”, says an official statement from the entity mentioning Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young and Gram Parsons at the head of the Flying Burrito Brothers”. It also highlights “nice shots of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards offstage.”

Variety clarifies that the footage also includes many “crowd shots, including scenes where the air appears to be filled with mysterious projectiles“. A blog commenter writes an explanation.

In Spite Of The Low Quality In The Definition Of Long Fragments, The Video Constitutes Without A Doubt A Historical Document.  Photo Video Capture

In spite of the low quality in the definition of long fragments, the video constitutes without a doubt a historical document. Photo Video Capture

“At minute 10:22 of the video you see that those flying objects were plastic coffee can lids. We hitchhiked there and in the guys’ truck there were bags full of tapas. We were way up the hill and we started flying them Frisbees into the crowd.”

The Washington Post, echoing the finding, published that they are still waiting to find out who filmed the material and solve the mystery of how he or she he had such good access to the stage to capture the seemingly amateurish footage.

Images can be viewed at https://blogs.loc.gov/loc/2022/01/the-rolling-stones-hells-angels-and-altamont-a-new-view/


Reference from clarin