The Rolling Stones' Gimme Shelter Blu-ray and DVD

A friend asked me today, "Why was I watching The Rolling Stones' Gimme Shelter?" I couldn't answer except perhaps to say that I do like many of the Rolling Stones songs and I am intrigued by the history of both the band and the era.

Gimme Shelter is a remastered Criterion Collection release that is available on both blu-ray and DVD. A 1970 film, the new versions were released on December 1st, 2009.

Some call Gimme Shelter "the greatest rock film ever made" and "one of the greatest documentaries ever created." It follows the Stones on their 1969 U.S. tour with a particular focus on the 300,000 person free concert at San Francisco’s Altamont Speedway. I am thankful that the cameras were there as they recorded an unbelievable era and a concert the likes of which I hope will never happen again.

Of course, it features the band members -- Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Mick Taylor, Charlie Watts, Bill Wyman -- a few years younger than they are now. It was supposed to feature The Rolling Stones Altamount Speedway free concert in Northern California and it did.

That concert at the speedway was also supposed to be the West Coast’s version of Woodstock but things went badly wrong from the very beginning when Jagger was hit in the mouth and the concert and film wound up being a very dark experience with everything from bad acid trips to the stabbing death of a concert goer. It turned out to be a concert and documentary like no other and may have helped end the 'Peace and Love' hippy movement, a time as evidenced on this documentary, without rules and order.

Let me warn you that, while this film is interesting from a history and music perspective, it is also disturbing. Not rated, it has plenty of alcohol, drugs, nudity and violence to be aware of. The video, which follows, gives you a peek at the contents of this film.

Because I have limited access to blu-ray movies, I watched it on DVD and therefore turn to the experts to see what they have to say about the blu-ray format of Gimme Shelter. High-Def Digest is able to highly recommend it and considers the blu-ray a good transfer, considering the quality of the original 16 mm material. Others concur that this is the best Gimme Shelter will ever look.

See you
at the movies!

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Buy your copy of The Rolling Stones' Gimme Shelter on Blu-ray or DVD from Amazon.

P.S.  I read just now that The Grateful Dead refused to go on stage and I thought thank goodness someone had some sense...

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