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Bajamont - De File
Does Collecting Make You Feel Dirty?
Last night I watched the entirety of Gimme Shelter for the first time, trying to figure out which Maysles brothers film to show to my documentary class. Tonight I saw it a second time. It seemed to freak many of my students out. They just sat there for a few minutes after I turned the lights on. To be honest, it freaked me out. My nostalgia for the 60s I never got to experience has taken a severe beating. Ironically, though, the thought that's pounding away in my brain does not concern the horror of the Hell's Angels' creative approach to security but the horror that is Bay Area traffic. Looking at the seemingly endless stream of cars lined up outside the Altamont Speedway, seeing the congestion over the Pass, I realized that the concert was really a preview of the era in which people commute from San Francisco to Livermore and Tracy to Mountain View. Even though I've made numerous trips to the Bay Area since moving to Tucson and driven in on 580 each time, I can't say that the Pass ever makes me feel unambiguously happy. Those barren, windmill-swept hills look like a pumped-up version of J.R.R. Tolkien's barrow downs. I can't believe anyone ever thought that the location could bring peace, love, and understanding to 300,000 people, most of them higher than a hot-air balloon. Maybe that's why they gave the film that title: there is no shelter in those hills.

Mode: chastened
Muse: Notorious Lightning - Destroyer - Your Blues

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masoo From: masoo Date: February 9th, 2005 06:36 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
The night of Altamont, I was sitting at home (still lived with my parents) and a friend who had been at the concert stopped by. He was flying high on excitement ... first thing he said was "I've just gotten back from Woodstock West!" He had a great time, he said. When I asked how the Stones were (the news hadn't gotten to me yet), he said he and his friends had left before the Stones came on because the day had been so great, there was nothing that could top it.

Some years later I said something to him about Altamont and he said "I was there. It was horrible."
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: February 9th, 2005 05:08 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
After seeing the movie, no doubt. The scale of the event was such that it would be hard to tell how crazy things were by the stage if you were further out. When Mick says that the concert is like the procenium for the stage where the real action is occurring -- people hanging out, talking, having a blast -- he really hits the nail on the head. It's amazing to me how good the handheld camera work is throughout. The camera operators do a particularly good job with rack focus.
From: (Anonymous) Date: February 9th, 2005 04:04 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Unrelated to the End of the 1960s

Did Susan tell you we had Albert Maysles out here and had him introduce "Salesmen?" My friend Mike and I spent hours with him during the day -- he was a cute but uber-hip older gentleman who knocked our socks off with his cynical wit, celeb stories, and attitude. It was like a little Men's Club or something, full of sass and spunk. Then I took him to dinner with a handful of UA academic types and we ended up pouring too many margaritas into him...by the time he showed up to introduce his film, he'd lost all his edge and bite and instead talked about soft fuzzy things like "poetry" and "appreciating life" while he softly rocked back on his heels in a "trying to stay upright" sort of way. He briefly came back to life when there was a sound problem during the projection of his film and he clutched my arm and whispered, "what the fuck is that idiot doing in there?!?" but then he retreated back into snuggle mode soon thereafter.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: February 9th, 2005 05:03 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: Unrelated to the End of the 1960s

No, I didn't know that. I would love to have been here. Who are you, BTW?
From: (Anonymous) Date: February 9th, 2005 07:16 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: Unrelated to the End of the 1960s

sorry, Fredoluv again.

kisses to the blogging cooks,
fredoluv tha great
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: February 10th, 2005 03:36 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: Unrelated to the End of the 1960s

Kim said that it was you. I thought it might be, but she was almost certain. It was a nice description. I'm envious.
kdotdammit From: kdotdammit Date: February 9th, 2005 07:04 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: Unrelated to the End of the 1960s

What a great story. (told well too, btw, whoeveryouare)
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