Footage filmed at ill-fated Altamont Free Concert on December 6, 1969 in Livermore, California featuring The Rolling Stones, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Santana and more has been discovered and released by the Library Of Congress. Spanning over 26 minutes, the silent footage gives a new look at a festival known more for the violence that took place than the music.
Mike Mashon, head of the Library Of Congress’ Moving Image Section, wrote a blog post discussing the origins of the footage. In 1996, archivist Rick Prelinger bought a collection of reels from a San Francisco company that was folding, Palmer Films. The footage from Altamont was included in the “Prelinger Collection” of approximately 200,000 reels which was then acquired by the Library Of Congress in 2002. Recently, a technician was sorting through the Prelinger Collection when they found two 8mm reels with a note, “Stones In The Park.”
Mashon had the footage digitalized and while at first he thought it was previously circulating film from The Rolling Stones’ Hyde Park show on July 5, 1969; he soon realized it was filmed at Altamont. The Altamont event was captured in the Maysles Brothers’ 1970 documentary Gimme Shelter and the newly digitalized footage wasn’t included in the film. Attendee Meredith Hunter was stabbed to death at the event and three accidental deaths took place during the one-day music festival.
“Although the footage is silent, we were all thrilled to see close-up footage of concert performers who were cut from the film, such as Carlos Santana and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young,” wrote Mashon. “It was especially great to see Gram Parsons fronting the Flying Burrito Brothers, since you only see the back of his head in Gimme Shelter. Even better, there are good shots of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards off-stage watching him perform!”
Watch the newly shared Altamont footage below:
[Hat Tip – Washington Post]