Rolling Stones – Gimme Shelter

On-screenRolling Stones GIMME SHELTER warned of a “storm…threatening” to widen the cultural gap between the Rolling Stones‘ generation of the 1960s and their parents. In the Rolling Stones GIMME SHELTER, DOMINOES contrasts the image of suburban conformity to the “do your own thing” lifestyle exemplified by the long hair, “far-out” fringed clothing and floppy hats of the hippies, and the psychedelic culture of the rock and roll, go-go club street scene. The sexual revolution was emboldened by legalization of the birth-control pill and DOMINOES demonstrates this phenomenon through a montage of lifestyles that popularized mini-skirts, hot pants, and monokinis and the commercialized, liberated sex of strip clubs. “It’s just a kiss away…”

The cultural changes portrayed in the Rolling Stones GIMME SHELTER include a glimpse of the Rolling Stones transformation from Beatles-haircut teen idols to the hardened rock and rollers epitomized by Mick Jagger in the closing shots.

Soundtrack Notes: The Rolling Stones GIMME SHELTER was first released in 1969 on Let It Bleed (ABKCO Records) although the version featured in DOMINOES comes from the Rolling Stones 1964-1971 Hot Rocks LP (ABKCO Records, 1972). In 1971, the live performance of the Rolling Stones song was released on the Decca Records album of the same name.

Context: During the same year that Watts was razed, a new wave of rock swept across America. It was not like the Beatles or the Beach Boys but sprang from Black roots, and contained elements of rage and rebellion. As it rolled into the tidy homes of middle-class America, it aroused feelings of defiance in millions of “baby boom” teens. The sun had finally set on 1950s complacency. In Boston, New York, and Los Angeles, the sheer number of kids pouring into the streets looking for action on Saturday nights closed sections of these cities to traffic. This 1960s generation began to create an almost insurmountable chasm between itself and the older generation, where the generations before it had created trifling gaps. In so doing, it gained both a consciousness of its power, and the identity of a truly different generation, with a unique style and culture of its own.

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