Gimme Shelter

Artist: Other
Format: UK Quad (30"x 40")
Condition: Excellent
Year: 1970


Named after one of their best-known hits, “Gimme Shelter” (1970) is a documentary that follows The Rolling Stones on the last few weeks of their 1969 US Tour which ended with the now infamous Altamont Free Concert in San Francisco. The Concert is now best remembered for its use of the Hells Angels as "security" and for the subsequent violence that erupted in the crowd where an audience member was stabbed to death by one of the Hells Angels "security" team.

The directors of the film were brothers Albert and David Maysles, pioneers of the Direct Cinema movement and key figures of the counterculture era. Although regarded as a classic in both the rock documentary format as well as in the Stones’ filmography, ironically the Maysles’s film is now known for signalling counterculture’s decline, shown through the chaotic violence that erupted in the crowd at the event and the near speechlessness of Mick Jagger when shown the footage later on.

Like the film, the UK Quad poster is a similarly acclaimed piece. The rare general release Quad shown here features a montage of black-and-white photographic shots of the band and the concert. The collection of images used demonstrate the vibrant energy of the concert whilst the dark and shadowy colour scheme also alludes to the tragic events that would make it notorious.

Another of the best-known rock documentaries from the period remains the hugely successful “Woodstock” released in 1970 and centring on the festival of August 1969 (image of the US 1-Sheet poster courtesy of The US 1-Sheet for the film differs strongly with “Gimme Shelter” by instead displaying several larger colour photographs which focus on scenic nature as well as introducing themes of ‘togetherness’ which all emphasise the documentary’s more laid-back and inoffensive content. The white background and ‘spacey’ title font, as well as the inclusion of the Arnold Skolnick dove of peace logo and guitar artwork above the title also reflects a more easy-going approach, contrasting with the more turbulent, confrontational energy that is implied through the design of the “Gimme Shelter” poster.


This poster has been linen-backed.