THE ROLLING STONES - ALTAMONT SPEEDWAY 1969

September 14, 2016 – 5:44 am

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THE ROLLING STONES
Altamont Speedway 1969 [no label, 2CD]

Live at (Dick Carter’s) Altamont Speedway, Livermore, CA; December 6, 1969. Very good audience matrix.

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Click here for Ron Jacobs’ article, Letting It Bleed.

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Thanks to bigtyke66 for putting this together.

bigtyke66 noted in 2010:

One of the most storied recordings in Rolling Stones history. Apart from the obvious crowd problems (MJ: Well, there’ve been a few hang ups. But generally… you’ve been beautiful!), this was a pretty strong performance. The audience taping of the entire show must be - given the very difficult conditions - one of the most heroic recordings ever made.

Many versions of this recordings have circulated over the years, including the well-known bootleg The Killer Festival, Altamont 1969 (VGP-113). I think the best version of the audience tape currently available is the one gottogo99 posted at The Trader’s Den in December 2008 (click here). Please check over there for details.

What do we have here?

This version is true blend (or matrix) of as much of the show as is available from five different sources. Note that none of them had all the pieces. The idea was to get the best possible sound for each track, but retain all the crowd noise, reactions, etc in the recording. The crowd was obviously an integral part of this event, I’ve kept all of that from all the sources.

Sources (in the order of the amount I used)

1) A (possible) copy of the master tape. Supplied lineage: master > 1st gen > CDR. This purports to be a lo-gen copy of the master tape, but it has a fade-in at the beginning of Jumping Jack Flash that is not on VGP 113. There are also other small edits and odd drop outs that are not present on VGP-113. This source also ran fast, and it has been pitch-speed corrected for the current version. Used the soundboard files as reference. This source has less hiss than VGP 113. And like all other versions of this source, it is stereo, most likely fake. I used this source as the base for my edits.

2) The soundboard recordings used for the Gimme Shelter movie. Supplied lineage: Gimme Shelter > Remastered (unknown label) > CD > aiff (xACT). I used Sympathy For The Devil (2) and Under My Thumb (2) from this source, and Gimme Shelter from A Shot of Salvation (Scorpio OM 90-64-17) to blend in with the aud recording. I like the sound of these blends; others may not. I think the Altamont Sympathy For The Devil is one of the best ever live versions, but it was extensively edited for the soundtrack. The beginning was badly edited, and Mick Taylor’s solo was almost completely cut out (shame!). Keith’s solo is very distant on the audience recording, but is now much higher in the mix. The audience “accompaniments” really add atmosphere. Under My Thumb (2) and Gimme Shelter were unedited on the soundboard recording, so the blends flow quite well.

Note that NONE of the tracks here are the original soundboard files that are commercially available.

3) The recently surfaced files supplied by Watchit/gottogo99 [at The Traders’ Den]. I used this for the Sam Cutler Intro, Jumpin’ Jack Flash, and most of Carol. After that the tape speed problem really kick in.

4) A 4th gen recording. Supplied lineage: Singlepoint stereo mic (possibly a Sony) > portable mini reel to reel > 3rd or 4th gen tape > U2A AD converter > Dell Inspiron 3500 > cool Edit pro > Cdwav > cdr > EAC > SHN. This was the only lineage that was specific about the recording apparatus, but who knows whether it was correct or not. The taper photos from Gimme Shelter (see the Watchit files at TTD) and Ethan Russell’s book suggest that neither of the known recorders were reel-to-reel. This source had the extra 1.30 min introduction to Midnight Rambler.

5) The well known VGP-113 boot. The Killer Festival, Altamont 1969 (VGP-113): Silvers > EAC > Wav > Flac Frontend > flac 8. This commonly circulated source has significant tape hiss not present on the other sources I used, probably from crudely boosting the higher frequencies. It sounds way over processed to me. I used this for bits of audience reaction, tape noise etc. that was missing elsewhere.

How did I put this together?

I used source 1) as my foundation. This was speed corrected to approximate the 3 soundboard tracks, and had other manipulations added using Logic Pro 7 (Apple). The other sources were mixed in as required using Logic Pro’s multitrack capability. I used hundreds of edits to produce the final version, but in particular: multiband compression, parametric equalization, linear phase equalization, gain adjustment, and cross fades between channels and songs. All of these edits were applied as minimally as possible, and each track was treated separately. In some cases an eight-track mix was used to get the best balance of gain and equalization across a particular song. No noise reduction was used at any point.

Final lineage: Mixing (Logic Pro 7) > bounced to aiff > track splitting on sector boundaries (Amadeus Pro) > Flac and SBE check (xACT).

The final recording does not sound as harsh as VGP 113; I prefer the balance and the overall sound. I think the blended tracks really add a new dimension to the recording. Others may prefer the unedited audience recording; but there you go–you don’t have to keep this one.

Thanks to the many people who helped out with trades, info, and who took the time to answer my emails. Thanks also to siege72 at Dime for invaluable help with speed/pitch corrections.

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Disc 1
Track 101. Sam Cutler Intro and Crowd mono 1:39 (2.8MB)
Track 102. Jumpin Jack Flash mono 4:20 (7.3MB)
Track 103. Carol mono (fades into single stereo audience source at about 2′24″) 3:47 (6.4MB)
Track 104. Sympathy For the Devil 1:44 (2.9MB)
Track 105. Disturbance 1:18 (2.2MB)
Track 106. Sympathy For The Devil (fades into single stereo audience source at 6′07″) 7:29 (12.6MB)
Track 107. Disturbance 2:55 (4.9MB)
Track 108. The Sun Is Shining 4:06 (6.9MB)
Track 109. Stray Cat Blues 3:47 (6.4MB)
Track 110. Love In Vain 5:41 (9.6MB)
Track 111. Under My Thumb 0:43 (1.2MB)
Track 112. Disturbance 2:31 (4.2MB)
Track 113. Under My Thumb 3:40 (6.2MB)
Track 114. Intro To Brown Sugar 0:58 (1.6MB)
Track 115. Brown Sugar 3:25 (5.7MB)
48 mins

Disc 2
Track 201. Intro To Midnight Rambler 1:30 (2.5MB)
Track 202. Midnight Rambler 8:07 (13.6MB)
Track 203. Intro to Live With Me 0:59 (1.7MB)
Track 204. Live With Me 3:21 (5.6MB)
Track 205. Gimme Shelter 4:41 (7.9MB)
Track 206. Little Queenie 4:14 (7.1MB)
Track 207. Satisfaction 6:33 (11.0MB)
Track 208. Intro to Honky Tonk Women 0:48 (1.3MB)
Track 209. Honky Tonk Women 3:57 (6.6MB)
Track 210. Street Fighting Man 4:10 (7.0MB)
39 mins

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  1. 46 Responses to “THE ROLLING STONES - ALTAMONT SPEEDWAY 1969”

  2. Thanks for this–a heckuva lot of work on the matrix & well worth it!..Thanks to BigO as well for all the tremendous music.. Cheers..

    By Beega on Sep 14, 2016

  3. I guess this will get boom boo to turn off his eight track player, stop turning his mood ring (what color does it turn for desperately nostalgic?), and set his pet rock down long enough to type “dats wat mak me happee. Long liv da seventeez!”

    By Rick on Sep 14, 2016

  4. thanks big o, this is interesting in a historical sense but it feels somehow morbid and in poor taste when I listen to it-I cant separate the music from the myth. I think this version is an attempt to do the opposite anyway, it takes you down to ground level right in the mix of things…

    By mcm on Sep 14, 2016

  5. Now dats more like it , although it’s still officially da 60s cause it December , I consider it part of da beginning of da 70s stones raw and real , no fake shit none of Dem stupid backup girl singers and no Ron Wood , Mick Taylor rules , oh my god da 70 s continue to makes me happy wit more shows like dis , 70s Rock 70s roll 70s is rule

    By Boom Boom Mancini on Sep 14, 2016

  6. December 6 1969 has meaning for me for many reasons , The Stones altamont show of course , the decade was almost over and the seventies were about to begin , and for any sports fan out there earlier that same day was college footballs game of the decade and possibly the century number 1 Texas vs 2 Arkansas , Razorbacks led 14 0 in the forth quarter when QB from Texas , James (slick ) Street scores on about a 50 yard TD run in to cut the score in half ,later with less than five minutes to go and still down by six Street on forth down throws a 47 yard pass to Randy Peschal to get them inside the ten yard line , they score two plays later and win 15 14 Nixon is in the stands and later comes to the Longhorns locker and declares them number 1 they would go on to beat Notre Dame in the cotton bowl on New Year’s Day 1970 to win the national championship I’ll always remember Dec 6 69 for those two historic events That game and of course the tragic Altamont concert

    By Chuck in Texas on Sep 14, 2016

  7. Wow , Chuck , I remember that game also , was about 12 at the time watching it in my bedroom on a little 13 inch black and white tv James Street a gritty little quarterback in who never lost a college football game in his life , believe he was 20 and 0 in his career at Texas , engineered many comeback wins , a great leader , Sadly he passed away about 3 years ago at age 65 a Texas legend

    By Tommy on Sep 14, 2016

  8. Street was also the first wishbone the QB in college football beginning a trend that would last almost 30 years

    By Tommy on Sep 14, 2016

  9. Sorry to get off topic folks

    By Tommy on Sep 14, 2016

  10. Another sports / music parallel on September 20 th 1973 Billie Jean King played Bobby Riggs in their much hyped battle of the sexes tennis match millions watched on tv , only a couple of hours later Jim Croce , Maurey Mulheisen and several others died in a plane crash in Lousiania

    By Victor on Sep 14, 2016

  11. Please Mancini, no more illiterate comments from you, it’s time you shut up and get lost your MORON!

    By ManciniHater on Sep 14, 2016

  12. Another music / Sports parallel, Sept 20th 1973 , in the Houston Astrodome Billie Jean King plays Bobby Riggs in their muched hyped battle of the sexes tennis match , Millions watch on tv , just a few hours later Jim Croce , Maurey Mulheisen and several other die in a plane crash in Louisiana after a concert, two great artists lost in the same day Sept 20th 1973

    By Victor on Sep 14, 2016

  13. Dude , why da hate? I likes da show 60s and 70s Stones rule at least till Ron Wood upset da apple cart and tried to replace MT 70s rule

    By Boom Boom Mancini on Sep 14, 2016

  14. Ron Woods last solo album is better than most stones music since 1998.

    By niroopa on Sep 14, 2016

  15. Heard someone mention 8 track tapes , many fond memories of 8 track tape s , and banging girls at drive in music theaters back in the 60s and early 70s Drive inns used to have security guards checking IDs at the entrance to make sure underage kids wouldn’t get in to see R or X rated flicks ,remember a double feature of Flesh Gordon and Three in the attic , noticed an old pervert security guard choking his chicken watching me banging this high school cheerleader in the backseat of the car , had Innagaddadavita by iron butterfly blasting from the eight track when the guard noticed that we saw him he panicked and stumbled while trying to zip up his pants while walking away , funny as shit my girl and I laughed for hours

    By Gerald Creel on Sep 14, 2016

  16. Keith Richards solo records are also better than any stones record since Tatoo You , the stones last very good album was Goats Head Soup and that was way back in 73 , their last masterpiece was Exile on Main Street a year earlier , Sticky Fingers , Let it Bleed , Beggars Banquet, also masterpieces

    By Victor on Sep 14, 2016

  17. All their best albums as well as live shows were with Mick Taylor with the exception of Beggars Banquet which still featured the late great Brian Jones

    By Victor on Sep 14, 2016

  18. In my opinion Sticky Fingers was their best album , it had everything, Great rock songs like Briwn Sugar , Butch , Can you hear me knocking , Blues , Sister Morphine , moonlight Mile , I got the blues , country , Dead Flowers , Wild Horses , in my top ten albums list all time , almost a perfect album , they cover almost all types of music

    By Tony C on Sep 14, 2016

  19. You know you need a moderator when 13 of the first 15 comments have nothing to do with the concert posted. blather on…

    By everyone else on bigO on Sep 14, 2016

  20. Exile is a great album , many great songs but like most double albums it has a lot of filler as well , would have been even better had the cut out certain songs and just went with a single album

    By Tony C on Sep 14, 2016

  21. Another music/sports parallel occurred on Sept 20 th 1973 , Billie Jean King played Bobby Riggs in their battle of the sexes tennis match at the Houston Astrodome , millions watched on tv , later that same night the music world lost the great Jim Croce along with Maury Muelheisen and several others in a plane crash in Louisiana after a concert a syreal day indeed

    By Victor on Sep 14, 2016

  22. September 20th 1973 We lost Jim Croce , Maury Mulheisen and others in that fateful plane crash in Louisiana, earlier that same evening Billie Jean King played Bobby Riggs in their famous battle of the sexes tennis match while millions watched on tv quite a day indeed

    By Victor on Sep 14, 2016

  23. as far as i`m concerned these boys can play for me till the day they drop.Can`t imagine my life[63 now] without Stones music and all the joy it has brought me.

    By sluggo on Sep 14, 2016

  24. Thanks for your input, Tony, but being acknowledged as one of the greatest albums of all time by anyone who isn’t a bloody wanker shows that your opinion isn’t worth bollocks. Now bugger off, ya bloody tart.

    By Mick J. on Sep 14, 2016

  25. On September 14, 2016, a bunch of imbeciles made idiotic comments on a Rolling Stones concert posting on BigO that had nothing to do with that concert posting.

    Post your moronic rambling right here, bozos.

    By everyone else on bigO on Sep 14, 2016

  26. Man this site is filled with hatefull self rightious assholes.other than this boom boom person who does seem somewhat mentality challenged i didnt see anything else out of line here I also agree about Sticky Fingers being the best Stones album Mick J ,Do you disagree with that or are you just being an asshole for the sake of being an asshole,Also certain music and songs take you back in time and you remember other things that were going on at the time,Sports events,news,what movies were playing ,What girls you were dating ,Breakups,makeups and the like,you associate certain songs and artists with what was going on with your life at the time,Chuck ,really enjoyed your Altamont/Texas Arkansas story ,forgot they happed on the same day,also remember that great game R.I.P. Slick Street Texas QB,didnt know he had past away,by the way his son is major league pitcher Huston Street

    By Nicolas on Sep 14, 2016

  27. sorry about all the repeats ,this cloudfare thing dosent always post right away makes you think it didnt go thru

    By Victor on Sep 14, 2016

  28. You should apologize for making idiotic comments that have nothing to do with this concert. These nuts are repeating on your chin.

    By Victor/Loser on Sep 14, 2016

  29. Better you should apologize for your idiotic comments that have nothing to do with this concert. These nuts repeat on your chin.

    By Victor/Loser on Sep 14, 2016

  30. I’m done with boom boo’s bullshit act. I will restrict my comments to the music from now on. He’s just crying for attention, anyway.

    By Rick on Sep 14, 2016

  31. Saw the Stones at The Oakland Arena a month earlier with Ike and Tina Turner…..then made it to Altamont which will forever be in my memory.What a friggin mess.The start with surprise act Santana and the Hells Angels beating naked people on stage with pool cues was just the beginning of a crazy day……glad we got booted out of the front row trying to join some friends and ended up about 200 feet from the stage.Was a big Airplane fan so that set was crazy with Marty Balin being knocked out…the rest is in the movie…..thanks for this,have a copy somewhere which is not as good.Loved the sixties overall and too bad it ended on this note.

    By Russ on Sep 14, 2016

  32. I consider dis really da beginning of da 70s wit Mick singin his balls of Keef strummin dem riffs MT hittin dem bluesy lead licks and Charlie well just bein Charlie 70s Rock 70s roll 70s rule

    By Boom Boom Mancini on Sep 14, 2016

  33. Oh yeah forgot Bill Wyman boomin da base 70s rule

    By Boom Boom Mancini on Sep 14, 2016

  34. I have never seen such a free for all of disrespect on a music blog , Boom Boom is basically a harmless simpleton so he’s easy to ignore but some of the others are venomous, Victor expressed an opinion about Sticky Fingers that many including myself share , As well as some nice trivia about Jim Croce , Same with Chuck about the Altomont show and the Texas football game Certain music and events take us back to a time in our lives and what was going on at the time , there is nothing wrong with that , This comment section is filled with mean spirited assholes

    By Nicolas on Sep 14, 2016

  35. If someone had a comment about how John Lennons murder affected them and what his music meant to them there would be insensitive clods who would put that down too , Many people are selfish and disgusting

    By Nicolas on Sep 15, 2016

  36. Sticking to music talk from now on. Who’s ready for some new Van Morrison and Leonard Cohen this fall?

    By Rick on Sep 15, 2016

  37. Who’s ready for new Van Morrison and Leonard Cohen albums this fall?

    By Rick on Sep 15, 2016

  38. New Van Morrison and Leonard Cohen releases this fall!!!!!

    By Russell on Sep 15, 2016

  39. Very bad taste bordering on contempt , An insult to the memory of Meridith Hunter

    By Smashmouth on Sep 15, 2016

  40. Although I’m sure that the imbeciles on this comment section don’t have a clue who he is or his story , Too busy hurling childish insults at each other over petty unimportant things

    By Smashmouth on Sep 15, 2016

  41. smashmouth-if you mean its basically the soundtrack to a homicide, I agree. I think its morbidly interesting but that’s about it

    By chris lowe on Sep 15, 2016

  42. Rush is crap,total garbage,not worth anyones time to listen to

    By Smashmouth on Sep 14, 2016

    Although I’m sure that the imbeciles on this comment section don’t have a clue who he is or his story , Too busy hurling childish insults at each other over petty unimportant things

    By Smashmouth on Sep 15, 2016

    By skinned knees on Sep 15, 2016

  43. Holy shit, when did all these assholes get here? This used to be a nice little music blog too.

    By Instant Karma on Sep 15, 2016

  44. Thanks for this BigO. I happen to be reading the Altamont book buy Joel Selvin so the timing is perfect.

    By Mackster on Sep 15, 2016

  45. The comment section here is basically a forum where idiots can engage in insult fests , I rarely comment because I realized awhile back that appeals for decorum were falling on deaf ears , you can’t change the nature of the beast . Most people today are just civilized savages . Read the comments every now and then for a good chuckle, Music remains great though

    By Roger Dodger on Sep 16, 2016

  46. Smash mouth;
    Meredith Hunter was an idiot. Was he trying to kill MJ or KR? What a dope! Watch the movie. He was stupid. He didn’t have to die. HE did it to himself.

    By Dubious141 on Sep 19, 2016

  47. This is an amazing technological feat of restoration, and I applaud the artist who combined the multiple sources and made it all fit together!
    Two months ago, I repaired the 2.5″ hole in “I Want to Hold Your Hand” in the boot of BEATLES AT THE HOLLYWOOD BOWL by patching the exact area from the 4th verse into the hole into the third verse, and that simple repair took nearly an hour! I can only imagine the hours it took to make this restoration, and we are indebted to the artist who made this historical moment possible!

    By J Hand on Sep 25, 2016

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