The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

Seminal Image #820

Gimme Shelter
(Albert Maysles, David Maysles and Charlotte Zwerin; 1969)


swac said...

"Excuse me, are you Geraldo Rivera?"

azfad said...

please 'explain' this image. i have seen the film a few times but i don't get the relevance of this.

Tom Sutpen said...

Actually it's as much a 'When Legends Gather' as a Seminal Image. The gennleman on the left is Ralph 'Sonny' Barger, viceroy of the Hell's Angels Motorcycle Club; on the right is Melvin Belli, the legendary San Francisco-based ambulance chaser who managed, through his own knack for publicity, to snag himself everything from a guest shot on 'Star Trek' to defending Jack Ruby, to a bizarre public involvement in the Zodiac snuffs during the late 60s. His repeated appearance in the Maysles Brothers film has always caused me to wonder if lives might have been saved if the Rolling Stones had gone with a lawyer who understood something other than trying neck cases and getting his face on the tube.

As for the image . . . I've always loved this moment, because in that one second of film you can tell that this badass sees right through that flamboyant con man in a way no one else in the picture ever does.