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.