Baron Wolman photographed The Rolling Stones in December 1969 at the Oakland Auditorium Arena, later filmed for the documentary Gimme Shelter.
Note Keith Richards at the bottom left. “For me that’s always shown the relationship between Mick and Keith from Mick’s point of view,” Wolman says.With reports of high album sales and high ticket prices in the weeks leading up to the event, The Stones were catching bad press including accusations of being greedy.
To appease fans, they decided to throw a free concert in Golden Gate Park. That venue didn’t work out, so the concert was moved to Sears Point Raceway. However Filmways owned the track which was a problem because concert organizers intended to film a documentary, which became Gimme Shelter.
At the last minute permits fell through and they moved the site to Oakland Auditorium Arena. Grateful Dead had convinced the organizers to hire the Hell’s Angels to provide security. When a fight broke out, The Rolling Stones had to stop halfway through “Sympathy for the Devil” and start over.
It was lucky that they were shooting a documentary. Halfway through the show an enraged fan charged at the Hell’s Angels brandishing a revolver. He was stabbed to death and beaten by Hell’s Angels. His autopsy later showed traces of methamphetamine. Footage from the film led to the Angels’ acquittal in self-defense.