As I have posted previously Mick Jagger and Keith Richards worked together to write “Gimme Shelter.” Richards wrote the music during a huge storm, which inspired the idea behind taking shelter from an apocalyptic level storm. When asked about that day in question, Richards simply replied “”It was just a terrible f***ing day.” Jagger later wrote the powerful and controversial lyrics. The storm imagery, and the raunchy lyrics serve as a kind of metaphor for the chaos of the recent assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr., and President Kennedy as well as the Vietnam War, which was raging in full at the time of the release of the song. When asked about his friendship with Mick Jagger, Richards said:
“Yeah. It’s a true friendship when you can bash somebody over the head and not be told, “You’re not my friend anymore.” That’s a true friendship. You put up with each other’s b*****ing. People will think we’re having these huge arguments and say, “Oh, will they split up?” But it’s our way of working, you know? He’s my wife. And he’ll say the same thing about me: “Yeah, he’s my wife.””
This quote shows how the two of them worked closely with each other and how they both held the same feelings about the song. Richards didn’t talk about this song in particular at length in any of his articles, but Jagger talked about it a few times in interviews, most recently in 2010. Sadly, this song seems to get overshadowed by “Satisfaction,” which was from the same album, “Let it Bleed”. I think that it is very telling that the day that inspired the song was evidentially a horrible day, and that they broadened this feeling to describe the entire world at that point in time. This shows how the general outlook of the Rolling Stones, and arguably much of the world was very negative.