OLD SCHOOL STORIES #1:The Altamont Free concert 1969
On December 6th 1969, a dark chapter in Rock 'n Roll music was written.
The Rolling Stones had planed to host a massive free concert in San Francisco, as an grand ending for their big tour of 69', along with some of their friends; The Greatful dead, Jefferson Airplane, Santana and Crosbys, Stills, Nash and Young. Unfortunately, the state of California would not allow this, since the Stones weren't so popular in the states at the time. So as a last resort, the Altamont speedway race track was chosen as location. A place in the middle of nowhere in the state of Alabama.
As the people got there, days before the show, the place became a hippie zone without any laws. Bad acid was being handed around like water and when the concert was about to start, 300.000 people had come to witness this event. There were no security at all. Instead, The Stones had hired the Hell's Angels as guards, in exange for free beer. And the Angels were not the most ideal security. When the bands started to perform, hell broke loose.
When the Jefferson Airplane got on stage, people tried to get close of the stage, and as a result, they were brutaly abused by the Angel's sawn-off pool cues and motorcycle chains. The lead singer of Jefferson even got knocked out by a Hell's Angel (by mistake). When sundown had come and gone, the Stones finally got on stage. Several hours behind schedule. They open up with the classic Sympathy for the Devil, but not even halfway trough the song,the situation got out of hand at the first rows. Mick Jagger tried in vein to calm the audience. In the crowd was a 18year old black man named Meredith Hunt. He had a lime green suit and in his blood was a mix of various drugs. He became so angry at the Hell's Angel that he took up a revolver and aimed at the closest biker. He didn't have the time to pull the trigger, as he got stabbed in the back by the Hell's Angel.The Rolling Stones continued on, unaware of the murder, to play infront of 300.000 intoxicated humans.
4 people (including Meredith Hunt) were reported dead and 4 babies were born this day at the Altamont racing track, the 6th of December 1969.
Wish you could see this with your own eyes? Well you can. A documentary called Gimme Shelter is partly based on fotage of this day. (Part 1/9)