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Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Texicaster, Dec 6, 2019.
I guess there's not gonna be a tribute or reunion concert....
Ahh....1969....gained my freedom....the year I got out of the USMC (6/30/69) after 4 exciting years.
I was rooming with another Marine buddy who had just got out.
We both had Honda 450's at the time (cool bikes, I might add) and discussed going to Altamont.
But, even the smattering of info about the venue didn't excite me too much.
I felt it would be less than well organized, a parking nightmare along with a plethora of drunks/druggies/fights.
So...not for me...I didn't go.
I can't recall if my buddy went but I'm sure glad my foresight was accurate.
Back to it....
You understand why I'm not gonna click LIKE, right? Altamont was, in many ways, an end to innocence.
To be honest I’m shocked that type of thing hasn’t occurred more often than it has.
Even the best-organized concerts and festivals are a cluster of bad parking, crowded conditions, alcohol- and drug-fueled egos...
I think it was the Stephen King novel Needful Things, where the devilish character really just set a stage based on the townpeople’s previous problems and jealousies...and gave a little push to create violence and chaos.
The Hell’s Angels were the Leland Gaunt of Altamont.
Altamont was over the top and caught on film. While probably the worst occurrence there were lots of issues at many festivals, Woodstock included which had much of it glossed over.
Probably the end of ignorance more than innocence...
How about Stephen Stills at Big Sur..
Ahhh, Altamont and the Sterling Hall bombings here in Madison...
What the 60s were REALLY all about
thanks for the reminder. Now I know one more exact date and time and place from my past. It was a crazy show, but people try to read way too much meaning into it.
A friend of mine went, sat on the fringes far from the stage, and told me he and his friends had a good time and were unaware of the nastiness onstage and close by.
GREAT band name: Leland Gaunt Of Altamont. You, Sir, are a very stable genius.
I never liked “biker gangs”. They remind me of a bunch of degenerates whose main goal is to perpetuate violence. Reminds me of a cockroach infestation!
C'mon, how else are you going to get meth to the northern states?
Thank you! It was Unintentional genius...
Ahem...remember they prefer to be called "clubs".
Hells Angels (with plenty of beer/acid/speed) as security at Altamont ?
if you invite a tiger to lunch, don’t complain when someone gets eaten...
it's on jagger i'm afraid.
Actually its on Jerry Garcia.
100% Jagger! It was to be a surprise concert on the Panhandle which the SF groups knew how to put on. Jagger opened his mouth at a press conference and SF said no way. Ralph Gleason has some culpability as he was harassing the Stones incessantly about ticket prices. They could have cut a deal to be at Sears Point but greed moved to Altamont with like 24 hours to set up!
Garcia had nothing to do with it. Rock Scully (Dead's manager or some sort) had his head in the clouds and point man but again for a Panhandle concert. While some say the Dead should have played I think their decision to not play and get the Stones on and end it asap was wise. Stones were held up because Bill Wyman went shopping all day and they went on as soon as he got there. Probably partly the lighting for film to wait for sunset but my have rushed in and out knowing the situation was getting worse by the minute.
HA's were not security. They were there as in the previous show to simply keep fans off cables and gear...and drink $500 of beer!. Altamont was in a neutral area so a free for all with prospects causing most problems and no club had "jurisdiction". IF in Frisco, Frisco HA would have been in charge and acted in charge. Most if not all the HA officers were not there till later. You can see Sonny arriving late in the film. Good luck with a 3 foot stage at the bottom of a slope! HST's book on HA's had been out 2 years and their rep was well documented. The idea the Stones thought they'd be tea drinking clowns on Vespas is laughable and another lie by them to avoid responsibility.
Meredith Hunter brought and brandished a gun...
I think in the end you can chalk it up to drug culture. You could have removed any number of elements but with a bunch of cheap wine and drugs it would have gone down just about the same! Without HA's the stage would have been over run!
BTW the Stones ripped off so many people on that tour! Skipped out on hotel and transportation bills. Bailed out on Sam Cutler their road mgr and left him in the states to clean it up with $500 in his pocket. He had to hide out at Mickey Harts ranch as HA's were holding him responsible. They wanted the film...
Anyways... I happened to stumble over a couple books this year that dealt with it and read numerous point of view. Mine's just one more that could not be more remote from event or participants so here's that grain of salt....❒
According to Sonny Barger's book (take it for what it's worth) the Frisco Angels were first contacted to sit on the stage, drink beer and keep the area clear. The Frisco guys then invited the other Angels chapters to join in. The Stones were familiar with the English HA's as security which by Barger's admission were not as violent as the "real thing", and it was Jagger or Sam Cutler who suggested them to police the stage. According to other things I read & heard years ago Garcia was the contact between the Angels and the Stones' crew. No doubt some variations to the story are from people distancing themselves from their own involvement and let's not forget the drugs.
Some of Sonny's book recollections differ from others' versions and even from other versions he himself gave in various interviews. He does consider Jerry Garcia as a good friend.
"Oh, and there we were all in one place
A generation lost in space
With no time left to start again…"