5 Replies to “Altamont Turns 50”

  1. Thanks. I’ve never watched Gimme Shelter — apparently it’s available on the intertubes now. I had the misconception that the Hell’s Angels were hired as more comprehensive security than they were.

      1. Yeah, the Angels were employed at the recommendation of Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead, who’d used them without incident to guard the stage at Golden Gate Park (the Dead, by the way, fled Altamont via the first helicopter when they learned there’d been violence during JA’s set). But Altamont was an altogether different scene from GG Park. The stage was inexplicably placed at the bottom of a slope, and people kept pushing towards the stage and knocking over the Angels’ bikes, never a good idea. Although a casual glance at the video reveals a number of people on hallucinogens, the drug cocktail du jour for both the fans and the Angels was alcohol laced with speed, a lovely combination that always brings out the finest in people.

  2. Yeah, Chris Hillman has said that they were scared as fuck, as I assume every performer that day was. But at least most honored their commitments and played.

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