Serving up this steaming pile of
Celebrity Gossip
Gay Politics
Gay News
and Pointless Bitchery
Since 1995

Was Mick Jagger responsible for Altamont?

Do you think he worked the audience into a purposeful frenzy? Did the Stones hire the Hells Angels? Do you think he feels remorse for how it turned out?

by Anonymousreply 6211/09/2013

Hiring the Hell's Angels was dumb decision. I'm sure many a cautionary tale from band managers were told using this example.

by Anonymousreply 111/06/2013

No angel born in hell could break that Satan spell.

by Anonymousreply 211/06/2013


by Anonymousreply 311/06/2013

No he did not work them up into a frenzy. The Angels were allegedly beating people up all day. The knocked Marty Balin of Jefferson Airplane out during their performance and that was hours before the RS came out.

by Anonymousreply 511/06/2013

Jagger doubtless regretted it the minute he saw the Angels on the day. Maybe the Angels 'suggested' their 'protection', and he and his people couldn't say no. (How could they have been stopped anyway?)

In the excellent Stones documentary 'Crossfire Hurricane' Keith Richards says he could see the Angels were Trouble from the word go: high on some booze/drugs mix that he (of course) knew all about.

The footage of Jagger mere feet from the crowd - which extended for miles - and trying to calm everyone down, amid the rush of music, is one of the scariest things I've seen. The evil atmosphere is palpable.

The Angels were responsible for Altamont. Jagger wrote and sang 'Sympathy For The Devil', the Angles enacted it.

by Anonymousreply 711/07/2013

^ Sorry, 'Angels' not 'Angles'!

by Anonymousreply 811/07/2013

No and he handled the situation bravely and very well. You can see the whole thing happen in the film "Gimme Shelter"

by Anonymousreply 911/07/2013

r4, um

by Anonymousreply 1011/07/2013

they had used the London version of the Angels at their concert in London in July of that year and things went great.

I think I read that Jerry Garcia was the one who suggested it to him, saying they had used them for security and it worked out well for them.

It was just too many people, too many drug.

by Anonymousreply 1111/07/2013

To me, in the video, it looks like Jagger is trying to calm people down while privately scared out of his wits. It's one of the few times you will ever see him lose his cool. Gimme Shelter is fascinating.

by Anonymousreply 1211/07/2013

I actually gained a lot of respect for Jagger standing so close to the crowd when any one of them could have shot him or jumped him or whatever. The band could have run away but they stayed. If they'd left it probably would have caused even more rioting.

And the poster upthread is correct, an Angel whapped Marty Balin on the head earlier in the day. The violence had already begun and it was a cluster from the moment it started. Someone else had already died by the time the Stones came on (fell into a ditch while drunk or something).

by Anonymousreply 1311/07/2013

It's kind of amazing that there is video of the killing. The RS happened to be filming themselves for a documentary.

There are no photos or video of what happened at the Who concert in 1979 when all those kids were trampled. I think there was one photo of two covered bodies and just a bunch of photos of shoes the coliseum workers swept together. Today, people would film themselves dying with their smartphones.

by Anonymousreply 1411/07/2013

Three other people died there. One fell into a drainage ditch and drowned, two others were asleep on the ground and got run over.

by Anonymousreply 1511/07/2013

I would say it worked out quite well for the Stones that the Hell's Angel killed the gunman.

by Anonymousreply 1611/07/2013

A lot of that footage at altamont is edited. Mick Jagger was cursing a lot and the cursing is edited. A guy who was there has audio of it. Mick on film says, "Let's be cool," and on the audiotape he says, "Let's bloody well be fucking cool, ok?"

The Grateful Dead used only two or three Hells Angels that their management knew and they weren't used for security purposes -- they were used to protect the wiring for the amps. The Dead used to do these free concerts in the park, but there was no electricity, so they'd plug their stuff into a bunch of extension cords from someone's laundry room that was draped over trees and down into the park. The Angels made sure the wires didn't get messed with.

The Dead were supposed to play at Altamont. One of the reasons why there was a two hour stretch between Crosby, Stills and Nash and the Rolling Stones was that the Dead were supposed to be playing during that time but they took off when they heard the Angels punched out Marty Balin from Jefferson Airplane.

The Stones were scheduled to go on after the Dead. It would be dark when the Stones came out, which was what the Stones wanted. They were the headline act and they wanted the most dramatic backdrop, which meant they played under lights after dark. So there was this two hour period of nothingness, which pissed off the crowd of overly hot, overly drugged people. It was held in a desert, after all. Put drunken, high people out in baking sun all day long and you've got an irascible crowd. Add Hell's Angels, beer, and stir and guess what happens?

by Anonymousreply 1711/07/2013

Meredith Hunter had a gun and aimed it at the stage. You can see it here when they slow down the film

by Anonymousreply 1811/07/2013

How in the world is this Mick's fault? He was almost assassinated!

by Anonymousreply 1911/07/2013

It was the Grateful Dead who suggested it would be a good idea to use Hell's Angels for security. The Stones idea of Hell's Angels were little pantywaist "Angels" that they'd seen in England. They thought the Hell's Angels were cool and relatively harmless. They didn't know ANYTHING about the Hell's Angels, who were booze-swilling, druggie criminals.

Jagger was completely ineffectual at handling the situation. All he could do was whine and beg the audience to stay in control. The Hell's Angels thought he was a joke; he had no effect on them at all.

Altamont was poorly organized, poor managed, a disaster. And the Stones did bear some responsibility for that. But the Grateful Dead never got blame that THEY should have gotten. I always hated the Grateful Dead; they were musically mediocre, drug-addled creeps and their fans were as bad as they were.

by Anonymousreply 2011/07/2013

Bump! More!

by Anonymousreply 2111/07/2013

You can see in the film that Jagger and most of the kids were terrified by The Angels. Richards was pissed off and threatened to leave the stage. The Angels pretty much just rode their motorcycles into a large festival seated crowd and beat down anyone who touched their bikes. It was hippie stupidity from the Dead to suggest them as security for a live event with ten's of thousands of kids.

by Anonymousreply 2211/07/2013

There really isn't anymore, R21. Watch the Maysle brothers documentary Gimme Shelter. It's all there.

by Anonymousreply 2311/07/2013

They paid the Hell's angels in booze, then when a fight broke out somebody got killed, sounds like they were at least partially responsible.

by Anonymousreply 2411/07/2013

The Angels got ugly and edgy around the stage way before the Stones came on, pushing their weight around in full daylight.

The Flying Burrito Brothers lightened the mood for a short time, but then you can hear Gram Parsons pleading, "Please stop hurting each other...Please you people, stop hurting each other. You don't have to."

by Anonymousreply 2511/07/2013 then do a search on Laurel Canyon. Interesting.

by Anonymousreply 2711/07/2013

Aren't there websites dedicated to satanic conspiracy head cases like R26?

Why yes, yes there are lots of websites like that. The Datalounge isn't one of them.

by Anonymousreply 2811/07/2013

Mick looks frightened in these clips, calm, but frightened.

by Anonymousreply 2911/07/2013

Wasn't it Ken Kesey and Allen Ginsberg who introduced The Hell's Angels to the SF scene? The Hell's Angels also did security work for Janis Joplin. Back then everyone who was on the outside of mainstream culture (acid heads, hippies, speedfreaks, underground artists, motorgangs, etc.) were considered to be 'part of the team'.

by Anonymousreply 3011/07/2013

A lot of HAs were Vietnam vets. They would bust up anti-war demonstrations. They hated hippies. They only hung around hippies to get free booze, to sell them speed and to inform on them in order to keep their own asses out of prison.

Anyone who even vaguely connected the tea-sipping wannabe bikers in London with the US HAs had to be retarded. Everyone knew who the HAs were. They were guys with swastikas tattooed on their necks who wore nazi iron crosses. Don't tell us the Stones or their managers thought HAs in California were peace-loving, tea-sipping fellows who just happened to wear leather jackets and ride motorcycles. They were an outlaw gang who reveled in being outlaws. They were drug dealers, weapons dealers and informants to anyone they felt could keep them out of jail.

by Anonymousreply 3111/07/2013

Another vote for the documentary "Gimme Shelter." Jagger comes across as being absolutely clueless, if anything.

by Anonymousreply 3211/07/2013

R9, Agreed. Jagger did a terrific job of calming everyone down. The Stones did make a horrific and fatal mistake by letting those deranged Hell's Angels lunatics provide the "security." You can plainly see in the "Gimme Shelter" documentary that they were beating fans senseless. It was a nightmare. I think Jagger saved the day.

by Anonymousreply 3311/07/2013

Well, r28, everyone is entitled to their opinions on something,even here on DL. Maybe you have a problem with that. I never said that DL was a conspiracy site, nor do I believe that there was or was not conspiracy. How about letting people read both sides of an issue and make up their own mind.

by Anonymousreply 3411/07/2013

"Jagger did a terrific job of calming everyone down"

Oh, for God's sake, he did NOTHING to calm anyone down.

This is an excerpt from a biography of the Stones by Philip Norman. Probably the best part of the book is the account of what happened at Altamont. Here's some of it:

"Halfway through "Carol" even that good tempered rock'n'roll number, pool cues began flailing among the faces closed to Jagger's silver boots. Boys and girls stripped naked in the dank cold, flinging themselves forward against the cracked leather cordon as puny, white martyrs, almost begging to be surrounded, beaten, trampled and kicked.

Now came the moment when, according to which equally possible version one prefers, Mick Jagger's intuition deserted him or his vanity became overmastering. Either way, the result was incredible stupidity. Folding his cloak around him, he stepped forward in the mincing gait he had evolved for this most presumptuous of all his masquerades. "Please allow me to introduce myself..." sang Satan, in his trendy orange satin, across a landscape whose authentic hellishness he could not, or would not, see.

The effect was as sudden as if the ground had opened up. Faces, down to Jagger's left, collapsed sideways under the tossing assault of Hell's Angel's staves. The Devil-invoking samba beat expired in a tugboat whistle of guitar feedback. Satan, cut off in midverse, grasped for words that would return him to the hippie plane. "Brothers and sisters...brothers and sisters, come on now. That means everybody...just cool out. Just cool out now. We can cool out, everybody. Everybody be cool now, come on..."

The beating down of pool cues paused as if in answer to this exhortation. "Okay," Jagger said, evidently believeing he had worked some similar miracle to that of James Brown in the race riots. "I think we're cool now...we can groove." A shaky little joke revealed his continued failure to grasp the situation below him. "We always have something very funny happen when we start that number..."

"San Francisco...this could be the most beautiful event. Don't fuck it up..." It was that rare thing, Jagger's ordinary voice, accentless, wan, almost trembling. He stood there, a forlorn, flat-footed figure, wrapped in his black and silver cloak, punctured with the uncomprehending dismay of finding himself completely ignored by an audience.

"All I can do is ask you, BEG you to keep it together. It's within your power."

by Anonymousreply 3511/07/2013

I've always been struck by the expression on the girl with the glasses, which seems to sum up the bad vibes of the event.

by Anonymousreply 3611/07/2013

Jagger asks the crowd, "Who's fighting and what for? Why are we fighting?"

"It's the fucking angels!" comes the reply.

Jagger ignores it.

At another point, crowd members are shaking their heads at Mick Jagger trying to tell him what's happening as the Angels are beating someone. But they can't say it's the Angels, because they are surrounded by Hell's Angels. "It's not good," says one kid. "This is bad, man!"

Jagger dances away from him.

When jagger finally says that the Hell's Angels should cool it, the Angels break into their worst violence and Hunter is killed.

Witnesses said that Hunter pulled his gun on one of the Angels who was beating him. Just then he gets knocked forward, and as he rights himself with the gun in hand, another Angel to his right pulls his knife and knocks the gun away, then begins stabbing him. He falls and they begin kicking him as the other Angel continues to stab him on the ground. Someone reported that Hunter said to the Angels, "I wasn't going to shoot you."

The Stones play 8 more songs, unaware that someone has been killed a few yards away.

by Anonymousreply 3711/07/2013

r34 has a point.

People who have written about this are not all conspiracy loons.

The people who bring you your drugs are not nice people-then or now. All the pot smokers forget that in their rush for legalization.

At that time, the celebrities got a thrill from being around the 'outlaw' bikers. That included the Stones. They had a lot of shady people around them, and they knew all about the HA.

Stars had enough money in most cases not to get behind in payments, so they never really saw the bad side. In those days, labels would sometimes step in to intervene.

by Anonymousreply 3811/08/2013

[quote] So there was this two hour period of nothingness, which pissed off the crowd of overly hot, overly drugged people. [bold]It was held in a desert, after all. Put drunken, high people out in baking sun all day long and you've got an irascible crowd.[/bold]

So much information packed into two sentences. Which northern California desert by the Bay Area are you referring to? And how baking hot does the sun get before Christmas?

by Anonymousreply 3911/08/2013

The only thing I've ever read that rivalled this is a Woodstock II expose by Rolling Stone, or maybe Spin magazine. Really dark vibes, with multiple women publicly raped in the crowd. I have never heard it discussed since, but it was also as I see it the end of grunge good-spiritedness. If someone could make a thread about it, it might be interesting to discuss too.

by Anonymousreply 4011/08/2013

Woodstock '99.

by Anonymousreply 4111/08/2013

Thank you, r38. There is always 2 sides to a story. Interesting how some like to shout down alternative explanations of something. Sigh. I can't imagine why....

Yes, those who bring you drugs are NOT your friends.

by Anonymousreply 4211/08/2013

And the site I mentioned in an earlier post is extensive, with some 17? parts. To anyone, read them ALL. Very interesting and, no, I am not a conspiracy nut. I am open-minded to hear all sides, however.

by Anonymousreply 4311/08/2013

The rapes at Woodstock have been well documented. It's not exactly a secret that crowded rock and roll events attract antisocial perps. People (yes, not just women) get sexually assaulted with monotonous regularity in mosh pits, and fights and serious injuries are not uncommon.

by Anonymousreply 4411/08/2013

The Hell's Angel who killed Meredith Hunter was murdered in 1985. Someone hustled him out of his shower, took him to a local reservoir and threw him in with thousands of dollars of cash strapped to his back.

by Anonymousreply 4611/08/2013

I agree that the Laurel Canyon piece is really good. You don't have to believe every conclusion, but it provides enough creepy verifiable facts to make you think.

by Anonymousreply 4711/08/2013

Can someone link to the Laurel Cannon piece, please!

by Anonymousreply 4811/08/2013

Strange as it may sound, but that was the first time that stage monitors were used. Beforehand, the band never really had a sense of what they sounded like; they relied on the amps behind them, with no thought made to letting them hear the entire mix.

by Anonymousreply 4911/08/2013

Dave McGowan's Inside the LC series is here. Scroll down a bit. I think he tries a little too hard to connect the death of anyone who ever spent five minutes in the Canyon with a conspiracy, but it's great fun to read.

(Just be careful when he starts talking about the Black Dahlia. He posts several gross pictures from the crime scene without warning.)

by Anonymousreply 5011/08/2013

Thanks r50

Sorry to be obtuse, but do u know why some chapters are not readable?

Anyway, what it did read was a whole lotta folks dying. It is a bit peculiar

by Anonymousreply 5111/08/2013

Gimme Shelter is a great, great doc.

by Anonymousreply 5211/08/2013

The Gimme Shelter documentary is indeed great - because you see Jagger the Showman wrestling with Jagger the Human - as upthread poster stated from the bio, flatfooted and wan, helplessly begging the crowd to stop, then suddenly mincing around trying to entertain. He doesn't come off as evil to me, more like scared and totally powerless for once in his life which is odd to watch.

The truly scary guy is the Angel in the doc who is positively getting off on his anger, grabbing his throat and foaming at the mouth, looking as if he's about to beat Mick Jagger with his fist -- maybe three feet from the band. It's terrifying to watch.

The Jefferson Airplane handled the situation not much better. Grace Slick began shrieking at people and yelling that someone was beating up "HER" band. I think Marty Balin was knocked unconscious.

All in all, a badly mismanaged affair. And the documentary is interesting to watch, particularly the footage of the Stones watching afterward. They each look pasty and drawn. Jagger asks Maylses to rewind the tape and they can see the clear outline of Hunter's gun. He looks genuinely shocked. I don't think he in any way planned for such a hideous event (he's a huge control freak) - but he couldn't handle such a large crowd as a normal person, he had to be "Mick Jagger".

by Anonymousreply 5311/08/2013

[quote] grabbing his throat and foaming at the mouth, looking as if he's about to beat Mick Jagger with his fist -- maybe three feet from the band. It's terrifying to watch.

Are you talking about the tripping hippie on the stage? He wasn't a Hell's Angel. A Hell's Angel threw him off the stage.

by Anonymousreply 5411/08/2013

Good grief Philip Norman is such a drama queen (referring to excerpt at r35). Jagger and the rest of the band had no control over the HAs beyond possibly approving their hire.

Woodstock 99 was a disaster and as stated upthread the real death-knell for the alterna-grunge era, really for rock music in general. Rap and teen pop boy bands took over after that and that's all she wrote really.

That Laural Canyon series is mildly entertaining but anyone who thinks there's a big conspiracy there is nuts. Of course there were tons of interrelationships amongst people who lived and worked there, LA and show business has always been small and insular and was even more so back then.

by Anonymousreply 5511/08/2013

R51, it looks like he took down most of the chapters because he's putting out a book. He must have just done that. It's too bad, because while McGowan makes for good cheesy reading, I don't think I'd pay for one of his books.

Sorry about that.

by Anonymousreply 5611/08/2013

There definitely were a lot of rich kids from military families pretending to be dirt poor in that scene. In most scenes, actually.

by Anonymousreply 5711/08/2013

Did the Angels also kill that fat,naked guy? I felt sorry for him,he was too high to realize that bad shit was headed his way.

by Anonymousreply 5811/08/2013

The fat naked guy lived! I remember a book about the Stones had a photo of him, standing off to the side of the stage.

According to Pamela Des Barres, Mick tried to get over the Altamount trauma by suggesting a threesome with Michelle Phillips that night.

by Anonymousreply 5911/09/2013

"There definitely were a lot of rich kids from military families pretending to be dirt poor in that scene."

Since when do military families produce rich kids?

by Anonymousreply 6011/09/2013

trolling much? yeah, on a stage the size of a postage stamp with murderous angels (have you seen the film?) surrounding him, I thought Mick, Keith actually showed bravery, cojones.

If you've ever seen the film, you do know it was the morons from the Grateful Dead, especially Garcia, who vouched for Angels as security.

by Anonymousreply 6111/09/2013

[quote]Since when do military families produce rich kids?

That's the think r60, the father's were all seriously high ranking military. So, so many stars came from important high ranking military families, something you would never guess or notice. The only poor military brat to get famous back then was Jimmy Hendricks, if I remember correctly.

by Anonymousreply 6211/09/2013
Need more help? Click Here.

Follow theDL catch up on what you missed

recent threads by topic delivered to your email

follow popular threads on twitter

follow us on facebook

Become a contributor - post when you want with no ads!