“..Please allow me to introduce myself…” There were only 25 days left in the 60…
Written by megarock on December 7, 2017
“..Please allow me to introduce myself…”
There were only 25 days left in the 60’s…….
A decade that saw the rise (and fall) of the ‘peace and love era”. For those of our friends who really lived it, it was a time like no other. But like all good things, it had to end. There are those who feel that a free concert in Altamont, CA on Dec. 6, 1969, was the end of that era.
On that day, The Altamont Speedway Free Festival was at the Altamont Speedway in Northern California, between Tracy and Livermore. The event is best known for considerable violence, including the death of Meredith Hunter and three accidental deaths: two caused by a hit-and-run car accident and one by drowning in an irrigation canal. Four births were reported during the event. Scores were injured, numerous cars were stolen and then abandoned, and there was extensive property damage.
The concert featured, in order of appearance: Santana, Jefferson Airplane, The Flying Burrito Brothers, and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, with the Rolling Stones taking the stage as the final act.
The Grateful Dead were also scheduled to perform, but declined to play shortly before their scheduled appearance due to the increasing violence at the venue. “That’s the way things went at Altamont—so badly that the Grateful Dead, prime organizers and movers of the festival, didn’t even get to play,” staff at Rolling Stone magazine wrote in their story of the event, terming it in an additional follow-up piece “rock and roll’s all-time worst day, December 6th, a day when everything went perfectly wrong.”
Approximately 300,000 people attended the concert, and some anticipated that it would be a “Woodstock West.”
Filmmakers Albert and David Maysles shot footage of the event and incorporated it into a documentary film titled Gimme Shelter which premiered in New York City exactly one year later to the day in 1970.
To some, the 60’ have never ended, at least in their feelings and spirituality. To others, this concert, with its death and violence signaled the end.
Altamont, The Rolling Stones, the Hells Angels…. 48 years ago today.