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ALTAMONT-Joel Selvin

2016-09-14 | 🔗
In this breathtaking cultural history filled with exclusive, never-before-revealed details, celebrated rock journalist Joel Selvin tells the definitive story of the Rolling Stones’ infamous Altamont concert in San Francisco, the disastrous historic event that marked the end of the idealistic 1960s.In the annals of rock history, the Altamont Speedway Free Festival on December 6, 1969, has long been seen as the distorted twin of Woodstock—the day that shattered the Sixties’ promise of peace and love when a concertgoer was killed by a member of the Hells Angels, the notorious biker club acting as security. While most people know of the events from the film Gimme Shelter, the whole story has remained buried in varied accounts, rumor, and myth—until now.Altamont explores rock’s darkest day, a fiasco that began well before the climactic death of Meredith Hunter and continued beyond that infamous December night. Joel Selvin probes every aspect of the show—from the Stones’ hastily planned tour preceding the concert to the bad acid that swept through the audience to other deaths that also occurred that evening—to capture the full scope of the tragedy and its aftermath. He also provides an in-depth look at the Grateful Dead’s role in the events leading to Altamont, examining the band’s behind-the-scenes presence in both arranging the show and hiring the Hells Angels as security.The product of twenty years of exhaustive research and dozens of interviews with many key players, including medical staff, Hells Angels members, the stage crew, and the musicians who were there, and sixteen pages of color photos, Altamont is the ultimate account of the final event in rock’s formative and most turbulent decade. ALTAMONT: The Rolling Stones, The Hell's Angels, and the Inside Story of Rock's Darkest Day-Joel Selvin
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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You are now listening to true murder, the most shocking killers and true crime history and the authors that have written about Gacy, Bundy Dahmer, the night stalker Dgk every week, another fascinating author talking about the most shocking and infamous killer crime, history, room murder, with your host journalist and author Dan good evening. In this breathtaking cultural history filled with exclusive. Never before revealed details, celebrated rock journalist, Joel Selvin tells the definitive story of the rolling stones infamous Altamont concert in San Francisco the disastrous historic event
that marked the end of the idealistic 1960s in the annals of rock history, the Alta Mont Speedway Free Festival on December six hundred and nineteen. Sixty nine is long been seen as a distorted twin of wood stock. The day that shattered the 60s promise of peace and love. When the concert Gore was killed by a member of the Hells angels than historic, notorious biker club acting a security, Well, most people know of the events from the film gimme Shelter. The whole story has remained buried in various a cow Rumer in math. Until now, Altamonte explores rocks darkest days a fiasco. The began well before the climatic yes, the Meredith Hunter and continued beyond their. In famous December night, Joel Selvin Probes, every.
Aspect of the show from the stones hastily plan tour preceding the concert to the bad acid. That's swept through the audience to other deaths that also occured that evening to capture the full scope of the tragedy and its aftermath. He also provides an in depth. Look at the grateful Dead's role in the events leading to Alta Mont. Examining the bands behind the scenes presents in both arranging the show in hiring the Hells angels as security, the product of twenty years of exhaustive research and dozens of interviews went many key players, including medical staff, Hells angels, men, where's, the stage crew and the musicians who are there, including sixteen pages of color photos. Alta Mont is the ultimate account of the final event in rocks formative and most turbulent decade book there was examining this evening is ultimate the rolling stones, the Hells angels and the inside story of rocks dark his day with my guess, journalist and author Jewel
Sylvan, welcome to the program, and thank you for agreeing to this interview. Joel Selvin, thanks, damn good to be here. Thank you very much, a little bit different book to look at today, but a an incredible look back in history and again the darkest day in music history. Definitely so, let's serve ask you. I'm asked this question: why a book about Altamont now? How did you become involved? Why did you want to be come involved? Tell us a little bit about that. Well, I I work for most of what we might laughingly refer to as my adult life as the pop music critic of the San Francisco, Monical. I started there in nineteen. Seventy in the fumes the aroma of Alta Mont was still in the air. So it's been of. Part of my lower all along. I I came in the other musicians who played there De Jans people attended the concert and reduced
Worries all you know, all those years. Why now Well, let's just say that it is also time for a good story. This is a great story. I was not so convinced myself at first that it was a great story, because I so is such common material to me. Also a nerd to the drama of it suggested that the that I look into this a little bit and I went to a moderate large to visit with rocks golly. The manager of the grateful Dead Rock told me the story of how how small, start. It is a beautiful day. I haven't seen rock and ages. You look great, we hate
outside and I drove home is about two one slash two hour drive to San Francisco and I drove home just feeling like ahead of gold nugget in my pocket. The store this story was so good and it's just screamed. This is how a book opens in about two months later rock died. He could sick that day. I didn't know it like. I said he You look so good, I'm speaking photographs offense, but I felt really at that point like these stories have apparating, and we had to do this right now or it was just going to not be possible and it's certainly been the case. Uh the since the books been published. I think three or four people that I interviewed for the book of died. Senses wow yeah now, let's, as you do in the book, take us back to, and you include this fantastic, the historical backdrop,
but you have to take us back before one thousand nine hundred and sixty nine to be able to explain the phenomena, the free concert's, the status musically and culturally of the rolling stones in the grateful dead and some of the bands Woodstock itself and the 60s counter revolution, so tell us about Jan Winner and the humble beginnings of rolling stone and tell us to start to begin to tell us who were the major players before we talk about the December one thousand nine hundred and sixty nine Alta Mont concert so you're. So right, then this is just a huge convergence of of social, political, cultural and musical factors out there.
And it was really difficult to lay that stuff out that the underpinnings of all this that that was the most challenging part of the book. For me, you can't separate what happened on and and in with the hell's angels in America, thunder and and all that that day, with the the culture of that song name, the historical moment of Woodstock at the three months before the moon landing the Manson killing so the Chicago police shot Fred Hampton the black Panther in his apartment, that very week. It was just an extraordinary moment in our nation's history, you rolling Stone magazine was successful by that it's about a year and a half old beyond was the publisher and founder
but it was largely a kind of underground music magazine, sort of a hit parade or tiger beat for hippies, until the Alta Mont thing challenged him jerk politically and they rose the task there. Twenty thousand word, article cover headline, let it bleed was really the first authentically accurate, journalistic account of that day the mainstream media just kicked that bucket down the hill, and I mean the New York Times noted
it is a joyous advance. All the one concert goers been stabbed to death, but otherwise was wonderful in the local newspaper and radio, pretty much taken the same thing that it did. You took rolling stone to really pull the curtain back on what the violence and and and and negligence of that day, and in and in doing so they will establish themselves as well with that news magazine with that. One issue: let's go back in and tell it in the sequence so that we can understand how important yon winner and a rolling stone magazine is to this story and is to history period, and this murder case as well as we will see. Let's talk about the Bands and San Francisco now San Francisco, when you can tell it better than anyone, it was outside what I guess. The rock music thought
was the New York and LOS Angeles, and I certainly San Francisco was not known nationwide, as you were about to tell us about what happened with the San Francisco music scene in some of those bands, those players and how do they get exposure before we talk about again this plan to free festival here with the stones in the dead and some other bands? Okay, I can do that. So in nineteen sixty six in San Francisco there was we should Mendis uh explosion of music, based primarily on people who have been experimenting with the psychedelic drug Alesci there, a couple of dance falls in town. Moratorium in the Avalon ballroom they're putting on shows every week, and there was a whole variety of new
Sounding rock music look like musically. It never sounded like this before with dance with funny names like Jefferson, airplane, grateful, dead, Quicksilver, MESSENGER service, big brother and the holding company. These pants will entirely unheard up outside of certain neighborhoods in San Francisco in nineteen sixty but by one thousand nine hundred and sixty seven, the National news media begun did find out about this hit the thing in San Francisco. In January, sixty seven seven one hundred thousand people showed up polo fields in Golden Gate Park to listen to
just dance. They did so without any violence. Any strife and make towards which blew everybody's mind that that many people could come together. Without you know horrible instances there they were compared to professional athletics and the cops just couldn't believe what a different crowd, it was from say like a football game. So that's like where the beginning of this whole San Francisco mythology behind it was no mythology. These dams lives in the Haight Ashbury in Golden Gate Park, and they will just if the day was sunny and they felt like a big, take their gear out the park and just start playing and they didn't care who who came or how or if they got paid for it or not. So this was a make. A new kind of renaissance of arts and culture, an electric site, delek level in California, and there was no internet at those times. So there
very little information outside of the immediate experience like magazines they weren't newspapers, weren't, covering it. The record industry was ignoring it by the summer of sixty seven, which the media is called the summer of love. San Francisco is very much and everybody's focus one hundred thousand kids to send it on San Francisco that summer. The Jefferson airplane's second album surrealistic pillow was the biggest record of the summer white rabbit and somebody lover all over the airwaves and the entire record industry sort of looked at Francisco is like having a new answers I'm just going London became the sort of axis on which the rock scene revolves at that point. By two years later, one thousand nine hundred and sixty nine San Francisco is the center of the rock music universe in airplane who's one of the biggest fans in the world. There was a big
in the holding company had a number one album that year, all the great new bands, all the exciting new bands, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Santana Sly and the family stone. Those were all out of San Francisco and it seemed like that. You know there was just something so authentic about the music. These hippies made that it it it it. It resonated all around the world and especially in London, where them you're, always been very fashion. Conscious. You understand I mean it looks like the VIC Trance modify music in the style in English and that's a very close relationship that they didn't quite understand, from five thousand miles away with what little faint hints of it that they could get lists You know. Lsd was hard to come by in London an light shows they were just guessing at what was going on in San Francisco
It was very little back and forth until, like sixty eight, so the rolling stones in nineteen sixty nine found themselves in a financial bind. Who broke, they had a management bottlenecked all their royalties and they were advised. The only way they could get new money was to form a separate company that he wasn't involved in for the United States. Well, they haven't been on tour in the United States for three years, but this time. You know they were like two half hour said at the end of a or the tire hard of like one or two hit wonders doing three or four songs of peace and then get the hell out of Dodge right, but in the in the ensuing three year here's, the rock scene. It just changed so totally in the United States. I mean like led Zeppelin- was the big act that year that fall in October touring behind their second album you know they had a two one. Slash two hours show would like one slash two hour drum solo, so the rolling stones seeing United States is up financial opportunity to show up here to do this tour.
Complicated by many issues now because they're trying to get into this World this new world of wood stock rock and there's so many public pronounced It must be made. You know you have to be in favor of free music and you can't be seen as gouging your fans. Even if you in seven dollars and fifty cents about twice what everybody else gets for concert tickets right. So the stones are trying to brush up against this San Francisco thing, and they start talking about this free concert right from the start. It's it's a staying at the time she concerts. Jagger mentions it in a press conference, in LOS Angeles, is beginning the twelve
once the tour starts and they find out how much impact they're really having what size of opportunity this american tour really represents. Then you know they they start overtime on this idea of well, let's do a concert movie and let's, let's have a free concert, kind of our own wood stock end to frame the movie. Now they don't even really get this in gear that so the end of the tour in New York when they finally meet with Albert and David Maysles documentary, film makers, who would shoot the Madison Square Garden shows, but that's just the next to the LA show on the tour, there's some footage, but they don't have a movie.
We're gonna have a movie is if the stones go through. This giant would stop me in three concert in San Francisco. Well, behind the scenes, Thursday in a power struggle between mix columns, front office and the grateful dead and stones, front offices taken control of the permit process with the parts because it was rocks to his original idea to get a permit in the name of the Jefferson they're playing the grateful dead and bring the stones on is like a supply special guest and I'll slap that day before the concert sort of pull one over on the city, but the stones insisted or their guys and sisters on you, know taking up the permit process themselves and that ended any prospective ever playing in San Francisco. Please believe me, the mayor, San Francisco is not interested hippies moving as a part, so
Jagger goes ahead the next day and announces the New York Press conference that they're going to have this free concert on December six somewhere in your sandwiches. But we don't know where, as late as Tuesday before the Saturday of the schedule concert, they did not have a location finish. Tumblr crosses racetrack, about sixty miles. North of San Francisco called serious point strike a deal with the guys that are running this track and start building the stage and sound system. The next day. The corporate owners are the racetrack find out about this deal and they call up the stones lawyer and they do not believe that the stones are doing this movie for charity and there happened to be in the film business themselves. They want a piece of the film and they want a riddle, and now the stones refused to budge. This is all about money. They want to spend any money. This is a stalemate for twenty four hours. The stage is going
she was point. The sheriff is calling and telling them they throw the concert here, they're all going to be arrested, and that's when this guy did Carter shows up calls into the stones. Lawyers, office, e, gotta, rundown speedway, sixty miles e of San Francisco, and I mean no. Where past the suburbs Pastic Serbia past hundreds of a years of cow pasture over a hill and in the valley on the edge of nowhere biggest crowd. He's ever had six thousand for a demolition jerseys almost out of business, but he says stones don't have his Racecraft Alta Mont Speedway for free. He just one, The publicity it's Thursday afternoon. The show supposed to start on Saturday at noon rocks Collier the grateful Dead gets in a helicopter with Michael Lang, the producer of Woodstock not really sure what he's doing
and they fly out over the Livermore Valley, where Altima just take a look at it, there's a dip down over this race track. It rock looks out there. He sees all these broken glass and these oil stains in these wrecked cars from the demolition derbies, Everything is what's up. What's up and here's Michael Lang say: oh, this is perfect. We can do it right here since Thursday. After him, they start moving the gear over from serious point, sixty miles away by helicopter five trucks there. Your regional, by volunteers, race from the radio, come help the stones concert. It is the big put the station on the fighting light in the dark without many flashlights and they're, still plugging in equipment and and and wrapping cables and Bam starts the next day at noon. So there's three hundred thousand people there in the middle of nowhere.
No running water. No food concessions. No parking, though, not that just all these people showed up the cops had no idea. They were calm. There is a very bad set up, but what happened in your and what happened was you know you would expect or something like that, let's go back a little bit too to the relationship that the role stones had with the you Kay Hells Angels and the difference as you point out between the UK, Hells Angels and American California, Hells Angels with Sonny, Barger and crew. Tell us about the relationship to dead had with the great army, with the hell's angels and and their own guide, that will former. I guess former angel, so tell us a little bit about that. Yeah. What's the angels were very much a part of the Sams still rocks
They were presents on at all the outdoor concerts and in fact, at the human being they guarded the electrical cord. Yeah well handled the lost children. That was one of the big things that you know. Everybody was like all my God, the Hell's angels. Well, you know they they partied with. Can you see it and thank you so acid, evangelist after the Vangelis to provide the environment with the grateful dead started, so they all kind of, each other and they especially the San Francisco chap. So when the concert was originally planned, Rock Scully said we got invite. The angel they're coming anyway. So we met, we should invite them, so he took SAM Cutler who's. The storms tour director over to meet with the some of the officers in the San Francisco and the first thing she said, we're not cops was
We just want you to help out in any way you can, and you know we want you to feel welcome, and you know we want to you feel welcome and pizzas will be like beer. The sims says well will buy you some beer, so he buys five hundred dollars with a beautiful, the Hells angels and they come over, keep in mind yeah. That concert had been held in San Francisco, which at that time was planned. For then the San Francisco chapter would have had jurisdiction and that's a different thing altogether. Those guys were well known to dance
we hung out backstage they will fight together. They do business together. There were altogether more civilized bunch of Hells angels, and once it moved out of San Francisco and the San Francisco chapter last jurisdiction, then it says different ball game and in fact, most of the problems of the Altamont causing the front stage by the San Jose chapter, which is brand new chapter, had been formed just at summer. After a violent vicious turf war with a group called the Gypsy jokers, they've wiped out the gypsy jokers and took like a few the Gypsy jokers and some of the South San Francisco angels informed this new San Jose chapter and the sounds the chapter filled up and there were strong their bikes across the front of the stage because well they were going to like tall stage
from three hundred thousand people a mile away- and they knew nobody would touch it Hells angels pipe well, that didn't prove to be the case, but uh this sandwich is. Grangel showed up, they were backstage, they were on stage. They went in front with pool cues. That was the San Jose guys, one of the most important jobs my book, this do with the Hells angels fairly at last, and we give those guys there. Gamestop idle, again 'cause. I look over all the courts that are reporting that came before and it's just hells angels this and tells angels at that. Look. You know these were people, and some of them were as a gas in the call that what went on that day is anybody was summer extremely helpful to doctors, some very helpful to the film crew, there there. There is a lot of different experiences in ultimate for the Hells angels and you don't want it to be
honest and real about that. You know like Paul Hill. They call him an animal that was the guy who beat up Marty. Ballon that Jefferson airplane book list and I want you know he died a few years ago. I spent most of his life up in Alaska, but it was really a very firm nice guy is awfully intoxicated. That day, real hot a lot of people were. There was, as you see, a lot of bad trucks going around, and he also did love that this part so you know animal was a bad flash point and yeah you beat up Marley once in front of film cameras and the second time backs. Caitlin. It beat up Rex Jackson, the grateful Deads Roadie, who was the big bad enforcer that then, then, when Rex got knocked out, everybody onstage knew that the angels on the stage, so it some of them. This
they were put in a bad position, but the stones don't have any idea what they were, the guys that to be held angels in London that they that they have backstage at their free concert in Hyde Park. Those are some candy asked lies with with clean jackets, with their collars drawn in chalk on a road mopeds for crying out loud. They have no idea what a real California Hells Angel was anymore than they knew, what a real public ownership he was, or what a free concert was really like. In the part they just thought these things could be just manifested out of the ether, and and jaggery particular, so the total disregard for like practical realities, let's go to the day itself and, of course, She talk about you, you mentioned three hundred thousand people and and no one had even planned on these. Kinds, the numbers and certainly no one- was prepared for any kinds of those numbers in,
any conceivable way whatsoever. What was the idea about the Golden Gate Park? Was there some confidence that the concert Kent would be organized and why was it not able to be originally. I mean you had the other of the of the speedway site, but why could not conceivably been done that say Golden Gate Park? So this whole thing starts late one night in London of about two months before we Rock Scully of the grateful dead Brings over a bunch of sense to me, exotic marijuana grown in California to Keith Richards and they stay up all night smoking. This grass talking about like things that are going to happen like the stones having to work and rock chills he he he can fix it with the stones to play
free concert in Gulf Gate Park. It get apartment in the name of the Jefferson Airplane and grateful dead and then announced the stones like special surprise, guest twenty four hours before he was sure he could do that. I'm not sure what Keith thought Rock Scully was, you know, did I think that he put on a suit want to an office. In the morning Rock Scully was hippie user, fantastic guys very, very smart, well educated and highly verbal, but he is also like attention deficit disorder, poster child had taken How much lsd is pupils is just bull brown, blobs floating in buttermilk, and you know he's not
exactly like the kind of person in the works in the music business in London. So I don't know what she thought of rock order order. What rock really thought, because I know he also suggested that the stone to do a concert, stone, hands that night and and also teamed up but taken the stones to the TAJ Mahal for a concert. So who knows? But the idea struck with you and when the storm stopped a LOS Angeles and and started seeing all the from in this excitement around both the stones themselves and history concert idea. Then they contact Iraq and ask him to make good on his boast an you showed up with Emmett Grogan at the diggers. They were sort of like a hate, Ashberry Community Group,
uh down in Hollywood and an agreed to do this with it. Now the permit thing came unglued and that's another complicated backstage politics deal because there was this guy in the stones, tour, well going by the name of John and James. I wasn't his real name. Is stones didn't know that he told the stones he worked for Chrysler and you get them free cars. He told Chrysler. He worked for the stones and get them in and horseman and without he wriggled his way into sort of the touring party management, and he was a big thought. He was also in the witness Protection Program and seem to know some cops. He bought some. Off duty. New York cops around to guard the stones and you know- and he stepped up at some point and said: oh, I can handle this permit thing he. Over the idea of contacting the now that just wasn't going to work but grateful dead, new system and then
you have a tickle it. They knew how to work with subs abused and they they have the parks, commission. All lined up and all that But the word rolling stones came out that the deal was done and They were never going to get in Golden Gate Park and this guy James just called the mayor's office, and you know try to throw the rolling stones name around. That was not how it worked in San Francisco. So that was just over as soon as he picked it up is an interesting thing that guy ended up being the signature on the contract with Altamonte was never on. The stones is payroll, yet no people affiliation with them at all, and yet here he was like guaranteeing all this stuff and when the legal thing went down, he was the guy who bring the bag. No wonder he disappeared. We can use this an opportunity to talk about our sponsor blue apron being a big health and natural food guy. I was very anxious to try
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and so go to blue apron dot com, slash, murder, blue apron, a better way to cook. No, we last left off jewel. I want you to us for our audience the set up. Is you very vividly doing your book the day itself and again, the calm, the the confluence of, and convergence of vans and circumstances that are Alta Mont. That day, including, as you said, the lack of preparation and but talk about the bad, LSD And to be fair as well as you do in the book, the Santos say guys with the pool cues. These prospects in this new chapter were out of can roll, and there was. More than a hint of violence right from early on will say so. Take us back to that day and some of the things that even the hippies were seeing all armed with only peace symbols.
Are you know? I love, though, but the way that chapter opens, because I chose to start the on the concert section of the book at the police station. And a twenty six year old white acting watch commander and the guy who caught the phone call on the way out of the office at eight hundred in the morning It was asked if he knows anything about concert at the Altamont Speedway with the rolling cells, and it means nothing to him and he makes it note of it and passes the note off to his back and watch commander. 'cause he's going home and he doesn't know who the rolling stones are. Yeah, that's
That's where we go out there at the beginning. It was just it just flopped on that end of the world, and yes, there is so light from the very onset that there was of blood on the ground, and violence of the crowd was in a bad mood. The conditions were terrible and the first band of the day Santana got things going, but somewhere in the middle of their first song, a Concertgoer jumped up on this four foot tall stage ran across the stage taste by three or four hells angels have caught up with him, onstage writing from the keyboard player and beat the kid to a pulp. The band was horrified, they've, never seen anything like it. The stage was overcrowded would like two hundred people. Is it very menacing hells angels right over your, so
folder. The next act was just an airplane. That's when the animal called Copd Marty Balin, I mean nobody ever seen that happen before musician feed up on stage during a set that was just incredibly shocking and and mirror to stop that monster, Paul Kantner of the Jefferson airplane and and get into a shouting match with sweet way in fridge. At the San Francisco chapter, who was onstage, those guys knew each other can't hurt and believe when was happy bill, Lagner the road manager from the Jeff scenario used to ride bikes with those guys? You know everyone of them once they were on stage in the same school chapter. He couldn't believe what was happening. The pool cues were out front and all to stand here in this at all to the airplanes that any received an infraction crimes. Legal and imagine were punished. The doctors told me they were surprised how many girls they were stitching up from.
With lacerations and abrasions These guys will pumped up on ranch which, as we can tell negativity gender lifestyle frustrate people so that they notice. The anger pill, an really bad lsd, lsd that has been cut with strychnine or methamphetamine over stimulus, is in nineteen. Sixty seven. The summer love people made allestree rooms, missionaries they were. They were zealots and, and those kind of such great lengths to make sure that those compounds with stable. Two years later they evolved into a criminal enterprise and the chemist worth destroying anything in there that they made it work amphetamine added else would overstimulate the users causes all kinds of side effects. I guess you'd call him side effects
and there's a lot of drinking going on this on love again drinking and psychedelics didn't mix now, here Yahoo word alchemist Red Mountain wine and medical symptoms of mixing, psychedelics and alcohol our erratic behavior and violent outburst. We got a lot of that, so you have all this and the Saint Patrick's I thought that counts is working with former tenant there. They were overwhelmed from the minute they open for business, they could believe it so what they were seeing and then these guys from San Francisco. They wanted ads in the woods. But this was just extraordinary. Outrageous thing that was going on right from the start. Beyond the pale and they're worried since the They knew how emote their was, how there were no stage announcements about its existence or
any signage, pointing the way that they only seen the tip tip tip tip of what was going on out there. So what we're talking about is probably 10s of thousands of people on drugs. What can you explain for our audience? the three hundred thousand people show up, but what is the phenomena at that time? Cuz? It always wasn't like that at maybe isn't like that. Now that somebody would want to, The stage was there? Actually people rushing the stage or was there a couple things going on in terms of people pushing from behind where some people trapped against yeah. There was no, there was no will in them.
No room down front, and it is your markets- is a rolling stones of reporter. Was there that day, and he told me that that at one point it standing up down front, he got off his leg on on one leg and and he couldn't get his leg back down, because the car it was so tightly quest to gather they stood there on one leg, trying to get his leg, nobody would help. They were cut him a break so that that yeah, the crowded conditions, the hostile nature, the crowd and and the drugs the weather is thirty. Seven. The the ninety four very cold and warmed up to the low 70s who really unseasonably warm and then at the end of the day after Crosby stills NASH and young and two hours before the stones.
Well. It came on after dark. Oh forty mile an hour wins with through the place and the temperature dropped twenty degrees, and then it turns dark. Stones came on, running errands all hell broke loose. Let's talk about Patty, Brenda Haft and her boyfriend, Meredith Hunter and he's black and she's white, and what did they notice according to uh, later? What do they notice about the angels and their attitude about a black and white couple? We're talking? One thousand nine hundred and sixty nine daddy was am from Berkeley where you know most progressive community in the country? At that point, Patty was always aware of the kind of looks she got when she was out with Meredith. But I don't. I don't have to take your word for it. Tony
consciousness. The stones bodyguard he was onstage all day is a six foot, eight two hundred and eighty five my pound guy, with a thirty four inch laced at former air force, boxing champion an One one of the couple of the Hells angels gave him some trouble earlier in the morning. He took them both backstage and broke his hand on their faces, so nobody nest with Tony the rest of the day and you can see the pictures of Tony's 'cause he's calling everybody else just stands out in the crowd, and he said oh yeah he saw Meredith was wearing a bright. Green suit is just out to the MAX and Patty was in gorgeous seventeen year old blonde girl. Yet funny song the stage, and he saw the angel, see him too. Now. Let's talk about the stones and the delay you talked about the weather, changing and the mood increasing
they got worse and again without any kind of services. At all that that this was just increasing an obvious chaos, almost everybody at first they might not have been able to see it so let's. Let's talk about the stones and their delay and why There is a delay and uh what their attitude was despite what they at least they could hear. And we're told about the angels. So your stones, always claim that it's based player Bill Wyman, showing up late that caused them to? go on when they did, but that's cool they weren't going to go on until it was dark. They were making a movie. That's look. This is all about. They're going to film all the other acts in the daytime, and they were going to be the one act of the night time why first stars come out at night. So that's what that was about. There was there when they were going on before that they were. They were outrageous.
Making audiences wait on that tour. They didn't care when they went on. I saw the second show in LOS Angeles, before him on that tour, Didn't come on until four hundred in the morning didn't want to follow. Ike and Tina Turner have been put on a little too good a show. So that's not really why stones didn't go out until then. They went on at dark, because what was the state of their awareness b, for they went on in terms of potential danger and some of that You talk about in the book. The naked fat guy was the teeth knocked out, so there was some people out of roll and other people who are also out of control, exerting some good beating on a man like that.
So there are walk from Hill Copter Richards and spent the night there pretty much sequestered in his backstage dressing room little trailer, the rest. This guns walked in to the chaos and and and they they they song and and with this, what is going on, even if you see any immediate, select readings or anything, but they got back there. People such as myself for the Mommas and Poppas with been there all day, told him what was going on. Then they left it angels. Sonny Barger of the Oakland chapter in his guys showed up about five hundred o'clock, just before sunset, filled right all the way through the crowd who bought back introduced in the stones studies out there, a bunch of Cici's And uh they certainly had plenty of, angels around them. You know acting as guards and escorts and stuff like that,
and you have seen the movie when they pushed through the crowd to get to the stage that is quite an intimidating, seeing theirs too many people on this stage is many. Many many large and violent looking menacing figures all crowded around the bay and and and as you watch the movie, you can tell me the angels to just Marada throughout that set. What happened was the difference on this sat was simply for the Devil and Sonny Barger. The Oakland chapter saw some tears in the audience jumping up and down on of motorcycle and and shorting out the battery and setting fire. Dash does the audience to not the kid off the bike and put out the fire with all the other angels saw Barger and they just follow. They didn't know he was doing they just follow.
Into the crowd. Just like laying waste to the front row and Jagger stops that Dan and and parts, pleading with the audience, brothers and sisters. What are we fighting for? But it's just blood lost now, and they start the second Don't expect next longer have problems with that. They started the second time and the absolute on here, which is where the front of the stage and yes, the holding of shopping and back down and goes back up, get in that guy's face four five angels tackling from behind and they start stopping in and checking and it gets loose from the and cold out a gun. That's when Alan Passaro San Jose Hells angel standing. Nearby reaches down his ankle, where he's got a knife in his sheep and does a pure, wet and jumps on Hunter, stabbed him in the neck and as they fall the ground together, scabs in four more times
angel swarm over in an pissarro separated from the hundred and angels continued to open, Kik Sandrin stand on him and finally, even alone. A couple of concert: goers managed to get him up and carry him to the lip of the stage and they put him on the stage. Everybody saw him everybody. I I talked to people on that stage and they all saw this. It didn't happen long because the angels this came swarming over this and push the body back into the audience. A young doctor insert Name Doctor Robert Hyatt answered the call for doctor. The stage happened to be standing there and he said his arms. Next week, tearing one hundred backstage the medical, temp and doctor find the head of medical. There took a look at Andre realized the nature of his loons early, possibly mortal and put in a
doctor on the reviving him and once trying get a helicopter medevac never find any be in charge or anybody that would give him permission to use the helicopter. So we called the ambulance. One hundred died waiting for the ambulance now on stage they they don't know what they've just seen this body and it all concert just falls apart right and so young guy Mick Taylor, new music She says: let's play the new one and Jagdish. There's ok! Well that Tuesday they've been in Alabama according and Saturday that
at that point, after marathoners lyrics, they they publicly debut their new song brown sugar. But let me tell you: the concept comes back together in an instant I've heard these sixteen track mixes. It Bob Matthews of the grateful Dead recorded that day he plays informing his living room is the only place you can hear him and the stones played Coy Philippines continued by another sort of weird trick line of state. Instead of being blinded by spotlights is most performers on stage the spotlights never showed up. So the only light they had Altamount was fifty thousand watts of back wise and they used all of it trade the front rows entirely illuminated the states all these beatings that have taken place. The stones are seeing them full living color, which they are not used to and they power to another hour
to show up for hunters yeah, and that one day they never stop again. They just keep going and there's problems. There's time climb on stage and they just play there are, I saw I just I mean Charlie Watson bill. Wyman have locked down and teach Richardson Mick Taylor guitars are going together like years and Jagger. This singing really convincing committed. You saying you know don't like really like. He means it not not that grouping characterizations that he sometimes gets into. So you know there with her father, surrounded by all these messing figures there witnessing all these feedings couldn't figure out anything to do with plays, or so allows it and they where'd you go there. They shared in the music, they bury themselves in the music. They s. What musician? Still you know, kinda hello?
There was a more than Bob was a. There was a basically essentially a threat from that, the angels that they were going to get off that stage. Richard was quite vocal and it said some things and they both maybe Richard's. A little more wholeheartedly had said we're going to quit. We're going to stop. Wasn't there more than an implied threat that they better continue. I don't think there's ever anybody was gonna. Take that seriously the idea of stopping and walking off in the middle of a set on a three hundred thousand people in pitch black out in this cow pasture. It didn't seem like a really safe, secure id of to anybody. So I think the you know teach Billy was brave, bantam, rooster, say those cats stop that
Well not gonna play with people is huge guys. It could break him in half standing. You know stepping away from him, I mean now. It's definitely got the stuff boy call Honese, they say and shaggy I got a huge agriculture really trying to you know, put oil on troubled waters and really reaching into the audience and final late and get these people to wise up and being with them. Then that goes on all through at the end, when he said goodbye, so I've always some trouble. So there's been good time. Other than in the movies out. You know the movies a lot of at your up the trail of the of their oddly enough, you talk about really a couple essential characters. You introduce Paul David and bared Brian
so explain who these two people are and their role at Ultima. Paul David Box was one of the concert goers who, under to the stage the morning only a was an anonymous caller to Rolling Stone magazine who gave up incredible first person, account of hunters beating and killing. It became the lead, a spec shun of the rolling stone cover article and it's just the sort of thing news, magazines dream Well, you just get dropped right in the middle of the axle uh. So subsequently, of course, He was a uh uh, important witness in the trial and that's when he disappeared. It was real until reveal his name, the rolling stone, and, I believe, he's only identified by a single name. And in fact the journey had a hard time
sing out Louis was and then when they did find him, he ran away very only found in just a few days before is able to before it supposed to testify. A bear. Bryant was the cinematographer who actually captured the hunter assault on film. He didn't know it at the time he was lying in a prone position on the top of a van behind the stage shooting. On the whole onstage action lyrics are non, was also on stage with the camera and saw the scuffle, both Brian and Sarno, hit their zoom button, but Eric Sarnen get the wrong way. So it seems back
right get the right one yeah. I never knew what he bought on film will. Even if he's being anything you just sort of followed his instincts and until the film is developed and they saw the dailies and realize that, yes, indeed, they have the feeling on third prize instantaneously loudly that serve the talking for the sake of certain great cemetery scene. You live right. One background booking life in Paris. Now you talk about the exit, you alluded to the helicopter when we're looking for a helicopter. Be able to fly Meredith hunted the hospital it was reserved and nobody could. He said, yeah I gotta get authorization and nobody could find anybody to authorize a helicopter. So that's why the ambulance was called and he died as result, so other people jump in the copters
other bands. They leave, they jump into crowded copters and they get out of there. What is the you do talk about person drowning But, more importantly, you introduce a guy name Mcdonald's. So quickly talk about the the other crazy deaths that bird at Alton Mcdonald yeah I've investigated Scott. Do that found Jim. Yeah he's uh. Is sir first owner fireman down in Santa Cruz I remember every ride. They got him talking to the show that some, parents got high on after area great time put up with his friends and as he's leaving he's walking out through this Garfield, he sees this car sort of moving slowly and you know where you going so I'm gonna cancel that was going to San Francisco. So all that be good, so they open the back door. Boyfriend for one more. You get them and his taxes couple guys in the back seat. There's uh
young gallon a baby in the front and another couple guys driving and sitting up in the front and- that they don't all know each other, all sort of, like you know like grouping up and they're going through the crowd very slowly to get up to the highway traffic, still crowded all over Nyc, bar and Mcfly Jim has a blanket 'cause. He remembered it gets cold up there. Then he cycle through there and you get this blanket. I was napping, pulls around his shoulders and his fists pugs it tightly together in the next thing. You knows some guys shaking his shoulder and here's the guys say hey this one still alive. Don't acid craze concert goers selling the car under assumption or belief that he's being case by Hells angels drove it through the exiting cloud pets of speeds up to sixty miles highway patrol figures, the top of the hill launches crashes down on this camp fire kills two people that Donald sitting next to seriously injured the young MA.
Ann Mcdonald, man he's he's pulled out there by a highway patrol medevac, did dies in the helicopter and has to be brought back to life in the emergency room. Where is flatlinerz? Mother comes up the handlers, his possessions and he's got this blanket right and on one side the blanket is body is outlines in sports of blood and the other side is retired, fast yeah. Well now we missed little profound points, I'll just go backwards, just a little bit when Meredith Hunter is stomped and Meredith Hunter has been stabbed with a big large knife. And there are people go to help him Paul Cox, another concert and what did the angel say to those people and and to Patty about
Meredith Hunter laying on the ground? Yeah leave him alone. He's gonna die, don't cry over him, he's not worth it. Yeah, listen, bad guys. On the other hand, you know you pull a gun in the crowd, that's very difficult, a decision made and my detective Scott do that who was a former Alameda County, Sheriff's homicide investigator? Who worked on this case? He said that Alan Passaro wasn't health, Angele public, sincerely, zero, so and, and keep in mind tomorrow was acquitted. You found not guilty, because of one hundred pulling a gun uno, whether you thought it or not, who knows we intended to shoot silly
all accounts and and and from the film yeah. It looks like you pull that the self defense, but you know at that point you've updates in the game and is l that what happened happened Now, how come you notice that I refuse called a murder? What's the murder, but another story that you tell there's a story that Jan Winter in rolling stone. You know break out of there relative obscurity and international headlines and importance, but tell us it was amazing and surprising. Tell us what the real Action is first in the New York Times and other the examiner and other paper how do they report on what everyone else saw? What was the quite different story in the news? The next day in the following day: yes, crazy, yeah, three hundred thousand say it with music. With this Sunday,
newspaper headline in San Francisco and I went on go on great length about how would agree with you time was having young people like getting together. Oh yeah, something I was scared to death, but really it was a wonderful day in the sun and the New York Times pretty much said the same thing. Much shorter, 'cause Corsano is happening on the West Coast, but they noted today the classic, oh, what was otherwise applying you know, would stop light festival. That was the accepted miss at that point, but would stock Miss was so large that media with the mainstream media? Who are you know not hippo or with it at all, but they just let it is like. Awesome Levi, but it was another wood stock. You know, yeah took rolling stone too that and that that it
yeah I mean they were so far ahead. It turns out the homicide. Investigators had to come over and get an advance copy of the magazine to figure out what the case was almost out. We just alluded to it, but tell us where rolling, stone, real succeeded. Ann had a coup in terms of witnesses that really open up the story form of revealed the truth about what actually happened. Well, you know the food that actually happened. What Girls themselves, never really opened up to it. They're there. Their whole attitude is the grateful dead, Hells angels responsible for this uh I mean I ran into Ronnie Snyder in LOS Angeles,
we still use the producer. The tour you Taylor said the same thing all your on on the you know they went through with it because that insisted on. So I I don't dance that doesn't make any sense and it doesn't deal with the facts with this with the fact is, is you know a really dangerous Basel cocktail of of of of green an innocence and this guns uh. I think we're guilty of lots of both of those and that's what happened. I pardon I'm when I meant was what was the key for rolling Stone magazine in terms of how they broke this and what was there coup in terms of how they discovered the truth about what happened as opposed to what was being reported. As some you know, further love in that it occured have three hundred thousand people.
Lawrence standing, the team of eleven reporters on it, these guys from the rock scene when square all time, newspaper reporters. Uh, they saturated the story. Twenty thousand words covers pretty much everything it's in my book almost in did it a week afterwards it is the extraordinary piece of journalism. Uh, and they were, you know, supervise by managing every John Burks, he was a veteran Newsweek. So he knew what news magazine stuff was it wasn't just Avon newspaper guy that never had a tough breaking story before, but they did great shop now with this as well, like you say, the police are playing catch, so with this they have now an idea of who they may question, because, based on this and everybody
is also awaiting film from a cinematography cinematographer that, as you read in book. She was accidentally dosed on acid and spent about eight hours, underneath the bleachers and then rallied and and got some amazing footage. So tell us about this. This fight to who was going to be able to see the footage first Tell us that's a profound story, the stones, the angels and the police, who gets to see the film and how everybody reacts differently. The film makers, was very protective of their daily as they hit him. They got out of town with film before anybody knows, they were gone, and they took him straight from the lab to a place out in Malibu, with a directory on associated with the project. Live they they were really careful to find out what they had before they found out before they showed anybody,
and they brought him up. Stamps are slow box week and a half later screening at plants is popular american zoetrope. Video for the two district spanish? Who is encrypted the the footage and and have the blow up still calls made from they they didn't know what they saw. They could identify the guy, they didn't know what to do with what they have. They are the guide to investing. It couldn't figure out where to go with this They first ran down the la and chased some rabbit hole down. There want. Some magazines was more help than than anything. They just seem to be any big hurry to get out of the traffic there. You go out at night, 'cause of the traffic
they don't really go out till Monday. Two days later, there's weird investigation. Take him three months to find Tesoro he's been in custody since Tuesday, after the conscious on another trial. Jobs And they didn't even talk to Patty for a week didn't, but I talk to Patty on Monday, yeah yeah, Now, eventually, again, it's not easy, because the angels are are going to identify. They put a couple of angels that they suspected through polygraphs, which led them to believe that they knew something. But nobody was going to give up this name But eventually, as you mentioned, Bursarial Allen, piss Aerial bercero gets charged he's already in jail on a. Pretty heavy two hundred and ten already and it's crucial, because the film and the people who did the film and are there are crucial witnesses. Reluctant witnesses that are,
for this trial here that maybe nobody was. You know anxious to put these people, front in and out of court, but really they do so. People who are very worried about angels, very known for intimidating witnesses? it was widely presumed that the car was going to go down to that, since it's obvious the did it. George Walker was the brains against training. Angel fired is the US. Census goes first prominent law after Attorney and and and also integrated basketball team, reducing Berkeley's Looking after the war and greater be a force. Three hundred and sixty one bomb which is quite by amazing by and he played the Johnnie Cochran Saying, Barnes Courtney Cox and make sure that the sorrow got entirely. All white jury, which is not
we do in Oakland CA, immediately undermine almost every witness the prosecution block and then especially damning piece of film. Please that prostitution thought would show that the Faro kill Hunter and actually what it turns out. It show the jury. Was it one hundred pulled a gun
So George Walker still I'm ninety two years, William Wonderful and he he saw this all the ladies that he's never thought of those. Now you will chronicle in this book as well. That disaster seems to happen. I mean obviously the the the the the love peace generation failed there. It seems- and this was a a concert at many of the spoken about- was that catalyst or that end of that that dream, but bad luck and extremely bad luck follows a lot of these people, bands and managers and all kinds of people. So tell us a little bit about the litany of of disaster that followed the people that were involved in Altima hello. Yes, such a uh, I mean I don't want to drill two down, but you know
airplanes within never the same. The dead were never the same angels. Whenever the same period. It's lamp committed suicide. Dad's manager aslani with all their money that the the the the stones went into a dark period of lawsuits and drugs. I mean oh no. I said it was a terrible tailspin how we doing on time Uh we're just almost going to wrap up. I just wanted to ask you what this at the end of this, what anything that you did. Set out to unlock or or determine is there anything The end of this that was surprising to you that you did were able to conclude from all this research in this investigation into Altima so there was. There was no like big new discovery. Like I knew about the vehicle,
manslaughter, even that didn't read up on it. So no big the extraordinary retail, almost granular, of how shooters and you're responsible and violent and dark this was that came as a surprise to me and and and the power and the proposal nature of this. That that that surprise me too it's more, not anyone detail, but the whole accumulation. Well, I want to thank you very much jewel for coming on and I want to tell people to with this Alta Mont, the rolling stones, the Hells angels and the inside story of rock darkest day. There's some fascinating photos in this incredible flow, and the incredible history backdrop that you present here
as your role as a rock journalist is just a fascinating step backwards in history, and I want to thank you very much. Coming on and talking about, Alta Mont, it's been a pleasure. Thank you very much. Joel Selvin thanks can take care Youtube night. I don't get the flavors of computer back in a big way, we're talking con king donuts, pumpkin, muffins, pumpkin, munchkins, donut holes, Oldboy, pumpkin, coffee, pumpkin, iced, coffee, pumpkin, frozen copy, pumpkin, latte, scanned the exciting new cinnamon sugar pumpkin signature latte, which has got sugar and spice and everything nice. It's pumpkin flavored everything at Dunkin America runs on Dunkin and pumpkin cake, ipods to limited time. Offer participation can kick it used under license.
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Transcript generated on 2019-10-31.