Altamont: The Rolling Stones, the Hells Angels, and the Inside Story of Rock's Darkest Day

Altamont: The Rolling Stones, the Hells Angels, and the Inside Story of Rock's Darkest Day

by Joel Selvin


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Altamont: The Rolling Stones, the Hells Angels, and the Inside Story of Rock's Darkest Day by Joel Selvin

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, 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 featuring sixteen pages of color photos, Altamont is the ultimate account of the final event in rock’s formative and most turbulent decade.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062444257
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 08/16/2016
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 1,050,288
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Joel Selvin is an award-winning journalist who has covered pop music for the San Francisco Chronicle since 1970. Selvin is the author of the bestselling Summer of Love and coauthor, with Sammy Hagar, of the number-one New York Times bestseller, Red. He has written twelve other books about pop music.

Table of Contents

Part 1

1 Pipe Dreams 3

2 Money Trouble 15

3 Hippie Business Ethics 27

4 Hollywood 43

5 On the Road 59

6 Back to Hollywood 71

7 $500 for Beer 79

8 Back on the Road 91

9 On to San Francisco 103

Part 2

10 Friday 119

11 The Day Dawns 133

12 Alan and Patti 151

13 Santana 159

14 The Airplane 171

15 The Flying Burrito Brothers 181

16 CSNY 193

17 Sympathy for the Devil 201

18 Under My Thumb 213

19 Gimme Shelter 223

Part 3

20 The Day After 237

21 The News Breaks 247

22 Crime Story 261

23 New Speedway Boogie 275

24 Angel on Trial 293

25 Love in Vain 303

Afterword 319

Acknowledgments 323

Bibliography 327

Index 337

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Altamont: The Rolling Stones, the Hells Angels, and the Inside Story of Rock's Darkest Day 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just got this book and it's hard to put down! As a baby boomer, I grew up to all their music, but hadn't even heard of this concert, until I heard the author on Coast to Coast AM (excellent interview)! The pictures are disturbing enough, and just the number of people that came to the concert! I'm not too far into the book, but immediately the story gives you a look into how the music and drug culture were interwoven.