Stones shocked at Altamont
From page 29 of Classic Rock Magazine December 2002
A FREE OUTDOOR CONCERT BY THE Rolling Stones at Altamont Speedway track near Livermore, California, which had been intended as a thank-you gesture to the band's fans, ended in tragedy when one of the Hell's Angels who'd been appointed as security guards to police the 300,000-strong crowd stabbed spectator Meredith Hunter.
ILA \IA The incident was later seen by millions in the Maysles Brothers film Gimme Shelter, and effectively brought the era of peace and love to a grisly end. Three more festival-goers met their ends at an event acclaimed by Rolling Stone magazine beforehand as "a little Woodstock... an instant Woodstock": two were run over by cars as they lay in sleeping bags, and a third drowned in an irrigation ditch. "One thing Altamont taught us was not to do anything like that again," was Keith Richards's considered opinion. "In any case, rock sounds better in a room with 200 people."
Mick Jagger recalled: "It was a nightmare, but at the time it was one of those "Ere we go, we've gotta get through it somehow' things, because we couldn't just leave."
Though the Stones (whose 14-strong entourage made a rapid post-gig exit in an eight-seater helicopter) are always associated with the incident which occurred while they were on stage, the supporting bill included such un-satanic attractions as Santana, Crosby Stills Nash And Young and the Hying Burrito Brothers.