The Chaos of Altamont and the Murder of Meredith Hunter | The New Yorker

The Chaos of Altamont and the Murder of Meredith Hunter

A lot has been written about the notorious Rolling Stones concert at Altamont, where dozens of people were beaten and a black teen was killed, but so much of the language around it has been passive, exonerating.

via The New Yorker:

In December, 1969, the photographer Bill Owens got a call from his friend Beth Bagby, who occasionally shot photos for the Associated Press. As Owens explains in his new photo book, “Bill Owens: Altamont 1969,” the A.P. wanted to hire him for a day “to cover a rock and roll concert in the Altamont hills.” The Altamont Speedway concert had been reported as the West Coast’s response to Woodstock. It was also part of a return to public view for the Rolling Stones, who had started touring again, after nearly two years off the road. Their efforts began in July, with a free show in London’s Hyde Park. The concert was a success, an entirely peaceful event financed and filmed by Granada Television. Security had been provided by a ragtag group of people wearing leather, who the Stones mistakenly believed were part of the Hells Angels. Emboldened, the Stones hired the man who organized the Hyde Park concert, Sam Cutler, to work on an American tour in the fall of 1969.