Archive for April, 2012

The Rolling Stones at Altamont Speedway 1969 – by Mick Flynn

AltamontIt was Friday, December 5, 1969 when my friend Richard (Dick) Green and I decided to fly down to San Francisco to attend the Free Rolling Stones concert to be held at Golden Gate Park. By the time we got there, the venue had changed to the Sears Point Raceway, then changed again to the Altamont Speedway near Tracy. We went to Haight-Ashbury to find a place to crash that night, but ended up in Golden Gate Park and passed out under some trees, only to be woken up by some police telling us to leave. We then went to the Bus Station to catch a bus to the concert. Everyone on the bus was going to the concert! Once we started getting close, the traffic jam started, that went on for miles. So, the bus driver just got into the oncoming lane and took us straight to the site, bypassing all the cars ! Once there, it became apparent, that we could not get separated, or we would not be able to find each other. So, we stayed near a VW Van that was parked nearest the stage (but not too close).

Dick Green and I found a safe place to spend the next 16 hours leaning up against this white van. We had gotten there early enough to get pretty close to the stage but picked this van instead which was not to far back. It kept us from having stoned people pushing and breathing down our backs. I think the pictures show just how packed in it was.Dick Green and I found a safe place to spend the next 16 hours leaning up against this white van. We had gotten there early enough to get pretty close to the stage but picked this van instead which was not to far back. It kept us from having stoned people pushing and breathing down our backs. I think the pictures show just how packed in it was.

You can see the van in the aerial views in the movie “Gimme Shelter”. The day started out sunny and nice. Santana started the music off with a great set. Then things started getting weird during the Jefferson Airplanes set with Marty Balin getting punched out by the Hells Angels. It was around this time that the Hells Angels drove thru the crowd to the front of the stage. Not long after, Mick Jagger escorted by a single security guard walked right in front of us to the stage.

Peace signs went up after the Hells Angles knocked out Marty Balin of The Jefferson Airplane while they were on stage playing.Peace signs went up after the Hells Angles knocked out Marty Balin of The Jefferson Airplane while they were on stage playing. The Flying Burrito Brothers were next and the Angels were getting a bit rambunctious. Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young were on next.

A similar scene as shown in the movie Gimme Shelter. Several Hells Angles on their motorcycles drove a straight path through the crowd right past us. At the very end was Mick Jagger being escorted to the stage by a security guard. with the Rolling Stones taking the stage as the final act. The Rolling Stones Set List for Altamont;

  • “Jumpin’ Jack Flash“
  • “Carol“
  • “Sympathy for the Devil” (stopped then restarted because of fights breaking out)
  • “The Sun Is Shining”
  • “Stray Cat Blues“
  • “Love in Vain“
  • “Under My Thumb” (stopped then restarted because of fights breaking out)
  • “Brown Sugar” (first live performance)
  • “Midnight Rambler“
  • “Live with Me“
  • “Gimme Shelter“
  • “Little Queenie”
  • “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction“
  • “Honky Tonk Women“
  • “Street Fighting Man“

A similar scene as shown in the movie Gimme Shelter. Several Hells Angles on their motorcycles drove a straight path through the crowd right past us. At the very end was Mick Jagger being escorted to the stage by a security guard.When the show ended it was dark and 400,000 people leaving at the same time ! We must have walked over 5 miles in the dark with very little sleep over the last 2 1/2 days. By the time the traffic was moving as fast as we could walk, we jumped into the back of a pickup truck, fell asleep and ended up in Hayward. We then hitch hiked back to Seattle. It turned into an experience we will never forget. Thanks Dick for bringing your camera!


www.guitararcheology.com

Click to return to Guitar Archeology website
April 2012
S M T W T F S
    May »
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
2930  

Categories

Blog Stats

  • 4,466 hits