In August 1970 600,000 fans flocked to the Isle of Wight to witness the third and final festival to be held on the island. Besides the music, they also got a look at the greed, cynicism and... See full summary »
In December of 1969, four months after Woodstock, the Rolling Stones and Jefferson Airplane gave a free concert in Northern California, east of Oakland at Altamont Speedway. About 300,000 people came, and the organizers put Hell's Angels in charge of security around the stage. Armed with pool cues and knifes, Angels spent the concert beating up spectators, killing at least one. The film intercuts performances, violence, Grace Slick and Mick Jagger's attempts to cool things down, close-ups of young listeners (dancing, drugged, or suffering Angel shock), and a look at the Stones later as they watch concert footage and reflect on what happened. Written by
Contrary to the apparent tone of a rambling previous review, Meredith Hunter was hardly innocent. If he was merely attempting to stand up to the Angels because of their (hardly surprising) thuggery, how is it, then, that he presumably already had a gun with him when he came to the show? Either that, or he knew where to go looking for one when he got there, which still shows premeditation and a strong possibility of already having had connections to the person or group that was the source of the gun. Oh, and by the way, most of the violence in the audience was caused by the audience members themselves, most of which were well removed from the area of the stage, where the Angels were primarily set up.
No, amidst this sea of stupidity on all levels, stupidest of all was Meredith Hunter, and I can hardly believe some people still don't understand that waving a gun at the stage in a drugged- up rage will always look like someone is intending to do some serious harm to any number of people (many agree it was actually the Stones themselves who were the likely target, not any of the Angels). But then, I can believe it after all, because lots of people today aren't any smarter.
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