Personal Narrative: Woodstock
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In the US the Hippie movement started to be seen as part of the " New Left " which was associated with anti-war college campus protest movements. In April , the building of People's Park in Berkeley, California received international attention. The University of California, Berkeley had demolished all the buildings on a 2. After a long delay, during which the site became a dangerous eyesore, thousands of ordinary Berkeley citizens, merchants, students, and hippies took matters into their own hands, planting trees, shrubs, flowers and grass to convert the land into a park.
A major confrontation ensued on May 15, , when Governor Ronald Reagan ordered the park destroyed, which led to a two-week occupation of the city of Berkeley by the California National Guard. Wavy Gravy 's Hog Farm provided security and attended to practical needs, and the hippie ideals of love and human fellowship seemed to have gained real-world expression. Similar rock festivals occurred in other parts of the country, which played a significant role in spreading hippie ideals throughout America. In December , a rock festival took place in Altamont , California, about 45 km 30 miles east of San Francisco. The Hells Angels provided security that proved far less benevolent than the security provided at the Woodstock event: year-old Meredith Hunter was stabbed and killed by one of the Hells Angels during The Rolling Stones' performance after he brandished a gun and waved it toward the stage.
By the s, the s zeitgeist that had spawned hippie culture seemed to be on the wane. Nevertheless, the turbulent political atmosphere that featured the bombing of Cambodia and shootings by National Guardsmen at Jackson State University and Kent State University still brought people together. Much of hippie style had been integrated into mainstream American society by the early s. The anti-war movement reached its peak at the May Day Protests as over 12, protesters were arrested in Washington, D. The draft was ended soon thereafter, in During the mid-late s, with the end of the draft and the Vietnam War , a renewal of patriotic sentiment associated with the approach of the United States Bicentennial , the decline in popularity of psychedelic rock, and the emergence of new genres such as prog rock , heavy metal , disco , and punk rock , the mainstream media lost interest in the hippie counterculture.
At the same time there was a revival of the Mod subculture , skinheads , teddy boys and the emergence of new youth cultures, like the punks , goths an arty offshoot of punk , and football casuals ; starting in the late s in Britain, hippies had begun to come under attack by skinheads. Many hippies would adapt and become members of the growing countercultural New Age movement of the s. Many embrace the hippie values of peace, love, and community, and hippies may still be found in bohemian enclaves around the world. On the west coast, Oregon had quite a few. The bohemian predecessor of the hippie culture in San Francisco was the " Beat Generation " style of coffee houses and bars, whose clientele appreciated literature, a game of chess, music in the forms of jazz and folk style , modern dance, and traditional crafts and arts like pottery and painting.
Jon McIntire, manager of the Grateful Dead from the late sixties to the mid-eighties, points out that the great contribution of the hippie culture was this projection of joy. One expression of hippie independence from societal norms was found in their standard of dress and grooming, which made hippies instantly recognizable to one another, and served as a visual symbol of their respect for individual rights. Through their appearance, hippies declared their willingness to question authority, and distanced themselves from the "straight" and " square " i.
At the same time, many thoughtful hippies distanced themselves from the very idea that the way a person dresses could be a reliable signal of who he or she was—especially after outright criminals such as Charles Manson began to adopt superficial hippie characteristics, and also after plainclothes policemen started to "dress like hippies" to divide and conquer legitimate members of the counterculture. Frank Zappa , known for lampooning hippie ethos, particularly with songs like " Who Needs the Peace Corps? Posters for concerts in the Fillmore West , a concert auditorium in San Francisco, popular with Hippie audiences, were among the most notable of the time. Richly saturated colors in glaring contrast, elaborately ornate lettering, strongly symmetrical composition, collage elements, rubber-like distortions, and bizarre iconography are all hallmarks of the San Francisco psychedelic poster art style.
The style flourished from roughly the years to Their work was immediately influential to album cover art, and indeed all of the aforementioned artists also created album covers. Psychedelic light-shows were a new art-form developed for rock concerts. Using oil and dye in an emulsion that was set between large convex lenses upon overhead projectors, the lightshow artists created bubbling liquid visuals that pulsed in rhythm to the music. This was mixed with slide shows and film loops to create an improvisational motion picture art form, and to give visual representation to the improvisational jams of the rock bands and create a completely "trippy" atmosphere for the audience. The Brotherhood of Light were responsible for many of the light-shows in San Francisco psychedelic rock concerts.
Out of the psychedelic counterculture there also arose a new genre of comic books: underground comix. Zap Comix was among the original underground comics, and featured the work of Robert Crumb , S. Underground comix were ribald, intensely satirical, and seemed to pursue weirdness for the sake of weirdness. Gilbert Shelton created perhaps the most enduring of underground cartoon characters, The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers , whose drugged-out exploits held a mirror up to the hippie lifestyle of the s.
As in the beat movement preceding them, and the punk movement that followed soon after, hippie symbols and iconography were purposely borrowed from either "low" or "primitive" cultures, with hippie fashion reflecting a disorderly, often vagrant style. Much hippie clothing was self-made in defiance of corporate culture, and hippies often purchased their clothes from flea markets and second-hand shops.
The bold colors, hand-made clothing and loose fitting clothes opposed the tight and uniform clothing of the s and s. It also rejected consumerism in that the hand-production of clothing called for self-efficiency and individuality. The common stereotype on the issues of love and sex had it that the hippies were " promiscuous , having wild sex orgies , seducing innocent teenagers and every manner of sexual perversion. The clinical study Human Sexual Response was published by Masters and Johnson in , and the topic suddenly became more commonplace in America.
Then in appeared The Joy of Sex by Alex Comfort , reflecting an even more candid perception of love-making. By this time, the recreational or 'fun' aspects of sexual behavior were being discussed more openly than ever before, and this more 'enlightened' outlook resulted not just from the publication of such new books as these, but from a more pervasive sexual revolution that had already been well underway for some time. The hippies inherited various countercultural views and practices regarding sex and love from the Beat Generation ; "their writings influenced the hippies to open up when it came to sex, and to experiment without guilt or jealousy. This encouraged spontaneous sexual activity and experimentation.
Group sex , public sex , homosexuality ; under the influence of drugs, all the taboos went out the window. This doesn't mean that straight sex or monogamy were unknown, quite the contrary. Nevertheless, the open relationship became an accepted part of the hippie lifestyle. This meant that you might have a primary relationship with one person, but if another attracted you, you could explore that relationship without rancor or jealousy. Hippies embraced the old slogan of free love of the radical social reformers of other eras; it was accordingly observed that "Free love made the whole love, marriage, sex, baby package obsolete.
Love was no longer limited to one person, you could love anyone you chose. In fact love was something you shared with everyone, not just your sex partners. Love exists to be shared freely. We also discovered the more you share, the more you get! So why reserve your love for a select few? This profound truth was one of the great hippie revelations. Hippies tended to travel light, and could pick up and go wherever the action was at any time. Whether at a "love-in" on Mount Tamalpais near San Francisco, a demonstration against the Vietnam War in Berkeley, or one of Ken Kesey 's "Acid Tests", if the "vibe" wasn't right and a change of scene was desired, hippies were mobile at a moment's notice.
Planning was eschewed, as hippies were happy to put a few clothes in a backpack, stick out their thumbs and hitchhike anywhere. Hippies seldom worried whether they had money, hotel reservations or any of the other standard accoutrements of travel. Hippie households welcomed overnight guests on an impromptu basis, and the reciprocal nature of the lifestyle permitted greater freedom of movement. People generally cooperated to meet each other's needs in ways that became less common after the early s. A derivative of this free-flow style of travel were the hippie trucks and buses, hand-crafted mobile houses built on a truck or bus chassis to facilitate a nomadic lifestyle, as documented in the book Roll Your Own.
During the summer and fall months, entire families traveled together in their trucks and buses, parked at Renaissance Pleasure Faire sites in Southern and Northern California, worked their crafts during the week, and donned Elizabethan costume for weekend performances, and attended booths where handmade goods were sold to the public. The sheer number of young people living at the time made for unprecedented travel opportunities to special happenings. The peak experience of this type was the Woodstock Festival near Bethel , New York, from August 15 to 18, , which drew between , and , people.
One travel experience, undertaken by hundreds of thousands of hippies between and , was the Hippie trail overland route to India. Carrying little or no luggage, and with small amounts of cash, almost all followed the same route, hitch-hiking across Europe to Athens and on to Istanbul , then by train through central Turkey via Erzurum , continuing by bus into Iran, via Tabriz and Tehran to Mashhad , across the Afghan border into Herat , through southern Afghanistan via Kandahar to Kabul , over the Khyber Pass into Pakistan, via Rawalpindi and Lahore to the Indian frontier.
Once in India, hippies went to many different destinations, but gathered in large numbers on the beaches of Goa and Kovalam in Trivandrum Kerala ,  or crossed the border into Nepal to spend months in Kathmandu. Many hippies rejected mainstream organized religion in favor of a more personal spiritual experience. Buddhism, Hinduism, and Sufism often resonated with hippies, as they were seen as less rule-bound, and less likely to be associated with existing baggage.
Others were involved with the occult, with people like Timothy Leary citing Aleister Crowley as influences. By the s, western interest in Hindu spirituality and yoga reached its peak, giving rise to a great number of Neo-Hindu schools specifically advocated to a western public. In his book, "Hippies and American Values", Timothy Miller described the hippie ethos as essentially a "religious movement" whose goal was to transcend the limitations of mainstream religious institutions. Beginning in , Gaskin's "Monday Night Class" eventually outgrew the lecture hall, and attracted 1, hippie followers in an open discussion of spiritual values, drawing from Christian, Buddhist, and Hindu teachings.
In Gaskin founded a Tennessee community called The Farm , and even late in life he still listed his religion as "Hippie. Timothy Leary was an American psychologist and writer, known for his advocacy of psychedelic drugs. On September 19, , Leary founded the League for Spiritual Discovery , a religion declaring LSD as its holy sacrament, in part as an unsuccessful attempt to maintain legal status for the use of LSD and other psychedelics for the religion's adherents based on a "freedom of religion" argument. The Beatles included him as one of the many figures on the cover sleeve of their album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band while Jimmy Page , the guitarist of The Yardbirds and co-founder of s rock band Led Zeppelin was fascinated by Crowley, and owned some of his clothing, manuscripts and ritual objects, and during the s bought Boleskine House , which also appears in the band's movie The Song Remains the Same.
On the back cover of the Doors compilation album 13 , Jim Morrison and the other members of the Doors are shown posing with a bust of Aleister Crowley. Timothy Leary also openly acknowledged Crowley's inspiration. After the hippie era, the Dudeist philosophy and lifestyle developed. Inspired by "The Dude", the neo-hippie protagonist of the Coen Brothers ' film The Big Lebowski , Dudeism's stated primary objective is to promote a modern form of Chinese Taoism , outlined in Tao Te Ching by Laozi 6th century BC , blended with concepts by the Ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus BC , and presented in a style as personified by the character of Jeffrey "The Dude" Lebowski, a fictional hippie character portrayed by Jeff Bridges in the film. Hippies emerged from a society that had produced birth-control pills, a counterproductive war in Vietnam, the liberation and idealism of the civil rights movement , feminism, homosexual rights, FM radio, mass-produced LSD , a strong economy, and a huge number of baby-boom teenagers.
These elements allowed the hippies to have a mainstream impact that dwarfed that of the Beats and earlier avant-garde cultures. In Defense of Hippies by Danny Goldberg . For the historian of the anarchist movement Ronald Creagh , the hippie movement could be considered as the last spectacular resurgence of utopian socialism. Hippies were often pacifists , and participated in non-violent political demonstrations, such as Civil Rights Movement , the marches on Washington D.
Regarding the political activity of hippies, Rubin said, "They mostly prefer to be stoned, but most of them want peace, and they want an end to this stuff. In addition to non-violent political demonstrations, hippie opposition to the Vietnam War included organizing political action groups to oppose the war, refusal to serve in the military and conducting " teach-ins " on college campuses that covered Vietnamese history and the larger political context of the war. McKenzie has dedicated every American performance of "San Francisco" to Vietnam veterans, and he sang in at the 20th anniversary of the dedication of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Hippie political expression often took the form of "dropping out" of society to implement the changes they sought.
Politically motivated movements aided by hippies include the back to the land movement of the s, cooperative business enterprises , alternative energy , the free press movement, and organic farming. Such activism was ideally carried through anti-authoritarian and non-violent means; thus it was observed that "The way of the hippie is antithetical to all repressive hierarchical power structures since they are adverse to the hippie goals of peace, love and freedom Hippies don't impose their beliefs on others.
Instead, hippies seek to change the world through reason and by living what they believe. The political ideals of hippies influenced other movements, such as anarcho-punk , rave culture , green politics , stoner culture and the New Age movement. Like Crass, Jello Biafra was influenced by the hippie movement, and cited the yippies as a key influence on his political activism and thinking, though he also wrote songs critical of hippies. Following in the footsteps of the Beats, many hippies used cannabis marijuana , considering it pleasurable and benign. They enlarged their spiritual pharmacopeia to include hallucinogens such as peyote , LSD , psilocybin mushrooms and DMT , while often renouncing the use of alcohol.
On the West Coast of the United States , Ken Kesey was an important figure in promoting the recreational use of psychotropic drugs, especially LSD, also known as "acid. Kesey and the Pranksters had a "vision of turning on the world. Newcomers to the Internet are often startled to discover themselves not so much in some soulless colony of technocrats as in a kind of cultural Brigadoon - a flowering remnant of the '60s, when hippie communalism and libertarian politics formed the roots of the modern cyberrevolution The youth of today must go there to find themselves. The legacy of the hippie movement continues to permeate Western society. Co-operative business enterprises and creative community living arrangements are more accepted than before.
Examples include surfboard design, renewable energy , aquaculture and client-centered approaches to midwifery , childbirth , and women's health. Distinct appearance and clothing was one of the immediate legacies of hippies worldwide. Since that time, a wide range of personal appearance options and clothing styles, including nudity, have become more widely acceptable, all of which was uncommon before the hippie era. Additionally, hippie fashion itself has been commonplace in the years since the s in clothing and accessories, particularly the peace symbol.
As such in New York City musicians and audiences from the female, homosexual, Black, and Latino communities adopted several traits from the hippies and psychedelia. They included overwhelming sound, free-form dancing, multi-colored, pulsating lighting, colorful costumes, and hallucinogens. In addition, the perceived positivity, lack of irony, and earnestness of the hippies informed proto-disco music like M. The hippie legacy in literature includes the lasting popularity of books reflecting the hippie experience, such as The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. Psychedelic trance also known as psytrance is a type of electronic music influenced by s psychedelic rock. For the next several decades, many hippies and neo-hippies became part of the Deadhead community, attending music and art festivals held around the country.
The Grateful Dead toured continuously, with few interruptions between and Phish and their fans called Phish Heads operated in the same manner, with the band touring continuously between and Many contemporary bands performing at hippie festivals and their derivatives are called jam bands , since they play songs that contain long instrumentals similar to the original hippie bands of the s. The Oregon Country Fair is a three-day festival featuring handmade crafts, educational displays and costumed entertainment.
The annual Starwood Festival , founded in , is a seven-day event indicative of the spiritual quest of hippies through an exploration of non-mainstream religions and world-views, and has offered performances and classes by a variety of hippie and counter-culture icons. Although few participants would accept the hippie label, Burning Man is a contemporary expression of alternative community in the same spirit as early hippie events.
In the UK, there are many new age travellers who are known as hippies to outsiders, but prefer to call themselves the Peace Convoy. They started the Stonehenge Free Festival in , but English Heritage later banned the festival in , resulting in the Battle of the Beanfield. With Stonehenge banned as a festival site, new age travellers gather at the annual Glastonbury Festival. In the summer, many hippies and those of similar subcultures gather at numerous outdoor festivals in the countryside.
In New Zealand between and tens of thousands of hippies gathered from around the world on large farms around Waihi and Waikino for music and alternatives festivals. Named Nambassa , the festivals focused on peace, love, and a balanced lifestyle. The events featured practical workshops and displays advocating alternative lifestyles , self sufficiency , clean and sustainable energy and sustainable living. In the UK and Europe, the years to were marked by a large-scale revival of many characteristics of the hippie movement. This later movement, composed mostly of people aged 18 to 25, adopted much of the original hippie philosophy of love, peace and freedom.
The summer of became known as the Second Summer of Love. Although the music favored by this movement was modern electronic music , especially house music and acid house , one could often hear songs from the original hippie era in the chill out rooms at raves. This was effectively a parallel soundtrack to the rave scene that was rooted as much in s psychedelic rock as it was in post-punk , though Madchester was more directly influenced by Acid House, funk and northern soul. Interestingly, many ravers were originally soul boys and football casuals , and football hooliganism declined after the Second Summer of Love. In the UK, many of the well-known figures of this movement first lived communally in Stroud Green , an area of north London located in Finsbury Park.
In , The Sekhmet Hypothesis attempted to link both hippie and rave culture together in relation to transactional analysis, suggesting that rave culture was a social archetype based on the mood of friendly strength, compared to the gentle hippie archetype, based on friendly weakness. The popular DJ of the genre Goa Gil , like other hippies from the s, decided to leave the US and Western Europe to travel on the hippie trail and later developing psychedelic parties and music in the Indian island of Goa in which the goa and psytrance genres were born and exported around the world in the s and s. In , photojournalist John Bassett McCleary published a page, 6,entry unabridged slang dictionary devoted to the language of the hippies titled The Hippie Dictionary: A Cultural Encyclopedia of the s and s.
The book was revised and expanded to pages in As a hippie, Ken Westerfield helped to popularize the alternative sport of Frisbee in the s—70s, that has become today's disc sports. Hippies at the Nambassa Festival in New Zealand. Goa Gil , original s hippie who later became a pioneering electronic dance music DJ and party organizer, here appearing in the film Last Hippie Standing. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Redirected from Hippies. For the British comedy series, see Hippies TV series. For the garage rock album, see Hippies album. Not to be confused with Yippie , Yuppie , Hipster s subculture , or Hipster contemporary subculture. Diminutive pejorative of hipster: s counterculture participant.
Main article: Hippie etymology. Main article: History of the hippie movement. Main article: Summer of Love. By Saturday morning, the hills were solidly packed with people, and it was clear that those who expected only , or so had miscalculated. For as far as you could see in any direction, the army of rock freaks was advancing over rises and hillocks, through valleys, along the road and the railroad tracks, converging on Altamont. Whatever else it would be, it would be big. From the air, it was an incredible scene. From six to eight miles from the site, cars lined the highway like the traffic jam in Weekend.
Nothing on wheels except motorcycles could move, so people just left their cars and started the long hot trek to the racetrack. The air was alive with aircraft. Those are people. The huge, brown mass now appears to be moving. It no longer just looks like a burnt out field. From every direction, people are converging on the scene. We circle the area once for pictures and swoop toward the asphalt racetrack where another copter is hovering to land. Faces become distinct now and we set down, causing a whirlwind. Those people were messed up on everything — dope, wine, needles. Traffic congestion on the roads was bad enough that helicopter was the only way to be certain that all the bands and equipment would get there on time.
A broad smile creased his face, even after he heard the helicopter pilot had refused to land because of fog and they would have to drive 20 miles through and beyond San Francisco to catch another helicopter at International Airport. It was quarter to three on Saturday when the first helicopter carrying the Stones and their entourage touched down on the asphalt pit area of the Altamont racetrack. Immediately, a minor mob scene formed as about people jumped off the nearby fence they were sitting on or rushed from the hill toward the copter, almost crushing a smiling Stone and his escorts. It was a foretaste of delights to come. At one point, reds were scattered on the front portion of the stage.
The more they took, the more fighting there was. The usual thing was to pick off non-Angels, but they were seen to turn on their own prospects non-members who were trying to gain full status into the club. He took a terrible beating, and, amazingly, was back on his feet ten minutes later, telling the full-fledged Angels he was their brother and everything was cool. Three others died that day, two in a hit-and-run auto case, one by jumping into an irrigation canal where the fast-moving waters overpowered him.
They had recently moved to the Bay Area from New Jersey. They were killed around midnight Saturday when a Plymouth sedan plowed into them and several others as they sat around their camp fire by the side of the speedway road. The driver of the car has not yet been found. By Wednesday, his identity had not been established. He had long dark brown hair, a moustache, sideburns below the ears, and was wearing black levis with a sash brown cloth belt and brown buckle shoes. He was , pounds, and had brown eyes. An attempt is being made to identify him through FBI fingerprint files. As for the number injured seriously, there are no precise figures. The confusion which reigned over the affair made it impossible for medics to keep records, local hospitals were generally uncooperative in dealing with the media, and the injured seem to be spread out in hospitals all over the Bay Area.
One thing is most certain: Even the most incomplete medical reports show that this was a festival dominated by violence. The volunteer medics treated more than just the usual bad trips and cut feet. They also treated dozens of lacerations and skull fractures. They came to the four medical tents in waves after each escalation by the Angels, many of them having bad trips on good acid — bad trips seemingly induced by the violence going on around them. People sitting near the stage said they could feel the wave of paranoia spreading through the stoned crowd with each beating.
Acid plus muggings equalled terror and revulsion. Understandably, there was a bad aftertaste in the mouths of medical volunteers along with just about everybody else at the festival. And we had no time to mobilize community people for help with bad trips. It was just piss-poor planning. A lot of the bad trips were violent because there was so much violence in the air. There were a lot of beatings. Girls were beaten — I sewed up a lot of girls.
It was like the fucking [police] Tac[tical] Squad ran around. According to Fine, the medical people had been promised telephone communications. It never happened. None materialized. And when it turned dark — during the hour and a quarter wait for the Stones — and dozens of people lay injured in the medical area, Stones representatives refused to turn on the backstage lights so the medics could tend to them. The lights would just damn well have to wait until the Stones came out to play. People were injured?
They were assisted at Altamont by four Red Cross chapters, Langley Porter Neuropsychiatric Institute staff members, and dozens of volunteers. The medical aid was coordinated primarily by Dr. They came in waves. We got one big wave early in the morning, and then another one when the violence broke out with the Airplane. The biggest wave we got was near the end, when the Angels started picking up again. The standard procedure for dealing with bum trips was to assign a person experienced in drug crises to each person who came in.
But as the day wore on, and the violence increased, personnel were unable to keep up with the massive numbers seeking help, and doctors had to start relying solely on thorazine. Although none had any idea how much thorazine was finally used, doctors had to have an emergency supply flown in later in the day as bad trips increased. Aside from thorazine, though, first aid tents were well stocked with everything they needed. Some of the bad trips were the result of yellow pills given away in the crowd and said to be organic acid.
Most of the dope being sold at the festival, though, was of about standard street quality. Several bummed out when they drank wine without knowing it had acid in it. Only two drug cases had to be evacuated, though, both because of too many reds. Aside from the bad trips, doctors treated a large number of victims of the Angel rampages. Doctors at one tent said they treated 12 — one skull fracture, one fractured facial bones, and 10 skull lacerations. Both doctors seemed certain that, despite reports, there were no births at the festival. First reports had four babies being born, two before, two during the music.
There were cases of false labor, but none of the medical staff at the site delivered a baby, and no one showed up at any of the medical tents with a new-born child. The same was true of local hospitals. It was really funny, man. It seemed like a pretty convenient place, in the hospital and all. There will be no personal announcements. There was no community feeling here at all. Ten were for drugs all bum trips, no needle O. He suffered head and internal injuries, and fractured ribs and left leg.
By Wednesday, he was no longer in the intensive care unit, and was able to talk. But I remember about the festival. They were there so they could say they had been there, and they wanted to get as close as possible. I just wanted to have a good time, and I was trying to be pretty cool about all the other stuff going on. Eden Hospital in Castro Valley still had two casualties on Wednesday.
The other was Steven Vitali, 19, who also suffered head injuries in an accident of still-undetermined origin. By Wednesday, Steve was in satisfactory condition, and Candy in fair condition, but both were still in the intensive care unit and unable to speak. Highland Hospital in Oakland reported treating one person. At least one casualty was admitted to Mt. She had a fractured skull. She had undergone emergency surgery to have a jagged chunk of skull about the size of a quarter removed. This was over her left eye, in her forehead, below her hairline. Because of the position, nothing more than a local anesthetic was possible. The doctors told her she could have died from the injury.
There was no way. The other serious injury reported immediately was that of Arnold Hull, 21, of Oakland. Hull supposedly told an ambulance driver to take him to a maternity ward, that he was about to have a baby. He then undressed and jumped off a freeway overpass, and was taken to Valley Memorial in critical condition. D avid Crosby put most of the blame for the whole sordid mess on sloppy planning due to a lack of time, but had some scathing remarks for the Stones as well. But doing it that sloppily, we could have paid much heavier dues.
We could have dumped a helicopter full of two or three good rock bands into a crowd of about a thousand people and killed them all; we could have paid much heavier dues. The Rolling Stones are still a little bit in I mean, our road managers could have covered it. Nobody would have gotten on that stage, nobody would have hassled anybody. The mistake that was made was in thinking security was needed, and that the Angels should do it. Unfortunately, we all had to pay some dues for that. The Airplane and the Dead have done this kind of thing right before. Full-out brotherhood and a full-out really happy feeling. That kind of trip you can provably do and you can provably control how many people come to it and what kind of people by how you disseminate the information.
Our own band is kind of like that, and this big trip thing is not for me, since this one went down. The rest of his own band feels pretty much the same way, he noted. Crosby felt the Angels were not entirely to blame for what went down. They are, in their own way, intensely moralistic; they have a very definite rigid set. Nobody knew that there was an Angels officers meeting in Oakland that afternoon. This time they were and they did it. In their mind, guard a stage means guard it. I think they were just the most obvious mistake. And, finally, some harsh words for the Stones themselves. I think they are on negative trips intensely, especially the two leaders. There were lots of people just fucking freaked out.
During our set I could see a guy from the stage who had a knife and just wanted to stab somebody, I mean, he really wanted a fight. Anybody getting in the way of anybody had himself a fight, whether he wanted it or not. There were kids being stabbed and heads cracking the whole time. We tried to stop it the best we could by not playing, but by the time we got to our fourth song, the more we got into it, the more people got into their fighting thing. People just got themselves fucked up and wanted to fuck up everybody. You lose control of and respect for yourself, and you lose control of and respect for anybody else. But the big mistake, he felt, was having the Angels act as security guards.
As a musician there to play for the people, he was also disappointed in the audience. There was no energy there, nobody wanted to get it on or the bands would have played that much better. The vibrations were really strange. It was all a big ego thing. Several of the musicians who were there placed the blame directly on Jagger. I did. Put it on me. Asked for his comments on the festival, Marty Balin declined. Paul Kantner was the lone member of the Airplane willing to speak, and his basic point was to make clear the fact that the Angels would not be asked to provide security at any more concerts involving the Airplane. Members of the Grateful Dead refused to discuss it at all, at least not for the record.
The Dead were scheduled to play just before — and then, as the day wore on, just after — the Stones. But by the time the Stones had finished their set, the scene was too tense to risk stretching the day out any longer. Getting there had been half the fun, just like Woodstock. Except not as bad as Woodstock. Only suckers parked ten miles away, and there were no serious traffic jams — never mind the Top 40 radio hype — to speak of. True, some people had parked six or eight miles away. At first — before people settled in on the rolling pasture land — there was a nice kind of communal spirit on the hike.
At least half the crowd was from the San Francisco Bay Area, but lots of them had come from afar. In the early morning hours of that distastrous Saturday, several thousand persons took their micro-buses up a wrong turn in the road and wound up stranded on Altamont Pass five to ten miles from the concert site. The absurdity of it all was compounded by the fact that many left the winding asphalt road and began climbing the dusty hills. Hundreds of others decided to beat the crowd by walking on the railroad tracks which cut right through the pass — right through the pass and into the countryside in the wrong direction.
As they all walked blindly in several erroneous beelines, the California Highway Patrol CHP , which had directed them to the cul de sac in the first place, was busy having their cars towed away. That new freeway, still under construction, was converted by the California Highway Patrol into a parking lot, and had cars parked across all four lanes for six miles. One CHP who refused to identify himself said the main problem was just too many people. Those people who had cars towed away had incredible hassles. When they returned to their cars that night, it was pitch black, and many thought they were lost, or that their cars had been stolen.
Most of them either had to find another way home or sleep there overnight, sleeping bag or no sleeping bag. And towers were none too concerned about how they got the cars out. No safety catches on the axles. There were several cases where the tow truck would go around a corner, and the car it was towing would swing out and smash into other cars along the roadside. The primary concern of the towers seemed to be to move as many cars as possible. Art Gilbertson, manager of G and H Garage in Livermore, said the traffic jams were to blame for the jacked-up towing fees. He said he went in at 9 AM Saturday and it was 9 PM before he was able to move a car because he had to clear the roads first.
Even when the roads were clear, traffic turned what is normally a one hour round trip into a two or two and one-half hour trip. He felt the extra charge was justified, as did a tower from Groth Bros. Oldsmobile, also in Livermore. Both denied doing any damage to cars, though the obvious physical condition of some of the cars showed otherwise. In all, about cars were towed off, and some are still sitting in the yards of garages in Livermore and Tracy. C apt. That gave us 20 hours and at the time we had nobody there but the regular beat patrol. For the rest of the time, we had to have two forty-man shifts there, and had to get help from the Tracy and Concord stations. It was Bradshaw who ordered cars blocking the roads to be towed away.
He said it was necessary to keep one lane open at all times for emergency vehicles, and those who parked in the middle of the road came back to find their cars towed away. Many of his officers did, he said, with mixed results. Lots of those people were intoxicated on one thing or another. And there were lots of complaints from neighbors about cars parked on their property, fences torn down for firewood, frightening the livestock, vulgarities, obscenities, and you name it.
The CHP made three arrests, all for public drunkeness. Alameda County Sheriffs, who policed the festival periphery, refused to disclose the number of arrests they made, or any information about the murder investigation. In fairness, it is not certain they were present during the Hunter murder. The sheriffs are said to have attempted to intercede in some of the fighting, but there were, according to our source, more Angels than they were prepared to handle.
So the lawmen backed off. A number of sheriffs officers are beginning to confide that they feel the department is somehow at fault; that they should have prevented the Angels from taking over. Whether or not the Stones wanted cops to handle security for the concert, the decision ultimately rested with the cops themselves. The investigation has not gone especially well so far. It may surprise many of the people who suffered Altamont to discover that they were, in effect, unpaid extras in a full production color motion picture. That fact of the matter seems to be that the real reason for the free concert was to make a sort of Woodstock West movie. Jagger was eager for the movie to be rush-processed, edited as quickly as possible, and hurried into release to beat the real Woodstock film to the punch.
A March 15th release date was guaranteed Jagger as part of the deal whereby the Stones and the movie-makers own the film , according to Maysles representative Porter Bibb. According to Stones manager Allen Klein, however, no such deal exists. They were paid a fee to shoot it and to make it. They knew what kind of movie they were after before they started. They wanted it groovy. Good vibes. One big happy party. A fairly typical scene, definitely worth recording as part of any true motion picture account of what happened at Altamont. We only want beautiful things. Everything here is so ugly.
There were camera crews everywhere, identifiable not only by the equipment but by their khaki hats with the painted yellow stripes down the middle. Three different camera men were aimed, they think, at the murder. It is not yet known what, if anything, they got. They had not been emotionally set who had? Proceeds beyond that if any would be split up equally among the participating bands. This in itself is a shuck, because the word at first was that all proceeds from the film would go to charity.
The Stones themselves, however, have definitely committed their share to some as yet undecided cause, according to Schneider. The murder investigation was continuing, several lawsuits were being prepared, and the only thing that was certain was that someone is responsible for something, and eventually will have to pay the price. But they were unable to get it together. A press conference planned for Friday following the concert which attorney Melvin Belli was scheduled to attend, having booked a San Francisco-New York flight was cancelled. This may explain why he was playing his cards so close to the vest. Might it include some recompense for the family of the young man who had been murdered? That was a question Belli had no time to hear.
Busy man. Lotta phone calls. Good day. Well, fuck Mel Belli. We need to hear them directly. But some display — however restrained — of compassion hardly seems too much to expect. A man died before their eyes. Do they give a shit? Yes or no? No, according to Gwen, the year-old sister of the dead man. The Stones should have. No one has offered even the slightest condolences to the family. No one even told the family their son was dead. They found out when a friend called the family at Sunday morning. Gwen then called the Livermore hospital, the Alameda County Sheriffs Department at Santa Rita and several other locations before she was able to determine that her brother was at the morgue in Oakland.
At 8 that morning, she left to identify the body. He almost never raised his voice; he talked very quietly. His job just came through. Meredith had never been in any trouble. He had only been involved in one fight in his life, that one to defend his sister. Gwen said he did have a gun. I know he took it with him to the festival. He pulled it out and showed it to them, but only to make them stop and think when they were beating him. I know he would never have used it. The Angels have the gun now. Patty saw them take it. She attended the concert with him. She is white, and Gwen implied that that might have had something to do with the killing. Meredith liked all kinds of music, his sister said. Pictures of Jesus hang in the window; the apartment is neat, small, and dark.
To this day, the Hunter family has not been contacted by anyone — the Stones personally, any representative of their offices, by the police, or by anyone connected in any way with the family. A friend, Mr. Charles Talbot, has been staying with the family. O ne prominent San Francisco attorney told Rolling Stone that the Hunters have an excellent case for a wrongful death suit against the Rolling Stones for criminal negligence. Several attorneys have indicated a willingness to handle the suit for no fee unless there was a settlement. Stones representative Ron Schneider suggested that his office would offer some kind of compensation to the Hunter family.
What could I say to them? Perhaps Schneider will eventually think of something to say. For now, Gwen and the family are still waiting. Thus, witnesses are hard to come by. The cops, however, did have several plain-clothesmen around the stage area, and presumably they witnessed the killing. Detectives seem most interested in determining exactly who hired the Angels, which raises the possibility that if some Angels do eventually stand trial for murder, Cutler and Scully will share the guilt as accessories. Neighboring ranchers are preparing to file suit for what they say is extensive damage to their property. They claim fences were torn down for firewood, water lines were broken, cattle lost, and they and their families threatened.
The ranchers, headed by C. US talking blues song. This article is about the song. For the album, see Alice's Restaurant album. For the film, see Alice's Restaurant film. Talking blues  folk rock . This section, except for one footnote, needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Main article: Alice's Restaurant film.
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