Altamont

  • by Joel Selvin
  • Narrated by John Pruden
  • 9 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In this breathtaking cultural history filled with exclusive, never-before-revealed details, celebrated rock journalist Joel Selvin tells the definitive story of the Rolling Stones' infamous Altamont concert in San Francisco, the disastrous historic event that marked the end of the idealistic 1960s.
In the annals of rock history, the Altamont Speedway Free Festival on December 6, 1969, has long been seen as the distorted twin of Woodstock - the day that shattered the '60s' promise of peace and love when a concertgoer was killed by a member of the Hells Angels, the notorious biker club acting as security. While most people know of the events from the film Gimme Shelter, the whole story has remained buried in varied accounts, rumor, and myth - until now.
Altamont explores rock's darkest day, a fiasco that began well before the climactic death of Meredith Hunter and continued beyond that infamous December night. Joel Selvin probes every aspect of the show - from the Stones' hastily planned tour preceding the concert to the bad acid that swept through the audience to other deaths that also occurred that evening - to capture the full scope of the tragedy and its aftermath. He also provides an in-depth look at the Grateful Dead's role in the events leading to Altamont, examining the band's behind-the-scenes presence in both arranging the show and hiring the Hells Angels as security.
The product of 20 years of exhaustive research and dozens of interviews with many key players, including medical staff, Hells Angels members, the stage crew, and the musicians who were there, Altamont is the ultimate account of the final event in rock's formative and most turbulent decade.

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Customer Reviews

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Superb account

Before I read this book all I knew about Altamont was gleaned from the Gimme Shelter film and a few magazine articles. Joel Selvin recognised that the accepted narrative was far too simplistic and so he wrote 'Altamont: The Rolling Stones, the Hells Angels, and the Inside Story of Rock's Darkest Day' to delve deeper, and set the record straight.

It's superb.

A forensic examination of all the key players, and the events that led up to what must surely be the most nightmarish musical event of all time. A perfect storm of hubris, opportunism, naivety and toxic drugs that resulted in four deaths, and a life changing experience for many of the audience and the artists that participated.

It starts uncertainly, as Joel Selvin if far less authoritative on the London scene but once the Rolling Stones arrive Stateside for their 1969 US tour, that culminated with the Altamont Speedway Free Festival on December 6, 1969, it really clicks into gear. An essential read for anyone interested in the Rolling Stones, or the late 1960s counter-culture more generally.

5/5
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- nigeyb

Book Details

  • Release Date: 16-08-2016
  • Publisher: HarperAudio