• October 15, 2015 at 7:53 pm #24024
    D
    Keymaster

    Are there any EOMS members who were present for Hyde Park or Altamont?  Those two gigs are legendary for many reasons.  Swiss, care to weigh in here on your opinion on Altamont?  I find both gigs fascinating for a multitude of reasons.

    October 15, 2015 at 8:43 pm #24032
    Nikkei
    Participant

    The way you phrased this gives me opportunity to proudly state that I once saw a mediocre Stones concert in Hyde Park. Mick Taylor on lead guitar.

    October 15, 2015 at 8:47 pm #24033
    Swiss
    Participant

    Drake — fantastic topics!   This is the busiest October I can remember in 20 years. I’m jamming super hard on 2 immutable deadlines — one related to Altamont.  Wish very much I could add my 2 cents, but nose to the pavement from here —straight out— until December 6th.

    Aaaaagh, timing 🙂

    best

    swiss

    strawberries *and* blueberries

    October 15, 2015 at 9:11 pm #24037
    Breath
    Participant

    The way you phrased this gives me opportunity to proudly state that I once saw a mediocre Stones concert in Hyde Park. Mick Taylor on lead guitar.

    pride goeth before a fall. oh, and it is fall. yay.

     

     

    October 15, 2015 at 9:26 pm #24039
    Naturalust
    Participant

    lol. Asking swiss (her opinion) about Altamont is like asking a priest about God. You know there is a tremendous amount of good stuff there but where do you start?  😀

    My quick two cents: both events were before my time but I have been somewhat fascinated with them.

    Hyde Park: The birth of the supergroup which would in a few short years deliver some of the best rock and roll the planet has ever seen. An assembly of the hippest  group of young people England had ever seen (I may be wrong). Quite amazing for me  to see the crowd and realize the cultural changes started in San Francisco had spread across the Atlantic and all these people were basically on the same wavelength. The music had it’s share of problems, kind of sloppy and out of tune at times but it wasn’t entirely about the music. Probably more about getting high and sharing this cool experience with all the other freaks. A sense of connection that was unique and seems to be missing somewhat in today’s world.

    Altamont: An example that all the best intentions in the world can be turned by the alignment of the stars or the actions and decisions of a very few people. The event always gets summarized as the end of the 60’s and focuses on the Hell’s Angels violence and Merideth Hunters death. It’s understandable since all this stuff was happening close to the stage and was captured on film and effected the performers so much. But when you think about how many people were actually raising hell compared to how many were up on the hill probably enjoying themselves and clueless to violence it gains a bit of a new perspective. I mean how many guys were actually involved in the violence? 10? 15? maybe 20 at most. Perhaps even less. Compared to the estimated 300,000 people in attendance it is uncanny what effect those few had. Was there a cool woodstock vibe going on on the southwest hill for 50,000 or more? Was the night before an amazing party or were there already premonitions of doom? (I fully expect swiss to resolve this one for us)

    I think the atmosphere of that  barren country and the chill of the December winter probably negatively effected everyone’s experience somewhat and if it had happened in Golden Gate Park as originally planned the outcome would have likely been different. Who knows?  The last minute preparation for such a huge gathering obviously also contributed to the problems. But overall I thought the music was better than Hyde Park and hopefully someday we will be able to hear a pro mix of the recordings made. I am anxious to hear more positive stories about Altamont…it couldn’t have been bad for all 300,000!

    October 15, 2015 at 9:33 pm #24040
    Nikkei
    Participant

    The way you phrased this gives me opportunity to proudly state that I once saw a mediocre Stones concert in Hyde Park. Mick Taylor on lead guitar.

    pride goeth before a fall. oh, and it is fall. yay.

    I thougth ith wath called autumn. nay?

    October 15, 2015 at 9:42 pm #24043
    Breath
    Participant

    The way you phrased this gives me opportunity to proudly state that I once saw a mediocre Stones concert in Hyde Park. Mick Taylor on lead guitar.

    pride goeth before a fall. oh, and it is fall. yay.

    I thougth ith wath called autumn. nay?

    okayeth if you sayeth soeth.

     

    October 15, 2015 at 11:02 pm #24045
    LongBeachArena72
    Participant

    lol. Asking swiss (her opinion) about Altamont is like asking a priest about God. You know there is a tremendous amount of good stuff there but where do you start? 😀 My quick two cents: both events were before my time but I have been somewhat fascinated with them. Hyde Park: The birth of the supergroup which would in a few short years deliver some of the best rock and roll the planet has ever seen. An assembly of the hippest group of young people England had ever seen (I may be wrong). Quite amazing for me to see the crowd and realize the cultural changes started in San Francisco had spread across the Atlantic and all these people were basically on the same wavelength. The music had it’s share of problems, kind of sloppy and out of tune at times but it wasn’t entirely about the music. Probably more about getting high and sharing this cool experience with all the other freaks. A sense of connection that was unique and seems to be missing somewhat in today’s world. Altamont: An example that all the best intentions in the world can be turned by the alignment of the stars or the actions and decisions of a very few people. The event always gets summarized as the end of the 60’s and focuses on the Hell’s Angels violence and Merideth Hunters death. It’s understandable since all this stuff was happening close to the stage and was captured on film and effected the performers so much. But when you think about how many people were actually raising hell compared to how many were up on the hill probably enjoying themselves and clueless to violence it gains a bit of a new perspective. I mean how many guys were actually involved in the violence? 10? 15? maybe 20 at most. Perhaps even less. Compared to the estimated 300,000 people in attendance it is uncanny what effect those few had. Was there a cool woodstock vibe going on on the southwest hill for 50,000 or more? Was the night before an amazing party or were there already premonitions of doom? (I fully expect swiss to resolve this one for us) I think the atmosphere of that barren country and the chill of the December winter probably negatively effected everyone’s experience somewhat and if it had happened in Golden Gate Park as originally planned the outcome would have likely been different. Who knows? The last minute preparation for such a huge gathering obviously also contributed to the problems. But overall I thought the music was better than Hyde Park and hopefully someday we will be able to hear a pro mix of the recordings made. I am anxious to hear more positive stories about Altamont…it couldn’t have been bad for all 300,000!

    I’ve assumed since the early 70’s that Altamont changed the band irrevocably, that they were never the same. They still had great songs to record, and at least one more American tour that was essential … but they were never as fierce, as beautiful, as cutting-edge as they were for those few weeks in the late fall of 1969.

    But maybe that’s malarkey. I’ve been obsessed with Nico’s database pages for the past month or so … it’s amazing what you can learn about people based on what they DO, from day to day.

    For example, three days after Altamont, the band were back at Olympic Studios in London working on four STICKY FINGERS tracks, plus beginning the overdubbing for what would become GYYYO. Six days after Altamont they taped three TV appearances, Eight days after Altamont they played two shows at the Savile and a week after that two more shows at the Lyceum. Not exactly holing up and licking their wounds.

    Maybe it had just been a bad gig, you know?  Maybe everything that happened afterward in the next 4 years was just a gradual winding down of the band’s creative energies and of the alchemical brilliance of the songwriting cabal of Mick and Keith. A gradual drifting apart of their joined-at-the-hip personalities as they both got a little older and things like drugs and families made their influences felt.

    I’m a baby boomer (tail end, admittedly) who practiced diving under my desk at the age of seven to escape warheads fired from the land of Mr. Castro and then at eight heard the news of JFK getting his head blown off in Dallas on a transistor radio held up in the air by my third grade teacher, and so as a result I’ve had my generation’s proclivity for/obsession with apocalypse ever since. I LIKED thinking of Altamont in apocalyptic terms … but maybe it just wasn’t.

    October 16, 2015 at 2:12 pm #24098
    CR
    Participant

    On the new edition of Mojo 60’s there’s an interview with David Crosby talking about Altamont: http://www.mojo4music.com/21969/mojos-60s-returns-stones-who-floyd-nico-in-tow/

    Gonna find my way to heaven, 'cause I did my time in hell

    October 16, 2015 at 3:43 pm #24108
    Naturalust
    Participant

    Hey LBA, plenty of apocalyptic events happening in this world to keep you satisfied. The end is surely near! lol

    But yeah, some of those Altamont images were truly frightening. I just read an article which a couple of people who were there said the claustrophobic nature of the crowd and area up front was the thing which kind of got everybody tensed out and contributed to the eventual violence. Surely it was less crowded and a cooler scene back away from the stage. Just the nature of the people who felt it necessary to press to the front at all costs probably made a difference.

    I do agree it that it had an impact on the Stones. How could it not since it was their idea and they pushed it to happen at all costs? I do think it might have  changed their music somewhat and possibly deterred them from writing in the dark arenas that songs like Sympathy and Gimme Shelter lived. Who knows it they ever intentionally distanced themselves in such a way.

    It’s interesting that you see it as their last truly shining moment. There is certainly some truth in that although for me that whole early 70’s period with Mick Taylor was pretty compelling and provocative as well. I’m guessing it was Keith and Taylors deeper involvement in heroin and the drug culture that had more effect on their image and ferocity. Less shine and more intrigue.  The next three records were obviously highly drug influenced but for some reason it was a marriage that produced beautiful offspring.

    Anyway, something in me just wants to hear some GOOD stories about Altamont. There seem to be precious few of them around.

    October 16, 2015 at 5:22 pm #24124
    LongBeachArena72
    Participant

    Hey LBA, plenty of apocalyptic events happening in this world to keep you satisfied. The end is surely near! lol But yeah, some of those Altamont images were truly frightening. I just read an article which a couple of people who were there said the claustrophobic nature of the crowd and area up front was the thing which kind of got everybody tensed out and contributed to the eventual violence. Surely it was less crowded and a cooler scene back away from the stage. Just the nature of the people who felt it necessary to press to the front at all costs probably made a difference. I do agree it that it had an impact on the Stones. How could it not since it was their idea and they pushed it to happen at all costs? I do think it might have changed their music somewhat and possibly deterred them from writing in the dark arenas that songs like Sympathy and Gimme Shelter lived. Who knows it they ever intentionally distanced themselves in such a way. It’s interesting that you see it as their last truly shining moment. There is certainly some truth in that although for me that whole early 70’s period with Mick Taylor was pretty compelling and provocative as well. I’m guessing it was Keith and Taylors deeper involvement in heroin and the drug culture that had more effect on their image and ferocity. Less shine and more intrigue. The next three records were obviously highly drug influenced but for some reason it was a marriage that produced beautiful offspring. Anyway, something in me just wants to hear some GOOD stories about Altamont. There seem to be precious few of them around.

    While I do believe that their peak as a live band was 69, they obviously made two more GREAT RECORDS (SF and EOMS) followed by a really interesting/frustrating one (GHS) and then the long slow decline.

    I don’t even believe that 69 was necessarily their best tour musically; perhaps they played and/or sang better at other times. (Kleerie, for example, would no doubt opt for 73.) But, my god the electricity, the first-ever American performances of songs that they would go on to play for the next 45 years, the stature of the band in pop culture at the time, the fact that they were really PLAYING in concert for the first time in their careers, that they knew they were competing as a live band with the likes of Hendrix and Cream, et al, that the Beatles were defunct as a touring unit, that the air was thick with Manson and Vietnam and RFK and the race riots that had ravaged American cities since The Stones had last visited, that they had a lyrical young guitarist casting a new kind of magic spell over their tunes, a veteran guitarist who was driving the band to new heights, a singer whose onstage androgyny would help usher in a whole raft of imitators and become a cultural touchstone for years … all of that conspired to create, at least for me, the greatest tour in rock music history

     

    October 16, 2015 at 7:30 pm #24146
    Naturalust
    Participant

    But, my god the electricity, the first-ever American performances of songs that they would go on to play for the next 45 years, the stature of the band in pop culture at the time, the fact that they were really PLAYING in concert for the first time in their careers, that they knew they were competing as a live band with the likes of Hendrix and Cream, et al, that the Beatles were defunct as a touring unit, that the air was thick with Manson and Vietnam and RFK and the race riots that had ravaged American cities since The Stones had last visited, that they had a lyrical young guitarist casting a new kind of magic spell over their tunes, a veteran guitarist who was driving the band to new heights, a singer whose onstage androgyny would help usher in a whole raft of imitators and become a cultural touchstone for years … all of that conspired to create, at least for me, the greatest tour in rock music history

    ——————————————————————————————————————–Hard to argue with that logic, especially the part about first playing songs they would continue to play for the next 40 years…and be able to keep people wildly entertained doing so while profiting immensely!

    I often wondered if it was just something in the air that produced all that potent music and cultural change back then. It seems like it was unprecedented and hasn’t happened since. I believe that music and other creative artistic endeavors are derived from the ether of the atmosphere, the collective thought and vibrations that circle the planet at any given time so to speak. What was so different about 1967-1972 (or so)  that caused all that greatness that we still recognize today? Was it the change in consciousness and thought from LSD? The alignment of the stars? A combination of both?  In any case it was a fascinating and fruitful time for music and culture and it still effects this guy all these years later, although I was too young to experience it while it was happening.

    I would welcome another such era in my lifetime, just hope I’m not to old and settled in my ways to realize it’s importance and jump on for the ride.  😎

     

     

     

    October 16, 2015 at 8:07 pm #24152
    Cocaine Eyes
    Participant

    I would have loved to attend the Hyde Park show (first one) but I’m thrilled I didn’t attend the fiasco that was Altamont. I’ll try to find the article that says how awful it was and how the Stones were happy it was over. NOT musically, of course, give me the Stones in concert anytime…….

    ~CE

    KR-at-altamont
    MJ-peace-peace-he-is-not-dead

     

    Attachments:
    October 16, 2015 at 8:43 pm #24158
    Cocaine Eyes
    Participant

    Here’s a lengthy article from Rolling Stone magazine about the disaster and deaths at Altamont:

    http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/the-rolling-stones-disaster-at-altamont-let-it-bleed-19700121

    So happy I wasn’t there and also so happy the Stones stayed away from the site in a luxurious hotel/home. Jagger was shattered. Taylor was very upset. It must have been a nightmare…….more so than we saw on the film ‘Gimme Shelter’. I love this part where we’re told the Stones were safe before and after the ungodly show:

    “As usual, the Stones trip included the best of everything. The best of hotels, limousines, cuisine. Maybe it was a free concert, but there was no good reason not to do it in style.”

    ~CE

    KR-at-altamont

     

    Attachments:
    October 17, 2015 at 1:48 am #24188
    LongBeachArena72
    Participant

    But, my god the electricity, the first-ever American performances of songs that they would go on to play for the next 45 years, the stature of the band in pop culture at the time, the fact that they were really PLAYING in concert for the first time in their careers, that they knew they were competing as a live band with the likes of Hendrix and Cream, et al, that the Beatles were defunct as a touring unit, that the air was thick with Manson and Vietnam and RFK and the race riots that had ravaged American cities since The Stones had last visited, that they had a lyrical young guitarist casting a new kind of magic spell over their tunes, a veteran guitarist who was driving the band to new heights, a singer whose onstage androgyny would help usher in a whole raft of imitators and become a cultural touchstone for years … all of that conspired to create, at least for me, the greatest tour in rock music history

    ——————————————————————————————————————–Hard to argue with that logic, especially the part about first playing songs they would continue to play for the next 40 years…and be able to keep people wildly entertained doing so while profiting immensely!

    I often wondered if it was just something in the air that produced all that potent music and cultural change back then. It seems like it was unprecedented and hasn’t happened since. I believe that music and other creative artistic endeavors are derived from the ether of the atmosphere, the collective thought and vibrations that circle the planet at any given time so to speak. What was so different about 1967-1972 (or so) that caused all that greatness that we still recognize today? Was it the change in consciousness and thought from LSD? The alignment of the stars? A combination of both? In any case it was a fascinating and fruitful time for music and culture and it still effects this guy all these years later, although I was too young to experience it while it was happening.

    I would welcome another such era in my lifetime, just hope I’m not to old and settled in my ways to realize it’s importance and jump on for the ride. 😎

    Wow–huge questions, NL. Way beyond my pay grade but since I’ve thought about these issues, too, over the years, here are my two cents: I think the key to those times, at least in the U.S., was the sense of possibility brought on by activism. The idea of going out into the streets, to protest the war, to rally for equality, to protect the environment. Change was in the air and it was intoxicating. I remember in the spring of 68 watching with my cousin LBJ’s televised announcement that he would not run for re-election. My cousin, who was a couple of years older than me and a radicalized hippie, just sneered at the TV: “You’re not my President.” A few weeks later I was handing out flyers in my neighborhood, going door-to-door for RFK. I was 13 and it seemed like the most natural thing in the world to me. And my experience was nothing compared to so many others who put their livelihoods on the line in order to take a stand that they believed in. I’m not saying that this had never been done before, in prior generations. But I do think it was different in the late 60’s–you just had the sense that walls were breaking down, that racism couldn’t be tolerated, that a criminal war must be raged against. There was momentum, there was the feeling that it was all going to change, for the better.

    None of this answers the question why, of course, or even what came first. Did activism engender the music, inspire artists to greater heights, as it were? Or was it something else, and activism was only a by-product?

    I think that The Stones were never comfortable with the counterculture in America. They were certainly never comfortable with assuming a role as spokespersons for the counterculture. People wanted that from them in 69; by and large, the band demurred, though you did hear assertions of personal freedom in a couple of their songs that year (“I’m Free,” and the “we got to find it” refrain from “Satisfaction,” e.g.). What can a poor boy do, indeed. But, one way or another, they found themselves smack dab in the middle of some hell on that chilly December night in the scrub hills of Alameda County.

    October 17, 2015 at 7:37 pm #24273
    angee
    Participant

    LBA and NL, good thoughts, fascinating questions.  True, the activist or political and the hippie or cultural wings fed on each other, exactly how and when is still something of a mystery. As a sociologist, and as a person living through the times, I found the psychologist-historian Kenneth Keniston’s books have thrown the most light on the roots of the values and actions of those involved.

    Just to add, while the Stones certainly didn’t wish to speak for the counterculture generation, they certainly found sympatico values in the primacy of experimentation with all kinds of sex, relationships, and drugs.  Was it mere coincidence that their life styles seem to mirror what was happening in the culture, because of their rock star status or was there a bit of influence both directions from the culture to the band and its music and back into the culture from the band?  I think the band members and the music had an independent influence on the lifestyles and norms of some of the young people around then, and maybe even still.  (Note:  See my book for at least a few personal stories of that kind, the liberating effects.)  Why are some of us here, now?

    October 17, 2015 at 8:29 pm #24276
    Naturalust
    Participant

    Hey Angee, speaking for myself I can say the Stones and other rock stars of the day certainly had a huge impact on my life, values and interests. They were a generation ahead of me and still hit me hard. What young kid wouldn’t be highly influenced by the decadent and fun lifestyle those guys projected.

    Looking at the history I’d say they influenced the masses much more than the masses influenced them. I read about their experiences in the American south as long haired freaks and realize that they were going against a huge section of the culture. They were certainly some of the true innovators of that music, drugs and bohemian lifestyle culture, living to have fun and party. Perhaps it came from the earlier beatniks but they seemed to be more intellectual about it all. The Stones were the very image of what it was to be cool throughout the 70’s. Hard to quantify just how important they were.

    I’m not sure how true this is for women and girls. I have a female friend who was really into the Stones early on but lost interest when the image they projected seemed to become more sexist and kind of objectified women. As much as Keith says his ilk were partly responsible for womens rights and such and how attractive Jagger was to lots of them, it’s hard to deny rock and roll was a man’s business throughout much of the sleazy 70’s.

    October 18, 2015 at 2:09 am #24288
    LongBeachArena72
    Participant

    Hi, Angee—

    I don’t know Kenniston’s work; will check it out. What do you think of Todd Gitlin on the 60’s?

    Also, I didn’t understand your final question: “Why are some of us here, now?” What did you mean, exactly? (Sorry if I’m being dense.)

    I think at least in SoCal in the late 60’s/early 70’s, while The Stones were immensely popular musically, there were other bands, mainly American bands, who were closer in spirit to what was sometimes thought of as “the revolution.” The Stones were European, cynical, acerbically funny, and made no bones about the fact that they were not on-board with all aspects of the peace-and-love crowd. People still dug them, OF COURSE, because of the incredible music they were making … but I’m not sure they were all that influential culturally or politically. I agree with NL that rock stars from that era were enormously cool and charismatic and they had legions of young gunslingers wanting to follow in their footsteps.

    Most of the people who were a little bit older than me were far more into stuff like CSNY or Hendrix or The Dead, in terms of musicians who were aligned with “the movement;” people who were my age and younger were probably more apt to look up to and want to emulate Zeppelin, when it came to wanting to partake in some classic rock star excess. These are of course just my personal experiences. I make no claim to representing any kind of universal teenage consensus!

    BTW, Angee, I have a question for you, based on your experiences writing your book. It concerns the phenomenon of “Mick vs Keith” in Stones fandom. Don’t want to clog up the Altamont thread so would it be OK if I PM’ed you?

    October 19, 2015 at 4:59 am #24338
    Swiss
    Participant

    .

    strawberries *and* blueberries

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