Altamont Free Concert  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

The Altamont Speedway Free Festival was an infamous rock concert held on Saturday, December 6, 1969, at the Altamont Speedway in northern California, between Tracy and Livermore. The event is best known for considerable violence, including the death of Meredith Hunter and three accidental deaths: two caused by a hit-and-run car accident and one by drowning in an irrigation canal.


In other media

In film

Jim Carrey's character in The Cable Guy performs "Somebody to Love" on karaoke, which "you might recognise this song from a little rockumetary called Gimme Shelter about the Rolling Stones and their nightmare at Altamonde. That night the Oakland chapter of the Hells Angels had their way. Tonight... it's my turn."

In literature

The Altamont concert and the stabbing incident inspired Hungarian writer Tibor Déry's 1971 novel, Imaginary Report from an American Pop Festival (Képzelt riport egy amerikai popfesztiválról), which dealt with the death of a Hungarian immigrant girl on a fictional rock festival in Montana. The novel was later adapted into a very successfulTemplate:Cn stage musical by Gábor Presser and Anna Adamis titled An Imaginary Report on an American Rock Festival.

The concert is repeatedly mentioned in Norman Spinrad's 1987 novel, Little Heroes, as one of the major events in the main female protagonist's life.

In music

The Seth Putnam-led grindcore band Insult wrote a song titled "Altamont Was Cool", which was released on their split CD with Ruido in 1998.

The Australian band Black Cab released an album in 2004 entitled Altamont Diary. Loosely based on the Altamont Free Concert, it features a cover of the Grateful Dead song "New Speedway Boogie".

Altamont has often been suggested as a likely interpretation of one verse of Don McLean's classic rock song "American Pie", with lines alluding to "Jumping Jack Flash", Hells Angels, and "Sympathy for the Devil".

The rock band Altamont, a side project by Dale Crover of the Melvins, is named after the concert.

In sculpture

American artist Sam Durant referenced the Altamont Free Concert in his 1998 sculptural installation "Partially Buried 1960s/70s Dystopia Revealed (Mick Jagger at Altamont) & Utopia Reflected (Wavy Gravy at Woodstock)."

In television

The Fox television show Glee has referenced this event twice. In season one, Rod Remington remarks having "seen that guy get shot." In the episode "Prom Queen" of season 2, Santana Lopez states that the Bully Whips will be "like the Hells Angels to The Rolling Stones at Altamont", with the joke being her lack of awareness at the disaster that occurred.

In episode 1.12, "Road Worrier", of the MTV original series Daria, Jake Morgendorffer says that he attended Altamont. He does mention the tragedy and demanded his money back, which lead to the exchange: Daria - Wasn't Altamont free? Jake - (laughs) That's the same line they tried to use on me.

Set lists

The Rolling Stones

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Altamont Free Concert" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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