Killing of Meredith Hunter

Meredith Curly Hunter, Jr. (October 24, 1951 – December 6, 1969) was an audience member who was killed at the 1969 Altamont Free Concert. During the performance by The Rolling Stones, Hunter approached the stage, and was violently driven off by members of the Hells Angels motorcycle club who had agreed to serve as security guards. He subsequently returned to the stage area, drew a revolver, and was stabbed and beaten to death by Hells Angel Alan Passaro. The incident was caught on camera and became a central scene in the Maysles Brothers documentary Gimme Shelter. Passaro was charged with murder and tried in 1971. Following 17 days of testimony, an eight-man, four-woman jury deliberated for 12 and a half hours before Passaro was acquitted on grounds of self-defense. Hunter was an 18-year-old from Berkeley, California, nicknamed ‘Murdock’ and described by friends as a flashy dresser with a big Afro. Hunter, his girlfriend Patty Bredehoft, Ronnie Brown (nickname ‘Blood’), and his girlfriend Judy traveled from Berkeley to attend the Altamont Free Concert. His sister Dixie warned him about the still prevalent racism in the outer reaches of Alameda County, which prompted Meredith to take a .22 Smith and Wesson pistol for protection. The Hells Angels had agreed to provide security for $500 (about US $3,538 adjusted for inflation, 2019) worth of beer. They stood directly in front of the bands in an effort to keep people off the unusually low stage, which had been set up at the bottom of a low slope. They parked several of their motorcycles in front of the stage to act ‘as a kind of bulwark against the crowd’.  As the Hells Angels became intoxicated and the crowd became restless and unpredictable, the drunken Hells Angels began hurling full cans of beer from their stockpile and striking concertgoers with motorcycle chains and sawed-off, weighted pool cues to drive the crowd back from the stage and the Angels’ motorcycles. By the time the Rolling Stones took the stage in the early evening, the mood had taken a decidedly ugly turn, as numerous fights began to erupt between Angels and crowd members. …”
W – Gimme Shelter (1970 film)
Rolling Stone – ‘Gimme Shelter’ at 50: How The Rolling Stones Got Conquered By America (Video)
YouTube: Gimme Shelter (1970) ORIGINAL TRAILER
YouTube: Rolling Stones Doc – Gimme Shelter – (1970) 1:31:44

About 1960s: Days of Rage

Bill Davis - 1960s: Days of Rage
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