Altamont: the Making Of a Snuff Film
by Donald Phau
The last major rock "festival" of the 1960s was held at Altamont
racetrack, outside San Francisco. The featured performers were
the Rolling Stones, who now reigned supreme in the rock world,
since the Beatles had broken up. The suggestion for the concert
came from MK-Ultra agent Ken Kesey.
This time, the audience was whipped into a frenzy, in open praise
of the Devil. The result was a literal Satanic orgy. At its conclusion,
four people were dead and dozens beaten and injured. Mick
Jagger, the lead singer of the Rolling Stones, played the part of
Lucifer. The performance marked the beginning of the
"heavy-metal" concerts of today.
Over 400,000 people attended the Altamont concert with far less
preparation than even Woodstock. Food, and even water, were
nearly unavailable. But plenty of drugs were to be found. Like
Woodstock, the concert would become the vehicle for the mass
experimentation of drugs, especially LSD. Author Tony Sanchez
describes the scene as people gathered at Altamont:
"By midmorning there were more than a quarter of a million people
milling around, and things were becoming chaotic. There was a lot
of bad acid (LSD-DP) around, and people were freaking out all
over the place. Everybody was getting stoned out of his skull to
pass the long hours before the music was to start--Mexican grass,
cheap California wine, amphetamines ...
"By midday virtually everyone was tripping...A man was almost
killed as he tried to fly from a speedway bridge--another acid case.
On the other side of the site a young guy screamed for help as he
fell into the deep waters of a drainage canal. The stoned-out freaks
looked on bemused as he sank beneath the surface. No one
seemed sure if he had been real or an hallucination. It didn't matter
anymore anyway, he was dead. Elsewhere doctors were kept busy
delivering babies to girls giving hysterical premature birth.''
The descent into Hell would continue. The Rolling Stones had
hired, for a reported $500 worth of free beer, the motorcycle gang
Hell's Angels to act as security guards for the concert. Their real
payment, however, was in drug sales. The Hell's Angels, an outlaw
gang made up of robbers, rapists and murderers, were the known
controllers and sellers of drugs on the entire West Coast.
When the festival did open, the crowd of nearly half a million
people waited for more than one and a half hours for the Stones to
appear. It was only when nightfall arrived, allowing for the use of
special lighting effects, that the group finally came on stage. Mick
Jagger, the lead singer, was dressed in a satin cape, which glowed
red under the lights. Jagger was imitating Lucifer.
Author Sanchez next describes what he calls a preplanned "Satanic
ritual." As the group began playing, "strangely several of the kids
were stripping off their clothes and crawling to the stage as if it
were a high altar, there to offer themselves as victims for the boots
and cues of the Angels. The more they were beaten and bloodied,
the more they were impelled, as if by some supernatural force, to
offer themselves as human sacrifices to these agents of Satan."
Standing in the crowd in front of the stage, with his girlfriend, was a
black man by the name of Meredith Hunter. Hunter would soon be
singled out for human sacrifice.
The Stones had just released a new song entitled, "Sympathy for
the Devil." It had quickly become the number one record in the
country. The song begins with Mick Jagger introducing himself as
Lucifer. As soon as he began to sing it at Altamont, the entire
audience rose up and began dancing in a wild frenzy.
Sanchez descibes what happened next, "A great six foot four
grizzly bear of a Hell's Angel had stalked across to Meredith
(Hunter) to pull his hair hard in an effort to provoke a fight ...A
fight broke out, five more Angels came crashing to the aid of their
buddy, while Meredith tried to run off through the packed crowd.
An Angel caught him by the arm and brought down a sheath knife
hard in the black man's back. The knife failed to penetrate deeply,
but Meredith knew then that he was fighting for his life. He ripped
a gun out of his pocket and pointed it straight at the Angel's chest...
And then the Angels were upon him like a pack of wolves. One
tore the gun from his hand, another stabbed him in the face and still
another stabbed him repeatedly, insanely, in the back until his
"When the Angels finished with Hunter, several people tried to
come to his aid, but an Angel stood guard over the motionless
body. `Don't touch him,' he said menacingly. `He's going to die
anyway, so just let him die.'"
It was never proven that Meredith actually had a gun. Later,
arrests were made. No one was ever indicted because no one
person would step forward as a witness out of fear of retaliation by
Throughout the bloody killing the Rolling Stones continued to play
"Sympathy for the Devil." The entire group watched from the stage
as Meredith Hunter was killed right before them. In addition,
incredibly, the entire murder was professionally filmed by a film
crew hired to film the concert. Shortly thereafter the film was
released throughout the country with the title of a Rolling Stone's
song, "Gimme Shelter."
Was the murder preplanned by Satanists? In his book, The
Ultimate Evil, author Maury Terry tells how Satanic cults
circulate among themselves films of their human sacrifices. These
films are called "snuff films." Terry relates that one of the seven Son
of Sam murders in New York City was actually filmed from a
nearby parked van. The film was then purchased by a rich Satanist.
"Gimme Shelter,'' which was a box-office hit, can still be purchased
or rented today for only a few dollars, at your local video store.