Altamont Business Cycle Theory


Altamont never would have happened if the feds hadn't bailed out Woodstock.

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  1. Hey, why doesn’t Balko ever write about how private security services like the Hell’s Angels sometimes abuse their authority?

    1. You don’t have to sell your house (or emigrate) to get away from Woodstock concert security.

      1. Altmont concert security. Sorry.

        1. Like choosing to purchase a ticket or not, we could also choose to elect better policymakers.

          Yeah, I know, a single ticket guarantees a seat; a single vote guarantees nothing. Still, VOTE OR DIE, boners!

      2. QED, bitches!

    2. It still looks like they used all of the authority granted by their employers. Where is the authority abuse?

      1. I hate to judge before all the facts are in, but it’s beginning to look like the Stones exceeded the level of authority they had to grant to their employees.

        Perhaps just another example of a poorly trained police force?

        1. It wasn’t a police force, it was free market chemical and sex selling bikers.

          Where are you making up the cop issue from? They were the ones arresting and prosecuting the Angels.

          1. Ugh. I knew there were going to be problems with the joke in my initial comment when I posted it, but I thought for sure the Strangelove reference in the follow-up would indicate the level of seriousness I was aiming for.

            Anyway, here’s what was trying to spill out my noggin: The Hells Angels were technically a force and were policing the crowd, and the instructions from their employers (the Rolling Stones) were possibly (probably?) very vague. Also, their (both Stones and Angels) understanding (and possibly caring) of what is permitted under the law might also have been lacking.

            And you thought it wasn’t funny the first time around.

            1. It is funnier now that you have explained it and I am sober.

  2. Jesse,
    Did you mean to post this to your twitter account?

  3. Wow, I have to admit that actaully makes sense.


  4. Is this our Sunday morning koan?

  5. Open-thread Sunday?

  6. Ode to ClimateGate, by King Crimson

    Knowledge is a deadly friend
    When no one sets the rules.
    The fate of all mankind I see
    Is in the hands of fools.

    Confusion will be my epitaph.
    As I crawl a cracked and broken path
    If we make it we can all sit back
    and laugh.
    But I fear tomorrow I’ll be crying,
    Yes I fear tomorrow I’ll be crying.

  7. If you’re in Houston Monday (the 7th), Dr. James Hansen, Objective Scientist And Not A Political Activist At All, will be speaking at the The Progressive Forum on “Threat To The Planet, Implications for Intergenerational Justice”.

    There will be a pro-Hansen reception inside, and an, ahem, anti-Hansen reception outside that’s scheduled to start half an hour before Hansen’s presentation.

    1. This, of course, happening the week after the earliest snow in Houston on record.

  8. This sounds funny, but I don’t get it. How did the feds bail out woodstock?

  9. Speaking of Woodstock, and free love.

    There’s free sex goin’ on in Copenhagen.

    1. Those darn socialists really don’t understand DEMAND KURV do they?

      (also the pic is close to fufilling the premise of the joke of the union brothel)

      (n.b. I’m sure she’s a perfectly nice girl)

  10. You know I remember the 23rd of November
    In the abyss of Chicago you can see the barbed wire – pigs around a lot of

  11. RE: Climategate.

    Remember that pollution has no effect on anything! You can pour motor oil down a hole in your backyard. Result? Nothing! You can also pour coal dust, carbon monoxide, and nuclear waste into the environment with no ill effects!

    1. Look! A gentleman composed entirely of straw!

    2. “Major Coontact”


    3. I think the argument of most is that CO2, an essential trace gas, that forms naturally and is more likely than not predominantly released through natural processes rather than human activity and cannot be unequivocally shown to have any effect on temperature at a global scale is NOT A FUCKING POLLUTANT YOU ASSHOLE.

      *dusts off blazer*

      1. ^Another idiot heard from. With extra bonus swearing and arrogance! thanks!

      2. You are in way over your head, buddy.

      3. You dust off your blazer, I blaze off my duster. We are of the same cloth on the CO2 debate.

    4. I believe there is a difference between Conservationism and Environmentalism. Cons usually calls for a minimum of coercion and much education, while the latter begs for submission and ignorance.

        1. Thank you, I have my moments.

      1. Conservationists saved a whole shitload of wetlands long before the word environmentalist even existed. They did it for purely selfish reasons and they did it without appropiating other people’s property.

        1. But I thought hunters were evil destroyers of the environment.

          1. Shit, you should see what those damned Canada Geese do to our lakes.

            1. That’s what happens when you remove human hunters from the ‘ecosystem.’

              1. So why the hell are these things “protected”? The fuckers don’t go back to Canada anymore and we’re not allowed to shoot them. Not that I would necessarily want to eat one, but maybe they could be used in the soup kitchens.

                1. I think it hs something to do with polar bears, baby seals or a glacier someplace. They keep changing the code words as soon as I figure them out.

        2. There’s a big “discussion” going on in Pennsylvania between Conservationists and Environmentalists about controlling the deer population. You know where the hunters stand. The Environment. want to make these hunters out to be a bunch of half drunk weekend warriors, looking only for the thrill of the kill.

          1. Who are you calling half drunk! I get my hunt on with a full bottle of Johnny Walker Blue!

            1. Too pricey for me. Us real drunks can only afford Kasser’s Vodka.

  12. Senator Bob Casey, Democrat of Pennsylvania, said: “We gather on a Saturday, which is rare. But it is entirely appropriate and, I think, essential that we spend the time on a weekend to debate this bill and get it passed.”

    See? See how hard our selfless benefactors work, you ungrateful bastards?

  13. “Looking back I don’t think it was a good idea to have Hell’s Angels there.”

    1. Guitar players are such a whiny sort. What did the drummer say?

  14. You Sugarfreed that link the first time, didn’t you, Jesse?

  15. Hell’s Angels? What a bunch of pussies! My fans beat them unconcious.…..-jump.html

  16. Copenhagen climate summit: 1,200 limos, 140 private planes and caviar wedges

    Makes you think of Animal Farm

    “Comrades!” he cried. “You do not imagine, I hope, that we pigs are doing this in a spirit of selfishness and privilege? Many of us actually dislike milk and apples. I dislike them myself. Our sole object in taking these things is to preserve our health. Milk and apples (this has been proved by Science, comrades) contain substances absolutely necessary to the well-being of a pig. We pigs are brainworkers. The whole management and organization of this farm depend on us. Day and night we are watching over your welfare. It is for your sake that we drink that milk and eat those apples.”

    1. You know, I always had the feeling that Animal Farm wasn’t really about a farm run by animals.

      1. Internet-winner.

    2. I had to read that in 8th grade Social Studies class.

      1. I had to live it during the Carter administration.

        These days, I look at it as practice for tomorrow.

    3. Hey you, Whitehouse
      Ha, ha, charade you are
      You house proud town mouse
      Ha, ha, charade you are
      You’re trying to keep our feelings off the street
      You’re nearly a real treat
      All tight lips and cold feet
      And do you feel abused?
      You got to stem the evil tide
      And keep it all on the inside
      Mary you’re nearly a treat
      Mary you’re nearly a treat
      But you’re really a cry

    4. Bacon. I had some for breakfast.


  18. Summer Jam in Watkins Glen, NY in 1973 was estimated to be about 2x as big as Woodstock and Altamont (~600k people vs. ~300k). At the time it was considered the biggest music gathering in history. I’ve long wondered why little is ever said about this.

    1. One word: Body count.

      Two words if you are not the Vice President.

    2. Yeah, I was there. I have asked this same question before. I guess it is this – a whole bunch of people trying to recapture something that was long gone. Plus, I think there was only one band – The Alman Brothers – though I never got close enough to even hear them. There was a whole bunch of filth and portapotties over flowing with sewage. There was a whole bunch of drug taking and some people running around naked.

  19. Ever been to Utah? Ra-di-a-tion. Yes, indeed. You hear the most outrageous lies about it. Half-baked goggle-box do-gooders telling everybody it’s bad for you. Pernicious nonsense. Everybody could stand a hundred chest X-rays a year. They ought to have them, too.

    1. Eyes melt, skin explodes, everybody dead…

  20. Altamont never would have happened if the feds hadn’t bailed out Woodstock.

    Thanks, but I’ll stick to places like Red Rocks and Merriweather Post Pavillion if at all possible.…..cksAMP.png

    1. One of my all-time favorite venues

    2. when the wind blows just right, you can smell the patchouli & weed all the way to Denver…

    3. When it’s finished, this will be the best venue evah!…;album=2

  21. Hell’s Angels hired as security for a rumored $500 infamously got into altercations with the crowd, resulting in a homicide captured in the documentary Gimme Shelter.

    “The violence just in front of the stage was incredible,” the Rolling Stones’ Keith Richards said in the days following the festival. “Looking back I don’t think it was a good idea to have Hell’s Angels there.”

    How stoned did they have to be to think this was going to turn out well?

    1. Is that a rhetorical question? We’re talking about Keith Fucking Richards here, dude.

      1. He could have been a pioneer in private enterprise security if only he had the same education as Mick Jagger.

    2. actually, the Hell’s Angels had been security for numerous bands without incident before this one. One of the problems was that it wasn’t the same group of HA’s as the group that had functioned successfully. On its face it seems crazy to use the HA’s but when positive past experiences are taken into account, it’s not that insane. Tangentially, my family owned a funeral home and remember when I was a kid having funerals for biker gangs. Out of all of them, the HAs were by far the most well mannered and polite bunch.

  22. yo, fuck the stones!!!

    Gimme Shelter!

  23. The Hell’s Angels are a leftist group.

    1. The only leftists to volunteer their services to the Nixon Administration for the Vietnam War?

  24. P Brooks,

    I see that you focused in on the same Keith Richards money quote that attracted my notice:

    “Looking back I don’t think it was a good idea to have Hell’s Angels there.”

    A classic example of the progressive mindset – ‘well, back then it seemed like a perfectly good idea to’ – fill in the blank – adopt a policy of compulsory sterilization, support ‘urban renewal,’ adopt such-and-such a new federal program, allow unilateral divorce on demand, normalize single motherhood, etc. etc.

    After all, everybody who was anybody was in favor of it at the time, except for a few reactionaries who preached gloom and doom – blah blah, divorce will hurt children, sterilization is contrary to human dignity, this new federal program will do more harm than good, motorcycle gangsters won’t make good security guards, blah blah.

    Then, after some time, our brilliant idea turned out, with the benefit of hindsight, not to be so ideal, but of course nobody could have predicted it at the time. Nobody who counted, anyway.

    1. Max, how do you stay so laser-like focused on your issues? Do you drink a lot of coffee? Engage in a lot of self-flagellation? Randomly kill lots of prostitutes?

      1. Prostitutes should not be killed randomly.

      2. I thought I was *broadening out* from abortion, doing some divorce discussion here, some eugenics there, then some federal spending.

        Let me relieve the tension with a totally non-political joke:

        Q: How many progressives does it take to screw in a light bulb?

        A: Trick question! If the light-bulb isn’t environmentally friendly, they won’t screw it in at all.

        Alternative punch line: Two – one to screw it in, and another to sing, ‘How many light bulbs must a man screw in before he can change the world? The answer my friend, is environmentally-friendly light bulbs, the answer is environmentally-friendly light bulbs.’

        1. And, Epi, what are you suggesting? I know that coffee is bad for me! Do you think I’m some kind of coffee-drinking weirdo?

          1. I was under impression that you drank Jesus’ blood/Kool-Ade, Max. Sorry for implying that you’d drink coffee; you clearly are more of a Steven Seagal’s Lightning Bolt guy.

            1. Wow, an all-natural energy drink recommended by Steven Seagal and Jesus! Thanks, Epi, you’re the best! I’ll start drinking it right away.

        2. How many progressives does it take to change a light bulb?

          None. “It’s not the light bulb that needs to change, man. It’s the system!”

          How many conservatives does it take to change a light bulb?

          None. If God wanted light, he would have let there be light.

          How many libertarians does it take to change a light bulb?

          None. The market will take care of it.

          1. How many libertarians does it take to change a light bulb?

            None. The market will take care of it.

            It all depends on how many wretched souls I wish to entertain me as I twist my handlebar moustache. HAHAHAHAHA!


  25. I saw an interview with the leader of the Hells Angels chapter who were at Altamont. I would have figured he would have been a tough guy, but he really struck me as a sleazy, slimy, lying wretch. More like Eliot Spitzer or Mike Nifong than Leonard Smalls.

  26. Goose Lake International Music Festival

    … Joe Cocker, Rod Stewart & the Faces, the James Gang, Jethro Tull, Mountain, Chicago, Ten Years After and the Flying Burrito Brothers. Most of the major acts on the Michigan scene were on hand as well, among them the MC5, the Stooges, Mitch Ryder & Detroit, Savage Grace, the Up, the Third Power, SRC and Brownsville Station.

    200K – 300K attended.

    1. 200k to 300k geese?

    2. MMMMMMMMM! Flying goose burritos!

  27. I often wondered how different it would have been at Altamont if instead the Rolling Stones had hired Charlie’s Angels. It might have gone a little something like this

    [cut to shot of teenage me under the Farrah poster]

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