Rolling Stones' Keith Richards Reflects On Altamont Murder

(Classic Rock) The Rolling Stones kept playing while Meredith Hunter was murdered in Altamont in 1969 because they wanted to provide a distraction, says Keith Richards.

The 18-year-old drew a gun on members of the Hells Angels after they'd prevented him from climbing onto the stage in their role as Stones security. He was stabbed to death by Alan Passaro moments later.

"There was the terrible murder going on in front of us, which we all could see. As events turned out, security wasn't what it should be," Richards tells Absolute Radio.

He recalls the Stones had already stopped playing once that night, in an attempt to calm the unruly crowd, and decided to take the opposite position when the Hunter incident began. "I don't know if it was scary," he says of the earlier part of the show. "It was just like, 'Wow, you have go to do something about this before it turns into a full-scale riot.' We handled it the best way we could I just stopped playing, and it happened to work."

When the stabbing took place, he explains, "It was a matter of, 'Quick, do something, and distract people from the Hells Angels.' We didn't know the cat was dead, or anything, but we saw what was going on."

The Stones appeared in London's Hyde Park yesterday for the first time in 44 years. Their 1969 show took place just two days after the death of former member Brian Jones. Read what his girlfriend Anna Wohlins had to say.

Classic Rock Magazine is an official news provider for antiMusic.com.
Copyright Classic Rock Magazine- Excerpted here with permission.

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