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Hell's Angels and the Illusion of the Counterculture

Hell's Angels and the Illusion of the Counterculture DECEMBER 6, 1969, MEREDITH HUNTER, AN EIGHTEEN-YEARold black man, lay stabbed to death on the dusty grounds of the Altamont Speedway just outside of Tracy, California. One of the thousands of young people at the speedway for a free Rolling Stones concert, Hunter was killed when he was attacked by a group belonging to the Hell’s Angels Motorcycle Club, who had been hired by the rock group to act as security that evening. The Angel charged with stabbing Hunter, Allan Passaro, was acquitted of murder in 1971 by reason of self-defense (Hunter drew a gun), but nevertheless, the Altamont incident signaled the end of the American counterculture’s decade-long love affair with the Hell’s Angels. During the 1960s, California’s flower children, seeing the Angels as fellow rebels against the establishment, cavorted with the bikers at such countercultural events as Ken Kesey’s ‘‘acid tests’’ and the Human Be-In. Members of the counterculture, who saw the Angels as being similar to the violent and independent yet goodhearted bikers romanticized in the 1954 movie The Wild One, envisioned the Angels as their protectors from the establishment. Sixties popular culture fueled the counterculture’s belief in the supposed link between the Angels and themselves http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Journal of Popular Culture Wiley

Hell's Angels and the Illusion of the Counterculture

The Journal of Popular Culture , Volume 37 (2) – Nov 1, 2003

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References (1)

Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 2003 Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company
ISSN
0022-3840
eISSN
1540-5931
DOI
10.1111/1540-5931.00071
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

DECEMBER 6, 1969, MEREDITH HUNTER, AN EIGHTEEN-YEARold black man, lay stabbed to death on the dusty grounds of the Altamont Speedway just outside of Tracy, California. One of the thousands of young people at the speedway for a free Rolling Stones concert, Hunter was killed when he was attacked by a group belonging to the Hell’s Angels Motorcycle Club, who had been hired by the rock group to act as security that evening. The Angel charged with stabbing Hunter, Allan Passaro, was acquitted of murder in 1971 by reason of self-defense (Hunter drew a gun), but nevertheless, the Altamont incident signaled the end of the American counterculture’s decade-long love affair with the Hell’s Angels. During the 1960s, California’s flower children, seeing the Angels as fellow rebels against the establishment, cavorted with the bikers at such countercultural events as Ken Kesey’s ‘‘acid tests’’ and the Human Be-In. Members of the counterculture, who saw the Angels as being similar to the violent and independent yet goodhearted bikers romanticized in the 1954 movie The Wild One, envisioned the Angels as their protectors from the establishment. Sixties popular culture fueled the counterculture’s belief in the supposed link between the Angels and themselves

Journal

The Journal of Popular CultureWiley

Published: Nov 1, 2003

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