Hells Angelsí Mick Jagger Assassination Attempt?
Did the 1969 Hells Angels attempt an organized execution of famed rocker and ageless skinny-jeans proponent Mick Jagger? The BBC thinks so. According to the UKís Daily Telegraph Sunday, a new BBC documentary details a plot in which the Hells Angels planned to drop the hatchet on the front man in the dusk of the hippie decade.
It started at the notorious free concert at northern Californiaís Alamont Speedway in 1969, where an 18-year-old fan was killed by a Hellís Angel who was supposed to be acting as concert security. In what wasnít supposed to, but turned out to be the west coast answer to Woodstock, around 300,000 people turned out to see Santana, Jefferson Airplane, the Flying Burrito Brothers, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, the Grateful Dead and headliners the Rolling Stones. If Wikipedia can be trusted (meaning this is hearsay), the Stones hired the Hells Angels as concert security on the advice of the Grateful Dead for $500 and free beer. The Grateful Dead had used the Angels as security for their mellow, shroomed-out crowds in the past, so Jagger thought it was a good idea. He decided to enlist them for minor jobs like guarding the generators, giving directions and making sure beer was still consumable.
However, the relatively small venue wasnít prepared for the onslaught of bell-bottoms and tie-dye, so the Angels, unsure of what they were supposed to be doing, were put in front of the stage to keep the crowd back. Seasoned professionals that they were, though, the Angels got more and more agitated. The camelís back broke when 18-year-old Meredith Hunter pulled a revolver. Supposedly, Hells Angel Alan Passaro parried the gun with his left hand and knifed Hunter in the back with his right, before stabbing him four more times and kicking him to death, in front of three cameras. (The footage from these cameras can be seen in the Rolling Stones documentary Gimme Shelter.) After witnessing this unprofessional and arrant mishandling of the situation, Mick Jagger decided not to go with the Hells Angels as concert security in the future.
However, according to a former FBI officer who was being interviewed for the BBC documentary, it turned out Jaggerís decision did not ride well with the biker organization. So it was told to series presenter Tom Mangold, in 1969 the Hells Angels boarded a boat bound for Jaggerís Long Island, NY vacation home.
ďThe Hells Angels were so angered by Jagger's treatment of them that they decided to kill him," Mangold said to the Telegraph. ďA group of them took a boat and were all tooled up and planned to attack him from the sea.Ē
Fortunately, the Angels were as coordinated assassins as they were security guards, so their mission fell through when a storm swamped their boat, sending everyone overboard. As is yet known, there have been no further attempts by the Hells Angels to murder Mick Jagger. The FBI documentary containing the former agentís testimony will be broadcast Monday on BBC Radio 4.
As inappropriate as it might seem to try to pull a lesson from all of this, ďdonít trust the advice of hippiesĒ comes to mind. But sarcasm aside, itís pretty likely that even the best-planned assassination attempt on Mick Jagger would have failed, because any malicious being to approach him would inevitably be dismembered and eaten by the temperamental and bullet-proof Keith Richards, whose teeth can bite through a bikerís arm like itís rice paper-wrapped sushi. And there is always the possibility that the story is a promotional stunt to get the band in the headlines, as it has been noticed by Cinema Blend that British bands use news events, such as earthquakes, to create press for themselves. Still, we are lucky for the Angelsí lack of grace, because 1969 would have been far too early to be without Olí Mick. May he live another five hundred years.