Death, debris in Altamont wake


LIVERMORE, Calif. (UPI) -- The last of 300,000 young rock fans straggled out of debris covered hills Sunday after a free concert by the Rolling Stones which left four persons dead.

Some 2,500 persons, who camped overnight around bonfires in barren ranchland 50 miles southeast of San Francisco, hiked to cars parked far as 10 miles from the concert site. Tons of empty wine bottles a and other garbage were strewn on the hills around Altamont Speedway, a motorcycle and jalopy track which became the scene of the biggest one-day musical bash of all time.


Youthful volunteers started cleaning up the mess during the afternoon, but track owner Dick Carter predicted it take at least a week. He provided equipment and camping space for groups who offered to pick up the debris.


Hundreds of abandoned cars --many of which ran out of gas or broke down during six-hour traffic jam after the concert--dotted the area.


Sheriff's deputies and highway patrolmen investigated four deaths -- a stabbing, a drowning and two lives lost in a traffic accident. Two births also occurred during the day-long concert Saturday which drew crowds estimated at upwards of 300,000, despite less than 24 hours notice as to the site.


A handful of incidents, most involving Hell's Angels motorcycle toughs marred an otherwise peaceful exercise in togetherness by young students, hippies, teeny boppers and other rock fans.

Detective Sgt. Bill Foster of the sheriff's office said Meredith Hunter, 18, Berkeley, was stabbed to death in a scuffle near the stage while the Rolling Stones performed. The policeman said Hunter pulled a revolver after five six "Hell's Angels types" knocked him down. Witnesses said they beat him to the ground again and when they climbed off, he had been fatally stabbed in the face and back.

However, Foster said the witnesses didn't see the knife and couldn't identify Hunter's assailants.


Members of the motorcycle gang earlier clubbed five men while forcing their way onto the stage and were involved in several other incidents which prompted bands to stop playing and demand an end to the fighting.

An unidentified young man drowned in an irrigation ditch near the race track and two Berkeley men were killed when a car ran over them as they sat around a roadside campfire after the concert.


The driver 'fled on foot after killing Richard Salov, 22, and Mark Feiger, 19, and seriously injuring another man and woman.


Volunteer doctors at four first aid stations also treated hundreds for "bad trips" on drugs, including a youth who broke his pelvis after leaping 40 feet off a freeway overpass.

Thousands got high on wine or drugs, which were openly peddled in the crowd. A handful of men and women danced naked in front of the bandstand.

The vast throng, which may have surpassed the 300,000 who attended the chaotic three-day Woodstock rock festival in New York last August, created massive traffic jams both coming and going.


Cars were backed up for 20 miles on the main road from San Francisco and youths hiked up to 10 miles to the concert after abandoning their cars on freeway dividers, in back roads and fields.

"You mjght say the freeway was one large parking lot with traffic moving through it," said Sgt. Clifford Williams of the highway patrol.

The Rolling Stones, who completed their first American tour in several years with the free concert, ended the show after dark as fans sitting around hundreds of campfires joined the British group singing "I Can't Get Satisfaction."


The audience, which wandered over the hills after listening attentively to Santana and the Jefferson Airplane -- the first groups to play, crowded around the temporary stage to hear the Stones, who had landed by helicopter after the concert began.

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