The Concert the ’60s Wants to Forget: The Altamont Speedway Festival

Welcome… I Hate You!

It was about 3 p.m. on Saturday, December 6, 1969, when a helicopter landed, and Mick Jagger walked out. He was 26 years old, bushy-haired, and (obviously) chewing gum. It had only been about four months since Woodstock, and the flower power vibes were still floating in the air… well, kind of. A stranger suddenly ran up to Jagger and yelled, “I hate you!”


Photo by Ronald Spencer/Daily Mail/Shutterstock

He then punched the lead singer in the mouth. The band’s manager, Ron Schneider, was standing next to Jagger, watching the whole thing go down in awe. Schneider wanted to “kill the guy,” but Jagger was all “no, no, no.” In a way, that first little scuffle foreshadowed what would transpire.