Bill Owens photographed the Hells Angels at Altamont, then hid for 49 years

THUMPERRRR's picture

When Bill Owens got his pictures of the violence at the Altamont Speedway Free Festival published in Rolling Stone, he would not let his name appear on the photo credit. Owens had been threatened and he feared retribution from the same Hells Angels he’d photographed swinging pool cues in front of the concert stage on Dec. 6, 1969.

The biker gang had been paid in cases of Olympia beer to provide security for the free concert and by the end of what historian Joel Selvin coined “rock’s darkest day,” one fan had been knifed to death, three had died in accidents and many more were beaten and abused before a shocked crowd of 300,000 — half of them on bad acid trips.

Owens revealed that he’s been hiding from the Hells Angels for nearly 50 years. Now he’s finally got up the nerve to publish a monograph under the fearless title “Bill Owens: Altamont 1969” (Damiani, $40).

The 53 images have never before been concentrated into a book, and they show a unique vantage because Owens was able to climb one of the sound towers and hide up there while snapping the action below.

The images appear in the book without captions, so Owens collaborated with The Chronicle to supply verbal descriptions of 10 prints that he selected.

Some Photos and the rest of article

Rate this article: 
No votes yet
Group / Club: 
News Article written by: 
Sam Whiting
Source of News article:

Related Articles

Elk Hunt   Fly Fishing Guide
  Silver Stock
  Biker News

Disclaimer: The opinions in this article are solely those of the writer, and may not reflect the beliefs of anyone at the Biker News Network/Outlaw Biker World. This site may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of political, human rights, economic, democracy, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. If you believe that your copyrighted work has been copied in a way that constitutes copyright infringement and is accessible on this site or through this service, you may notify our copyright agent, as set forth in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (DMCA). For your complaint to be valid under the DMCA, it must meet certain criteria, and you must Click Here to contact acting agent.