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“It's a dream to launch a weekend-long celebration of guitar with Guitar Player LIVE! and our fifth Guitar Superstar event,” says Guitar Player Editor in Chief Michael Molenda. “If you're a guitar zealot, it's like some 6-string ...
First Exhibition of Bill Owen’s Photographs at Altamont during Guitar Player Live!
Many young residents and visitors to Livermore, east of San Francisco are not aware that it was the infamous Altamont Speedway Free Festival took place here forty years ago. The Altamont Speedway Free Festival was a rock concert held on Saturday, December 6, 1969, at the Altamont Speedway in northern California, between Tracy and Livermore. Headlined and organized by The Rolling Stones, it also featured, in order of appearance: Santana, Jefferson Airplane, The Flying Burrito Brothers, and Crosby, Stills & Nash, with the Rolling Stones taking the stage as the final act. The Grateful Dead were also scheduled to perform, but declined to play shortly before their scheduled appearance due to the increasing violence at the venue.

Approximately 300,000 people attended the concert, and some anticipated that it would be a “Woodstock West.” Filmmakers Albert and David Maysles shot footage of the event and incorporated it into a documentary film entitled Gimme Shelter (1970). The event is best known for having been marred by considerable violence, including one homicide and three accidental deaths: two caused by a hit-and-run car accident and one by drowning in an irrigation canal. Four births were reported during the event as well.

Bill Owens shot the concert for the Associated Press newswire. “Our plan was to be the first news photographers to transmit images of the event. We didn’t know if the UPI (United Press International), Newsweek, or television stations were covering the event but it turned out that they weren’t,” says Owens. “I made images of the violence at the Altamont concert and sold them to Rolling Stone and numerous national magazines. I was afraid to use my own name in the photo credits, as I feared the Angels would come and murder me. Beth’s (the other AP photographer) photographs did show the man who did the murder, and he was later arrested and sent to prison.” [Read More...]
Guitar Player LIVE! :: The Squid List
Guitar Player LIVE! will feature all things guitar—live performances, free artist clinics, and the latest gear at the Livermore Valley Performing Arts Center. A centerpiece of the event is the Guitar Superstar competition on Saturday ...