Goodreads Review: Altamont: The Rolling Stones, The Hell’s Angels, and the Inside Story of Rock’s Darkest Day by Joel Selvin

Four star review, originally posted here on December 21, 2020 during a mass-review of pandemic audiobooks.

[DISCLAIMER: I’m catching up on months worth of Audiobook reviews, so writing this quickly and belatedly.]

I hadn’t heard of the tragedy at Altamont until earlier this year (I was born in the 80’s). The event was CRAZY. Selvin does a great job explaining it from start to finish and from multiple angles. I do believe that, the more you already know about rock history, the more likely you are to be able to follow and appreciate this book. But it’s not a prerequisite.

I felt a personal connection to this book because I recently volunteered to help organize a music festival. If you’ve ever been involved with organizing any sort of event, this book will give you anxiety attacks, much like watching a Fyre Festival documentary. The complete lack of planning, accountability, and regard for others had me screaming at the (audio) pages the entire time. As a Stones fan, it was tough to read about musicians I admire being so directly complicit in something so terrible. Not exactly surprising, but still disappointing.


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