The Rolling Stones’ famous frontman Mick Jagger narrowly avoided being killed in a dispute with the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club in the 1970s, according to a new podcast interview with former Hells Angels Ventura chapter boss George Christy. The beef stemmed from $50,000 in legal fees accrued by the Hells Angels in the aftermath of teenager Meredith (Murdock) Hunter’s death at the Altamont Speedway Free Music Festival in December 1969 where the club was providing security for The Rolling Stones and other iconic bands of the era at California’s answer to Woodstock gone horribly wrong.
Hells Angel Alan Passaro was indicted for murdering Hunter but he beat the case at trial. Passaro stabbed Hunter to death in reaction to Hunter pulling out a pistol in front of the stage while Jagger and the Stones played their hit song Under My Thumb. The entire incident was caught on film by a camera crew capturing the festival for a documentary. Footage of Hunter brandishing his weapon played a major role in Passaro’s acquittal.
Christy, who was the No. 2 man for the entire Hells Angels organization from the 1980s until he left the club in 2011, sat down with The Original Gangsters Podcast to give the Skinny on the whole ordeal. The Original Gangsters Podcast is hosted by Gangster Report founder Scott Burnstein and criminology professor Dr. James Buccellato and is available at Radio.com and on ITunes.
Passaro’s legal defense cost $50k and the Hells Angels felt the Stones should pick up the tab. Jagger and the band refused to pay the money and even sent one of their bodyguard’s to the Hells Angels clubhouse in New York City to tell the bikers to back off. The bodyguard allegedly flashed a gun in his waistband for emphasis and was physically assaulted by club members.
At this point, according to Christy’s interview this week, the Hells Angels decided to kill Mick Jagger. The club started making arrangements to place a bomb on Jagger’s yacht in the New York Harbor and blow him up. Fortunately for Jagger and Rolling Stones fans everywhere, one of the assassins assigned to the job, Clarence (Butch) Crouch, a Hells Angel from the club’s Cleveland chapter, became a government informant and tipped off the feds to what was being planned.
The ATF warned Jagger of the threat on his life and the rock god acted fast. Within hours, the same bodyguard he had sent to deliver a message of non compliance weeks earlier was dispatched with $50,000 in cash?back to the Hells Angels Manhattan headquarters to make peace and cover Passaro’s legal bill.
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