“The Stones learnt from Altamont”.
Henk Penseel on (and with) The Rolling Stones
It's nice to dig into the past and to look at old scrapbooks, which I did to verify some facts when I wrote my previous blog. Then, I ran into pictures taken from the Rolling Stones, and last weekend I saw an HBO documentary about the fifty year old rock & roll band on television, which brought back recollections of their concert in The Hague in the Zuiderpark football stadium.
When the group arrived at Schiphol airport I gave all the members a hand, and the first question Mick Jagger asked me was how many albums had been sold. I could guarantee him that they had exceeded the golden status.
That afternoon we had a photo shoot of the group receiving an award for the sales of 25.000 records of their Black & Blue album. That picture was on the front page of the Dutch daily De Telegraaf, with me handing over one of the golden records to Bill Wyman. The picture was also published in some other newspapers and magazines, but I was nicely photo-shopped out of it.
In the documentary I also saw footage of their performance at the Altamont free pop festival, where the Hells Angels took the liberty of acting as the protectors of the Stones. Instead it led to the death of a stabbed spectator. Learning from that incident the Stones brought their own bodyguards with them to Holland. In front of the stage were a few Dutch Hells Angels. One of them was urinating on a girl sitting in front of him. The broad shouldered bodyguards immediately went to the guy picked him in a bank vise like he was a young boy and brought him behind the stage.
After the concert the group members jumped in a car that drove them to the Amsterdam Okura Hotel where they stayed. The next morning Mick Jagger promised to do one interview with freelance journalist Peter van Bruggen for the weekly Haagse Post. Three pages were reserved for this exclusive interview, but Jagger seemed to be exhausted from his concert and refused to leave his room. That night was Peter's deadline. Because he didn't want to miss his three pages he interviewed me about my experiences with the Stones during the last three days, while Jagger was having a long sleep…
Henk Penseel is a lecturer at the Untrecht University of Applied Sciences and studies the Master International Event management at Wittenborg University. read more..