Nonfiction Short Take: Altamont – Joel Selvin

Twenty years in the writing, this is the definitive account of “rock’s darkest hour.” Altamont, of course, already has a firm place in cultural memory thanks to the documentary of the same name. But Selvin digs even deeper, showing attacks and injuries that were never reported in the media, as well the troubling effect the violence had on the bands, the witnesses, and rock culture to come.

A nice media line up starts with NPR’s Here and Now. There will be a feature in the San Francisco Chronicle and initial review coverage in USA Today and The New Republic.

Here’s my blurb followed by some advance reviews.

Boy did I live in a bubble—or something. I had no idea the extent of bruising under the melting rainbow. Selvin is revealing our tricky gestation in the weird womb of sixties rock. Frightening.”
— Grace Slick, member of Jefferson Airplane

 “An incisive account of the most infamous concert debacle in rock history…This book provides context and perspective, showing the sea change in rock that was taking place as the Rolling Stones attempted to reassert themselves amid the increasing dominance of San Francisco psychedelia and the spirit of Woodstock…Compelling.”
— Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

 “Fewer than four months after the amorphous idealism of the 1960s achieved its Woodstock apogee, the Altamont Free Music Festival destroyed and buried it; in this methodical history, music journalist Selvin provides a cultural coroner’s report..”
— Publishers Weekly

Altamont: The Rolling Stones, the Hells Angels, and the Inside Story of Rock’s Darkest Day (9780062444257) by Joel Selvin. $27.99 hardcover. 8/16/16 on sale.

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