Altamont 1969 by Bill Owens presents a new and unpublished series of work, black and white photographs documenting the unique moment of the first large Rolling Stones concert at Raceway Altamont in California.
This was the period of protest movements in San Francisco. Bill Owens captured the young generation’s desire to stand up and raise their voice against the war in Vietnam, against segregation and racial discrimination, and against authority in general. Slogans and billboards, sit-ins and demonstrations are evidence of the cultural agitation of those years.
Together with the Stones, other major rock bands appeared on stage, including Grace Slick, Jefferson Airplane, Carlos Santana and many others, while the Hells Angels were employed as security. Bill Owens has always been involved in socio-anthropological aspects of American culture and in the rise of the collective movement of protest and criticism against the misuse of power. Here, he uses photography as a kind of ‘visual anthropologist’, painting a fresco’ of the cultural revolution that marked the entire world during the 1960s.