This Day in Rock Music History: March 3, 1983 – The Hells Angels Go After Mick Jagger

On March 3rd, 1983, a member of The Hells Angels motorcycle club told a US Senate Judiciary hearing that his friends had a contract out on The Rolling Stones’ Mick Jagger and that two assassination attempts had already been attempted. One was ruined by inclement weather and the raging waters near Jagger’s Long Island, NY home. This assassination attempt is the focus of today’s This Day in Rock and Roll History write-up.

Why Would the Hells Angels Want to Kill Mick Jagger?

It is a well-known fact that The Rolling Stones had used the motorcycle club known as The Hells Angels for their security personnel during their 1969 concert at a former speedway in Altamont, California, where the club members are claimed to have absolutely terrorized the concertgoers, and they were offended by Jagger’s feminine brand of dancing.

It’s also well known that one of the club’s members killed one of the concertgoers, which, as reported by ABC News in January of 2009, resulted in Mick unintentionally insulting the last group of people that anyone should piss off …

“After an 18-year-old fan was stabbed to death in an encounter with Hells Angels members at the notorious free performance at Altamont, a former speedway, Jagger vowed not to associate with the Hells Angels ever again. Hells Angels member Alan Passaro was arrested and tried for the stabbing death, caught on film, of Meredith Hunter, who got into a dispute with gang members near the stage as the Stones were performing. Passaro was acquitted in part because witnesses say Hunter pulled out a gun first and fired at least one shot. The Stones could see the fight, but were not aware it resulted in a fatality. The band finished its set and always said they feared a full-blown riot would erupt if they cut the concert short.”

The Long Island Assassination Attempt

The Angels were unhappy that the supposedly promised pay, $500 and free beer, was never fulfilled, while the band claimed that no such deal was ever struck. So, the club decided to launch an attack at Mick’s Long Island home to take his life. According to a Reuters article from March 2009 …

“They planned the attack from the sea so they could enter his property from the garden and avoid security at the front. The boat was hit by a storm and all of the men were thrown overboard. All survived and there was not said to have been any further attempt on Jagger’s life.”

Lesson of the Day

So, the lesson here is simple and twofold. Firstly, you should hire proper security and not a motorcycle club (there are exceptions to this rule), and secondly, you should never speak publicly about any group of people who have the reputation that The Hells Angels have, particularly if you’re unhappy with anything that they have done or are accused of having done. I’d say these are two pretty obvious takeaways in 2023, but apparently not as obvious in 1969.

This article was written by Tom Hanno, who has been writing reviews for the last 7 years but has been sharing his love of music for the majority of his life. Originally starting out at the now defunct Chimera Magazine, he is currently contributing to Doomed and Stoned, The Sleeping Shaman, The Doom Charts, Tom’s Reviews, and The Third Eye. Read more of Tom’s reviews by checking out his Linktree.

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