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Rolling Stones under 24-hour armed guard after employee shot dead

By David Amoruso

All members of legendary rock band The Rolling Stones are under 24-hour armed guard on their South American tour following the shooting death of a worker at one of their concerts this weekend. The man was murdered during a botched attempt to hijack a van transporting cash from alcohol sales after their La Plata stadium show in the Argentinian city of Buenos Aires.

Because of the incident, the Rolling Stones have stepped up their security detail and will move around independently escorted by armed bodyguards. They are next scheduled to perform in Brazil, Uruguay, Peru and Colombia – countries, especially Brazil and Colombia, with a high threat level.

It’s not the first time a murder occurred during a Rolling Stones concert.

At the Altamont Speedway Free Festival, a counterculture-era rock concert held on December 6, 1969, at the Altamont Speedway in northern California, the rock band enlisted the Hells Angels as their security detail.

Led by Sonny Barger, the club’s founder and president, the Hells Angels surrounded the stage and kept fans at bay. They did this because, as one biker put it, “they offered us $500 worth of beer to go there and take care of the stage... we took the $500 worth of beer to do it.”

It was a recipe for disaster.

As the crowd got rowdier, some people attempted to get onstage with the Rolling Stones. When a young man named Meredith Hunter tried, one of the bikers punched him and pushed him back into the crowd.

Hunter was enraged, high on drugs, and irrational. Worse, he was armed with a .22 caliber revolver and intent on doing some damage. Hells Angel Alan Passaro saw Hunter pointing his revolver and, in response, drew a knife from his belt and charged the crazed fan from the side. Passaro stabbed him twice with his right hand, and killed him.

A few days later, Keith Richard said it was, on the whole, a good concert.

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