Forty-five years ago today, the Stones ended their American tour with a multi-band Woodstocky free festival at a California racetrack. The whole thing was a little on the loosely-wrapped side from the beginning. A local chapter of the Hell's Angels was retained (against the titular honorarium) to augment security, and that's when things began to come unwound. A member of the Jefferson Airplane was knocked out during an on-stage brawl with one of the security "irregulars," and the Grateful Dead dead took one look at the whole mess and decided to bail out before their set began.
For the sake of a number of my younger friends who learned a lot of their Sixties history from "American Pie" -- and with all due respect to Don McLean -- Satan may have laughed with delight the day the music died but Mick Jagger didn't even see the melee in front of the stage, when one of the Angels stabbed an armed man to death, until he saw it on film later. And, somewhat along the same lines, the Stones weren't performing "Sympathy for the Devil" at the time of the stabbing, however apt that might seem in retrospect. It was this.