For more than five decades, Mick Jagger has served as the definitive icon of rock and roll, from the Rolling Stones debut in 1964 all the way through today, as the band continues to tour, playing sold-out stadiums across the globe. Throughout that time, Jagger, who turns 73 on July 26, has survived all the usual pitfalls of stardom, including drugs, alienation, and working alongside Keith Richards. If that weren’t enough, Jagger also survived an assassination attempt by the biker gang, The Hell’s Angels.
The attempt on Jagger’s life was said to have been made in December 1969, and the information about it wasn’t a matter of FBI record until 1985. To understand the motivation of the Hell’s Angels, you have to go back to one of the darkest chapters in the Rolling Stones’ career: the Altamont concert.
The concert was organized by the Rolling Stones and held at San Francisco’s Altamont Speedway on Dec. 6, 1969. The event was free, and was marketed as a kind of West Coast response to Woodstock, held earlier that summer — a concert the Stones weren’t able to to play at due, in part, to Jagger’s early film career.