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"In 1890, fifteen years after Custer's mistake, the Ghost Dance was introduced to the Sioux by the Paiute seer Wovaka. It was a religion which promised the return of the buffalo and the disappearance of the white man. The Sioux were enthusiastic advocates. With equal vigor, however, their dream was destroyed by the massacre at Wounded Knee where thousands of Indian men, women and children fell at the hands of the United States artillery. Since that disaster, the Sioux have never recovered. And the straight goods is that the Altamont Festival of December 6, 1969, remains the only workable criterion for uprooting the Ghost Dance. Nobody wants to save what's best left dead." This is a quote from a heavy article that has been appearing in the American and European underground press during the last ten months. No one knows much about the guy who put the piece together and he likes it that way. His name is Emmett Grogan and last night I sat and talked with him and this is what he had to say:
"It was my fault. It was my fault because in October '69 I poorly represented the people of the Bay Area Community when I invited the Stones to a party which we were planning to throw in Golden Gate Park. My right to represent anyone had been negated by the lying, cheating, scheming, rip-off-artist reputation that I was tagged with in certain circles of professional musical swells, as well as a few other places.
"It was my fault that during the pre-concert discussions, I was egoblind to the fact that Jagger and Company had no intention of fulfilling our agreement that the people of the community construct and control the free festival while the Stones simply show up on one of the planned multiple stages whenever they felt like it and play just like any of the other 'name' bands that were going to be there.
"It was my fault that they not only didn't take me seriously but that they also didn't take the people seriously or even think that we were capable of getting it together by ourselves like we llad done thirty times before.
"It was my fault because I returned to San Francisco from Los Angeles and pumped everyone up about the wailing, 'free because it's yours!' party we were gonna have. A party which I said was gonna knock the despair and depression of the winter of '69 right on its ass.
"It was my fault that I didn't contact Allen Klein and advise him to tell his nephew and his friends to back off, when I realized that Ronnie Schneider was doing a 'trick the tricker' on us by saying that Golden Gate Park was too small (meaning that it was too big for a star-stonedMick-showcase) and the issuance of the permit for the use of the park was blocked.
"It was my fault that I didn't tear the lower lip off the punk who was leaking information to a San Francisco reporter who galloped around on a white horse and wrote inciting columns prior to the event [end page 490]