Music that moves us.

Woodstock — 39 Years Ago Today

As we metioned yesterday, the Woodstock Music And Arts Festival started on this weekend in 1969. The festival ran from the 15th through the 17th on Max Yasgur’s farm in the rural town of Bethel, NY. It’s widely regarded as one of, if not the most influential event in rock and roll history. Tickets for the three day event cost the princely sum of $18, but most didn’t pay for their tickets and for most intents and purposes, Woodstock has been considered a free event. Concert organizers had expected 200,000 patrons, but what they got was roughly 500,000(!). Obviously the festival was not prepared for such an enormous turnout, so water supply, toilet facilities, etc., were creature comforts the concert goers had to do without.

The festival started with Richie Havens plucking and singing his version of soulful folk music and wove through several different genres and styles throughout the weekend. Some of the highlights were: Crosby, Stills & Nash- performing an acoustic set and an electric set, Canned Heat, Janis Joplin, Santana, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Sly And The Family Stone, The Who (Yippie Activist, Abbie Hoffman stormed the stage and stole the microphone before it was regained), The Grateful Dead (whose set was marred by technical difficulties), Jefferson Airplane, Ten Years After, The Band, Paul Butterfield, and of course, Jimi Hendrix’s career defining early morning set.

The Beatles were asked to play, but John Lennon refused unless Yoko’s Plastic Ono Band could play as well. John and Yoko were turned down…Cold. Others that declined for various reasons were: The Doors, Led Zeppelin, Jethro Tull, Frank Zappa, Spirit, Bob Dylan, etc., etc.

The festival was filmed and released in 1970 as “Woodstock”.

Santana’s Soul Sacrifice:

Janis Joplin’s Try:

Joe Cocker’s With A Little Help From My Friends:

Ten Years After’s I’m Going Home:

Jefferson Airplane’s White Rabbit:

Crosby, Stills & Nash’s Suite: Judy Blue Eyes:

The Who’s Pinball Wizard:

Sly And The Family Stone’s I Want To Take You Higher:

….. and of course, Jimi Hendrix’s Voodoo Child:


3 responses

  1. Thanks for the trip down memory lane. Woody

    August 17, 2008 at 12:54 am

  2. This performance is considered by many to ne the height of Sly and the Family Stone’s popularity. I write about this and more in my book SLY: THE LIVES OF SYLVESTER STEWART AND SLY STONE. It’s available at, Barnes and, and I hope you’ll check it out.

    August 19, 2008 at 1:40 pm

  3. Pingback: Spaces pt. 3 ·

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