Archive for Jefferson Starship

(More Than) 40 Years Out: Celebrating Woodstock

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 11, 2012 by 30daysout

Marker overlooking the Woodstock Music and Arts Fair grounds near Bethel, NY.

There isn’t much more to say about Woodstock that we didn’t say here, here or here … but the 43rd anniversary of the historic music festival is coming up this week (Aug. 15-17) and we thought it would be a good opportunity to look back for a few minutes.

Why should we celebrate Woodstock? Someone asked that once, then he answered his own question: it was just a weekend when a whole lot of dirty hippies gathered in one place to smoke dope, get naked with each other and bitch about all of the things they took for granted. And I said yeah, exactly! The one thing he didn’t add was that those 500,000 so-called dirty hippies gathered there because nobody stopped them from doing it.

Even in 1969, while there were riots in the streets and war protests across the country, we were still the Land of the Free. All of those people initially drawn to Woodstock went for the music, but once they got there it was something else: a festival that got out of control, a cluster fuck with a soundtrack. It was, ultimately, a peaceful happening in a time of war and personal conflict.

John Sebastian playing for the masses at Woodstock.

Woodstock was a good thing that happened in a troubled time. When assassins took the lives of Martin Luther King Jr., Robert F. Kennedy and Malcolm X, those were bad things. When a police riot disrupted protests in Chicago during the 1968 Democratic National Convention, that was also a bad thing. When American National Guardsmen shot and killed unarmed students at Kent State, that was certainly a bad thing.

Most of all, Woodstock was a celebration of freedom. People went to Woodstock to celebrate the rights that we are guaranteed as Americans, and the privileges we think we deserve as a rich, prosperous nation. Including freedom of speech – the same right used back then to protest the Vietnam War, and the same right guaranteed today to guys who own fast-food chicken restaurants as well as to people who disagree with what he says.

So maybe Woodstock should join our calendar of national celebrations, another occasion to appreciate the many great things we have here in America. Maybe you shouldn’t take the day off work, but on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday of this coming week just take a moment to remember a time of peace and music – and freedom.

And you can play these as your soundtrack … they’re not all from the original Woodstock, but each one has the proper spirit.

MP3: “Woodstock” by Joni Mitchell

MP3: “Freedom” (2009 version) by Richie Havens

MP3: “Kiss My Ass” by Country Joe & the Fish

MP3: “Green River” (live at Woodstock) by Creedence Clearwater Revival

MP3: “The Brown Acid Is Not Specifically Too Good” stage announcement at Woodstock, 1969

MP3: “Goin’ Up The Country” (live at Bethel Woods 2009) by Canned Heat

MP3: “Dance To The Music” (live at Woodstock) by Sly and the Family Stone

MP3: “Wooden Ships” by Crosby, Stills & Nash

MP3: “Piece Of My Heart” by Big Brother & the Holding Company

MP3: “China Cat Sunflower” (live) by The Grateful Dead

MP3: “Johnny B. Goode” (live at Woodstock) by Johnny Winter

MP3: “Volunteers/With A Little Help From My Friends” (live at Bethel Woods 2009) by Jefferson Starship

MP3: “For Those of You Who Have Partaken of the Green Acid” stage announcement at Woodstock, 1969

MP3: “Star Spangled Banner/Purple Haze” (live at Woodstock) by Jimi Hendrix


MP3: NBC News report on Woodstock, 1969

42 Years Out: Woodstock Music & Art Fair

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , , , , on August 13, 2011 by 30daysout

Yeah, it was 42 years ago this weekend, more or less.

I came upon a child of God, he was walking along the road. And I asked him, “Where are you going?” And this he told me:

“Sir, you can park up in the parking lot.” He was one of the volunteers who hang around the green, grassy fields where they held the Woodstock Music and Art Fair, about 42 years ago. We drove up there from New York City on a hot July Monday, and we walked through the nice museum and the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts amphitheater. We also strolled through the lush grass where a little more than four decades ago about half a million kids grooved to the sounds of Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, the Grateful Dead and many more.

Not too many people were there on the day we went, and of course it was nowhere near as exciting as the visit we made in 2009. But it’s a nice pilgrimage for people who profess to love the music – it’s a reminder that no matter how many Sugarlands or Jason Aldeans or Lady Gagas parade before us, there will always be somebody plucking a guitar and writing a song. For every one of those clowns there will be a Jakob Dylan, a Justin Townes Earle, a Mumford and Sons and maybe even an older artist finally getting deserved exposure, like Alejandro Escovedo. Like the green grass outside Bethel, New York, you just gotta go looking for it.

Let’s play some tracks they gave us from the 40th anniversary of Woodstock at Bethel Woods, NY, in 2009:

MP3:  “Going Up The Country” by Canned Heat

MP3: “Fish Cheer/Feel Like I’m Fixin’ To Die Rag” by Country Joe McDonald

MP3: “50,000 Miles Beneath My Brain” by Ten Years After

MP3: “Woodstock Boogie” by Canned Heat

MP3: “Summertime” by Big Brother and the Holding Company (with Sophia Ramos)

MP3: “St. Stephen/Turn On Your Lovelight” by the Jefferson Starship (with Cathy Richardson, Linda Imperial and Tom Constanten)

MP3: “Volunteers/With A Little Help From My Friends” by the Jefferson Starship and others

YouTube: Excerpts from “Oh! Woodstock!” a 1970 documentary on NBC-TV

The Woodstock festival grounds today.

Happy New Year!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on December 31, 2009 by 30daysout

This is probably is the place where we should be counting off the best albums or songs of 2009, or of the decade, but we’re not gonna do that today.  And it would also be appropriate to make a New Year’s resolution or two.  OK: 1. We’re going to keep on rockin’ in the New Year.  2. We resolve to help you rock in the New Year.

But we want to take this opportunity to restate our mission: to share with you some cool music and interesting stories throughout the year.  We love the music, and we hope that 30 Days Out in some small way reflects our deep love for rock, blues, country, soul, folk and whatever.

If you are an artist and you don’t appreciate us posting your song, please let us know and we’ll remove it promptly.  But please don’t do like this one guy, who posted a link to our blog with the headline “Why Are They Stealing My Song?”  Dude, we’re not stealing anyone’s song – we always identify the artist and, when it’s brand-new music, include a link to his or her website.  Who else is doing that for you?  We like it enough to share it with our readers.

And we’re happy to do it for free.  Take a look around – there’s no advertising here, so it is pretty obvious we’re not doing this for any kind of profit.  In fact, I’m a professional writer in my day job … should I charge myself for writing blog posts?  I do this because I love the music, and so does my partner on this blog.

Finally, we’re approaching 500,000 readers since we started this blog in the spring of 2008, so the only thing left to say is … thanks.  Thanks to all of you, we appreciate your support and hope you keep reading and visiting us in the New Year.  Happy New Year and Keep On Rockin’.

Here are a few tunes to help you ring in the New Year.

MP3: “Corrido de Auld Lang Syne” by Little Bobby Rey & Band

MP3: “Rock and Roll Party” by Iggy Pop

MP3: “Happy New Year” by Lightnin’ Hopkins

MP3: “Sing The Changes” (live) by Paul McCartney

MP3: “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?” by Ella Fitzgerald & the Frank DeVol Orchestra

MP3: “The Great Hank” (live) by Robert Earl Keen

MP3: “Party At Ground Zero” by Fishbone

MP3: “Don’t Taser Me, Bro” by Carbon/Silicon

MP3: “Happy New Year, Baby” by Johnny Otis & His Orchestra

MP3: “With A Little Help From My Friends” by Jefferson Starship & Friends (live at Woodstock 40th anniversary, Bethel Woods NY, 8/15/09) (R.I.P. James Gurley, of Big Brother and the Holding Company)

Woodstock: 40 Years Out – And Still Tie-Dyed

Posted in News, Rock Moment with tags , , , , , , on August 15, 2009 by 30daysout

Woodstock monument

It was the first, and most important, question of the day: just what does one wear to Woodstock?  We were headed to the “Heroes of Woodstock” show Saturday at Bethel Woods Center, on the grounds of the original 1969 Woodstock festival, and we Tie Dyewanted to fit in.  Thinking that a Hawaiian shirt might be a little ostentatious, by the time we got to Woodstock we knew we were wrong.  Because everywhere you looked, there was tie-dye.  Tie-dyed shirts, tie-dyed pants, possibly even a couple of tie-dyed people.   In fact the only thing more plentiful than tie-dye on Saturday was gray hair and body fat.

Saturday’s celebration was a kind of Hippie Halloween, and everyone dressed the part.  If it wasn’t tie-dye, it was a t-shirt from the Woodstock museum or from one of the roadside vendors dotting the highway in Bethel, N.Y.  So where the original Woodstock was a triumph of optimism and idealism, its 40th anniversary was a triumph too – of the capitalism and exploitation that didn’t quite work the first time.  But we hit that note yesterday … on Saturday, Woodstock was big enough for everyone: kids, people from all over the world, countless buzzing news media types and those old hippies who have long since gone to seed.  A good time was bought by all.

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Woodstock Veterans To Appear at 40th Anniversary

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on May 5, 2009 by 30daysout

Well, they’re calling it “Heroes Of Woodstock,” or the “Bethel Woods Music Festival” – it depends on where you look.  But on Saturday, August 15, the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts in upstate New York will host a music festival on the grounds of the original 1969 Woodstock Music and Arts Festival.

The performers listed include the Levon Helm Band, Big Brother and the Holding Company, Ten Years After, Canned Heat, Mountain (with Leslie West and Corky Laing), and Country Joe McDonald.  They’re not going to have it in a wild, open field – this festival will be in the lavish Bethel Woods Center for the Arts amphitheatre built on a hill overlooking the original Woodstock site, a dairy farm that hosted 400,000 people on August 15-17, 1969.

And of course, it won’t be “free,” as Woodstock was for its final day in 1969.  Top tickets are $69 (get it?), there’s a $40 seat and lawn tickets on the grass are, of course, $19.69.  There is also a full museum on the site dedicated to the Woodstock festival and the era, and I’ve read that it’s pretty good. 

Bethel Center For The Arts official website

MP3: “The Weight” by the Band (live at Woodstock)

MP3: “Somebody To Love” by the Jefferson Airplane (live at Woodstock)

MP3: “Southbound Train” by Mountain (live at Woodstock)

MP3: “Try (Just A Little Bit Harder)” by Janis Joplin (live at Woodstock)

Review: “Jefferson’s Tree of Liberty,” Jefferson Starship

Posted in Review with tags , , , , on September 9, 2008 by 30daysout

No, you didn’t mis-read that: it is the Jefferson Starship, the version that evolved from the late 1960s into the ’70s hit-making machine.  Paul Kantner, captain of the old Jefferson Airplane, is back on the bridge for this version of the Jefferson Starship, and his crew this time includes former Quicksilver Messenger Service singer David Freiberg and vocalist Cathy Richardson. 

The new album, Jefferson’s Tree of Liberty, is a collection of folk ballads and a few originals sung by Kantner and Co., along with some choice guests.  Kantner makes his intentions clear with the first notes of the first song: “Wasn’t That A Time,” the Weavers’ rabble rouser, launches with guitar chords reminiscent of “Volunteers,” the old Jefferson Airplane fight song.  There’s no doubt that the “time” Kantner is evoking isn’t just the late 1950s but also the late 1960s. 

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Bad Trips: Ridiculous Psychedelic Music, Part 2

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on July 17, 2008 by 30daysout

Welcome back, brothers and sisters.  Time to kick out the jams with our five lamest psychedelic excursions ever.  Watch out for flashbacks!

5. Captain Beyond featured in its first lineup singer Rod Evans (the original lead singer for Deep Purple) and drummer Bobby Caldwell, who later played with Johnny Winter and Rick Derringer.  Their self-titled debut, released in 1972, featured this incomprehensible piece of gibberish.  If you are truly unlucky, you will encounter a modern version of Captain Beyond at the wrong end of an oldies show.  You’ve been warned.

MP3: “Dancing Madly Backwards (On A Sea Of Air)” by Captain Beyond

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