Archive for Mountain

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 Update

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on August 11, 2009 by 30daysout

wsdailynews

UPDATE: We’re taking a few days off while we travel to Bethel for the big Woodstock event August 15.  We hope to post a report early Sunday – come back then, or while away the time with some of these reposts.

Nobody is going to be caught short this time around – the 40th anniversary of Woodstock offers plenty of opportunity for promoters and performers to make a few bucks.  Which I guess is only fair, because many of them took a bath in 1969.  Michael Lang, one of the festival’s promoters, has a new book The Road To Woodstock which he’s been promoting.  In one interview, he recalled that the festival wasn’t known only as “Woodstock Music and Art Fair” at first – it was “An Aquarian Exposition.”  Woodstock, New York (about 50 miles to the northeast of where the festival was actually staged), was founded as an art colony in the early 1900s, and today it’s still home to musicians, writers and artists.  The “Aquarian Festival” was supposed to be in the real Woodstock, but they wound up moving it at the last minute to White Lake near Bethel.  You can see more about The Road To Woodstock here.

Lang’s plans for a Woodstock anniversary event in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park have been cancelled.  He originally envisioned an “official” Woodstock 40th anniversary in New York City, in September.  But all plans for that have been dropped, because of a lack of investors.

handbill

Although he’s the headliner at the Woodstock 40th anniversary on the original grounds (August 15 at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts), Levon Helm apparently won’t sing.  A note on his website says: “Due to his rigorous performance schedule, coupled with dozens of interviews with the press & media, Levon has overtaxed his voice.  He’s been advised by professionals to be on vocal rest for the next several weeks.  Levon will play drums and mandolin at all shows, but the vocal duties will be handled by the members of his band including his daughter, Amy Helm, Larry Campbell, Teresa Williams, Brian Mitchell and, when in town, Jimmy Vivino (from the Tonight Show band).”  That’s a drag.

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Woodstock: The Bottom Line

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , , , , , on August 10, 2009 by 30daysout

Jimi-Hendrix-Woodstock

Woodstock may have turned out to be just a mere music festival, but it turned into a signal moment in pop culture only by accident.  Pretty much everything that could have gone wrong that August weekend in 1969, did.  But the music was great and the crowd- which swelled to an astounding 400,000 to 500,000 people – was even better.

Originally the festival was to be a moneymaking deal – however we all know what happened when it became a “free” event as the fences fell.  You can see how promoters figured they’d make a fortune, when you take a look at what the top Woodstock performers were paid:

Jimi Hendrix (and his jammin’ buddies) – $18,000

Blood, Sweat and Tears – $15,000

Joan Baez, Creedence Clearwater Revival – $10,000

Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane – $7,500

Sly & the Family Stone – $7,000

Canned Heat – $6,500

The Who – $6,250

Richie Havens – $6,000

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Arlo Guthrie – $5,000

Ravi Shankar – $4,500

Johnny Winter – $3,750

Ten Years After – $3,250

Grateful Dead, Country Joe  & the Fish – $2,500

And the list goes all the way down to the band Quill, which earned union scale: $375.  You can take a look and wonder why someone like Canned Heat could command more than some of the others below them on the list; well, they had a couple of Top 20 singles in 1969, while CSNY at that time had yet to release its first album.

Consider, though, the impact that Woodstock made on many of the artists’ careers.  CSNY may have earned peanuts in 1969 but just five years later they were the top-grossing live act in the country, earning about $10 million for a 24-city tour.  Some of the others you don’t see on the list, those who made less than $2,500: acts like Santana and Joe Cocker, also got a huge boost from Woodstock.  In fact, for many of these people it was the defining moment of their careers … while a few others would fade away into the mists of obscurity.

Woodstock will be celebrated at the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts on the original festival grounds with the Heroes of Woodstock performance on August 15, however there are many more celebrations planned through the summer and into the fall.  Check the excellent website Woodstockstory.com for a complete lineup of events.

MP3: “Soul Sacrifice” (live at Woodstock) by Santana

MP3: “Theme For An Imaginary Western (live at Woodstock) by Mountain

Woodstock.com

Woodstock Veterans To Appear at 40th Anniversary

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

bethel-woods
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

Woodstock.com

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)