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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk chefcraig's Avatar
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    Default Forty far-out facts you never knew about Woodstock

    Forty far-out facts you never knew about Woodstock

    By Spencer Bright

    Woodstock, the most famous music festival in rock 'n' roll history, took place 40 years ago on August 15-18, 1969. To celebrate, here are 40 things you didn't know about it...

    1. Beatniks, hippies, flower children and rock legends gathered together not in Woodstock, but in the little town of Bethel, rural New York State.

    2. The idea for the festival came from band manager Michael Lang and Artie Kornfeld, a songwriter turned record company executive. They wanted to raise money to build a recording studio in Woodstock, upstate New York, a haven for artists including Bob Dylan, The Band and Van Morrison.

    3. There was no suitable site in Woodstock, so organisers opted for Wallkill, 40 miles away. But residents blocked their plans, so dairy farmer Max Yasgur stepped in to offer his alfalfa field, in the neighbouring hamlet of Bethel. A deal was struck for $75,000.

    4. Melanie Safka (remember 'I've got a brand new pair of rollerskates'?) failed to get a performer's pass and had to sing her song, Beautiful People, to the security guards to get backstage.

    5. Joni Mitchell wrote the festival's eponymous song, with the lyrics 'We are stardust we are golden', from what she heard of the event from then-boyfriend Graham Nash, ex-Hollies and one quarter of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. But she never made it to Woodstock. Taking the advice of her manager, she chose to guest on the Dick Cavett Show and then watched the festival unfold on TV, tears streaming down her face.

    6. Any decent flower child worth their name was there to protest against the Vietnam war abroad and racial tension at home.

    7. With storm clouds approaching, the crowd was urged: 'Let's think hard to get rid of the rain.' A chant went up: 'No rain, no rain, no rain.' But it didn't stop the deluge and in three hours, five inches of rain fell and the festival became a mudfest. Joan Baez famously sang 'We shall overcome' during a full-on thunderstorm.

    8. During the downpour there were fears some artists would get electrocuted. Alvin Lee, of Ten Years After, was warned of the risk as it was still raining when his turn came to go on. 'Oh come on, if I get electrocuted at Woodstock we'll sell lots of records,' he said.

    9. The performance of The Star-Spangled Banner by Jimi Hendrix that closed Woodstock was described by the rock critic from the New York Post as 'the single greatest moment of the Sixties'. Yet it was witnessed by just a fraction of the crowd. Most had gone home by the time Hendrix came on stage, at 9am on a Monday morning.

    10. British artists were represented by Ten Years After, The Who, The Incredible String Band, the Keef Hartley Band, Graham Nash and Mitch Mitchell, drummer in Jimi Hendrix's band.

    11. The British artist who really made his mark was Joe Cocker, whose soulful rendition of The Beatles song With A Little Help From My Friends was one of the greatest performances.

    12. Thirty-two bands were listed to play, but Iron Butterfly got stuck at the airport and didn't make it because the helicopter booked to ferry them to the site didn't arrive. Organisers were, in fact, worried their hippy heavy-metal music would incite violence.

    13. The Jeff Beck Group, featuring Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood, were booked to play, but they split acrimoniously on the eve of their Woodstock appearance.

    14. John Lennon told organisers he had wanted to be a part of Woodstock, but he was in Canada and the U.S. government had refused him an entry visa.

    15. There were ten million yards of blue jeans and striped T-shirt material at Woodstock.

    16. The dove perched on a guitar neck in the famous poster announcing 'Three Days of Peace and Music' is really a catbird, an American perching bird known for its catlike calls.

    17. Though Bob Dylan was one of the original inspirations for the festival, and his backing group, The Band, played to the massive audience, the great man never made it, as one of his children was hospitalised over that weekend.

    18. Scottish folk quartet The Incredible String Band told writer Mark Ellen about appearing on the Woodstock stage. 'It was incredibly high and three out of the four of us had vertigo. Little flimsy dresses on the girls, acoustic guitars out of tune, the drums damp from the tent, it was like playing off the Forth Bridge to this sea of people cooking beans in the mud.'

    19. Eight women suffered miscarriages, while there are varying reports of babies born. John Sebastian, lead singer with Lovin' Spoonful, announced from
    the stage: 'Some cat's old lady just had a baby, a kid destined to be far out!' Reports suggest a birth at a local hospital to a mother flown from the event by helicopter and another involving a woman in a car in the nine-mile traffic jam.

    20. 'Hippy' is derived from 'hipster' and was used to describe beatniks who moved to San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district for the Summer of Love in 1967. Yippies (the left-wing Youth International Party led by Abbie Hoffman) were sufficiently motivated by money to demand $10,000 from Woodstock's organisers to avoid any unpleasant disruption of proceedings.


    Continued next post
    Last edited by chefcraig; 08.08.09 at 02:32 PM.
    "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man."
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  2. #2
    Atomic Punk chefcraig's Avatar
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    Cont...

    21. The organisers played down the numbers they anticipated, telling the authorities they expected 50,000, while selling 186,000 tickets in advance (costing six dollars for each day) and planning for 200,000. In the end 500,000 attended. Another million had to turn back because of traffic. It was originally advertised as 'A Weekend in the Country.'

    22. As an unknown and unproven business concern, the organisers, Woodstock Ventures, had to pay inflated sums to get the top rockers to sign up. Jefferson Airplane were the first, paid $12,000, double their usual fee. Even hippy band The Grateful Dead demanded cash in hand before they would play, as did Janis Joplin and The Who.

    23. Off-duty police officers were banned from providing security, so a New Mexico commune known as the Hog Farm were hired to form a 'Please Force.' The Hog Farmers were led by Wavy Gravy, a toothless former beatnik comic, who put on a Smokey-the-Bear suit and warned troublemakers they would be doused in fizzy water or hit with custard pies.

    24. About two dozen ticket booths should have been in place to charge $24 admission, but they were never installed because of the crush of festival-goers. Attempts to get people to pay were abandoned on day one, the fences were torn down and Woodstock was declared a free event.

    25. As well as forming the Please Force, The Hog Farm were in charge of catering, ordering in bushels of brown rice, buying 160,000 paper plates, forks, knives and spoons and 30,000 paper cups. They fed between 160,000-190,000 people at the Hog Farm Free Kitchen, 5,000 at a time.

    26. The Food For Love concession was running low on burgers so it raised prices from 25 cents to $1. Festival-goers saw it as capitalist exploitation, against the spirit of the festival, so burnt the stand down.

    27. Hearing there was a shortage of food, a Jewish community centre made sandwiches with 200 loaves of bread, 40 pounds of meat cuts and two gallons of pickles, which were distributed by nuns.

    28. Sweetwater, a psychedelic rock band scheduled to open the festival, were stuck in traffic. Instead, the crowd was entertained by one of the Hog Farmers, who led them through a series of yoga exercises. Sweetwater were on fifth.

    29. With the festival start-time running over an hour late, there was panic to find a performer ready. Tim Hardin, (who later died of a heroin overdose), was too stoned, so Richie Havens went on. When Havens finished his set he kept trying to leave but was told to do more encores as the next band was not ready. His song Freedom was improvised and became a worldwide hit.

    30. Though the festival mood was anti-war, ironically the festival would most likely have turned to tragedy without the U.S. Army, who airlifted in food, medical teams and performers. The hippy crowd was told: 'They are with us man, they are not against us. Forty five doctors or more are here without pay because they dig what this is into.'

    31. John Sebastian's performance was unexpected. Spotted visiting backstage, he was urged to appear. He admitted he had smoked a joint and taken LSD, which could explain his shambolic performance, shouting: 'Far out! Far up! Far down! Far around! You're really amazing, you're a whole city.'

    32. The revolving stage was designed to minimise wait-times, turning when one act finished with the equipment in place for the next one. But it could not support the weight of so many people on the side of the stage watching the performances, and the wheels fell off. 'Grace Slick and Janis Joplin and everybody were standing on it and you can't just sweep them off with a broom,' explained one of the crew.

    33. For those lost and confused there were two wooden signposts nailed to a tree. Chalked on one was 'Groovy Way' with arrows in opposite directions. On the other was 'Gentle Path' and underneath 'High Way' pointing to the left.

    34. Nine out of ten festival-goers smoked marijuana on site and 33 were arrested on drugs charges.

    35. Two people died at Woodstock - one man from a heroin overdose and a teenager in a sleeping bag who was killed when a tractor ran over him. The driver was never traced.

    36. For the weekend of the festival it had become the third largest city in New York State. But due to lack of basic amenities, Governor Nelson Rockefeller declared it a disaster area. The health department documented 5,162 medical cases, including 797 instances of drug abuse. But Time magazine called it 'The greatest peaceful event in history.'

    37. While most acts revelled in having appeared there, sitar player Ravi Shankar found it a 'terrifying experience' and said the crowd in the mud reminded him of the water buffaloes at home in India.

    38. Actor and country singer Roy Rogers - billed as King of the Cowboys for his western movies - was asked to close the show, singing his trademark song, Happy Trails To You. But Rogers' manager vetoed it, and years later Rogers admitted: 'I would have been booed off stage by all those goddam hippies.'

    39. There have been four attempts to recreate the festival on different sites: in 1979, 1989, 1994, and the disastrous 1999 festival, which was shut down amid riots and violence. Commemorative events are taking place across America and Europe.

    40. Organisers at Woodstock Ventures were at least $1.3m in debt afterwards. It took more than a decade for backers to recoup money, through audio and recording rights.


    • THE 40th anniversary edition four-DVD set of the filmWoodstock: 3 Days Of Peace And Music is out now.


    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz...#ixzz0Nd7wgAPG
    "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man."
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  3. #3
    Atomic Punk Raldo's Avatar
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    This was a good read. Thank you!
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    good stuff. I may pick up this new box set...I also want that really nice set from the monterey pop festival.

    i was born in the wrong era.
    Stay out of it, dude.


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  5. #5
    Atomic Punk bklynboy68's Avatar
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    Woodstock: Bad Trips & Bad Attitudes


    Woodstock wasn’t always all peace, love and flowers like we have been sold. Greed, safety hazards, and bands with egos are something that most concert attendees and youth of the era tend to leave out when providing accounts of the legendary weekend. Amongst the beautiful and true hippie moments were a few bad trips & bad attitudes.



    The Bands Who Didn’t Show

    Bob Dylan lived near the area and saw the vast amount of hippies slowly coming into town. He left town for the weekend to get away from the crowds.

    Led Zeppelin were on tour at the time of the festival that they were headlining. When offered the opportunity to play a festival with 30 other popular bands they chose to continue being the headliners of their own show in New Jersey that weekend instead.

    The Doors front man Jim Morrison opted out due to his fear of playing outdoor shows feeling it would be easier for someone to shoot him.

    Eric Clapton was in a weird stage of his career when Woodstock occurred. The Yardbirds were done, Cream had disbanded and Blind Faith was on its short rise so Clapton chose to put all his effort for that weekend into his new band.

    The Beatles lack of appearance at the festival has its fair share of rumors. Whether you believe that Nixon refused to give Lennon a visa, that they hadn’t played together in 3 years or that Yoko’s band was not allowed to play is the reason all that matters is the legendary band was absent from the legendary festival.


    The Bands Who Had A Terrible Time

    Although the festival had launched some careers, the bands that were already established and less than positive things to say about their time in Bethel. Pete Townshend said it was “horrible” and Grace Slick described it as “a bunch of stupid slobs in the mud.”

    Some of the decade’s biggest performers weren’t as worried about the experience of the event since they were having “experiences” of their own on the stage. Jerry Garcia recalled seeing blue balls of electricity bouncing on the stage and onto his guitar during the Grateful Dead’s set. To make matters (and acid trips) worse, they were performing in 60 mile per hour winds with a threat of the stage collapsing.

    Janis Joplin was assisted on stage by three roadies while she had a bottle of tequila in one and a bottle of vodka in the other. She had gotten high in the porta potty before coming on stage and was in true agony as she sang her heart out on stage.

    Jimi Hendrix had been pushed back to ending the festival in the very early hours of Monday morning and took the same acid Jerry did. Between the trips, drug possession trial coming up, losing his friend Brian Jones weeks prior, his manager extorting millions from him and working with the mob and not having slept in in over three days Hendrix making it on stage for his legendary performance is a miracle in and of itself. He felt his performance was terrible and the most unprofessional one he had ever done. On stage he apologized to the audience saying, “I know it’s not together” but if it wasn’t for his anxieties his “Star Spangled Banner” may not have been what it was.


    Dollar Signs Over Peace Signs

    Plain and simple, the festival really was not really about peace and love, the goal was to make serious amounts of money. Both the performers and the organizers were there just for the cash. Some performers refused to take the stage until they were paid and even complained about the amount of money they made ($15,000 except for Hendrix who made double).


    Hungry, Muddy and High Kids in Masses


    Day one and the food that Woodstock Ventures had budgeted for was gone. With two more days and almost half a million people gathered in their town, locals took to helping in any way they could. The Jewish Community Center went to lengths to make as many sandwiches as they could and the nearby air force base was airlifting food in.The organizers seriously underestimated the people to porta potty ratio. By Saturday with the serious rain storm the “bathrooms” already over filed began over filling into the now muddy field.

    About 400 concert attendees had ODed and had bad trips from the famous “Brown Acid” even causing one 18 year old to die from it. The “Brown Acid” was a very pure form of LSD that was so intense that users who were not used to it had really bad hallucinations. Another attendee died from a burst appendix and the third was run over by a tractor while he was sleeping. The makeshift infirmary treated/talked down the kids on bad trips, the ones with severely cut feet and even the ones who were temporarily blind from looking at the sun to long. For almost a million people in one place, it could have been worse conditions but the ones they were in were definitely not the best.





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  6. #6
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    Damn, I thought Craig was back. Woodstock...yeah...far out and groovy man!
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  7. #7
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    Were they supposed to all perform and provide this giant venue for the massive crowd for free? lol Of course they expected to get paid and make a profit, why shouldn't they? I don't think even the hippies were naive to think they did it for free.

    You couldn't pay me to go to any festivals ESPECIALLY Woodstock. What a mess.


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  8. #8
    Baluchitherium
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    What a fuckin mess, I am glad I was not around for that kind of shit, I hate festivals. That being said...I am going to see Soundgarden and Nine Inch Nails on Friday, YES BITCHES!!
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    You can tell how old I am...none of this is news to me, lol.

    A cousin of mine was there, pretty wild...

  10. #10
    Atomic Punk Dave's Dreidel's Avatar
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    I've been to two festivals, and will probably never go to another one. They are just too long and too much a pain in the ass.
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    I loved festivals when I was young, except for when a supercell storm rolled through during Frank Marino at Alberta Jam in 79...

  12. #12
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    Even in my wildest youth, one day of that would have been more than enough for me.

    I would have enjoyed the US Festival though... Maybe more my generation. I've got a DVD "Triumph, Live at the US Festival" and its fantastic...

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    I think I saw the movie and the other documentaries way too much. "Taking Woodstock" addresses a lot of these as well. Between all these... not many of those I didn't know.
    Cool to delve into it again though.

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    Hang 'Em High sickman's Avatar
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    I wish they would rebroadcast the Woodstock 94 weekend. I was there, it was awesome. The one in 99 I think ruined it for people to even consider anything but the original anymore but the one in 94 was peaceful imo. Not to mention some great fuckin music. I'll admit it was a bit ridiculous having people crowd surf over my head to Joe Cocker but to see Blind Melon, Porno for Pyros, Blues Traveler, Primus, RHCP, Peter Gabriel, Metallica, Aerosmith, Green Day the list goes on in one weekend was amazing.

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    I saw VH at a festival on Canada Day once. I'll never go to a festival again.

 

 

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