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Friday, August 15, 2014

This day in HISTOROCK !! Woodstock 1969 !!

        This day in HISTOROCK !!

                           45 years ago in 1969, the face of music changed forever when the Woodstock Music Festival was held on Max Yasgur's 600 acre farm in Bethel, 80 miles outside New York City. Attended by over 400,000 people, the event featured, Jimi Hendrix, Joe Cocker, Crosby Stills Nash & Young, Santana, The Who, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, The Band, Canned Heat, Joan Baez, Mountain, Ten Years After, Sly and the Family Stone, Johnny Winter, Jefferson Airplane, Ravi Shanker, Country Joe and the Fish, Blood Sweat & Tears, and Arlo Guthrie. 32 bands in all !! During the three days there were three deaths, four miscarriages & two births. How cool would it have been to say you were born at Woodstock !! Other bands that were invited but turned down invitations were : The Beatles, The Doors, Led Zeppelin, The Byrds & Jeff Beck !! The men behind organizing Woodstock,  were Michael Lang, (who had organized the Miami Pop Festival), & Artie Kornfeld,  while John Roberts & Joel Rosenman were the bank !!  Tickets for the show were $18 in advance (equivalent to around $75 today) and $24 at the gate for all three days. They sold 186,000 advance tickets and were prepared for a crowd of around 200,000 people, but it famously became a free show only when it became obvious that hundreds of thousands more were showing up than organizers were prepared for !! This created massive traffic jams, bringing roadways to a standstill !! Joni Mitchell who was booked to play, seen this on TV and cancelled her appearance. She would later write the song Woodstock which would become a huge hit for Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, who by the way, were playing together for only the 2nd time !! Jimi Hendrix was the last act to perform at Woodstock and due to weather delays, heavy rains had turned some of the field into a giant mudslide, so his set didn't start till 8:30 am Monday morning after most of the crowd had left !! Due to the delays, bands played right thru Sunday night into Monday morning. Rumors had the crowd down to about 50,000 when Hendrix came onstage !! What a way to have breakfast !!

Remember those lyrics Joni said it all: “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: / “I’m going on down to Yasgur’s farm / Gonna join in a rock’n’roll band / I’m gonna camp out on the land / Gonna try and set my soul free”. After the concert, Max Yasgur, who owned the site of the event, saw it as a victory of peace and love. He spoke of how nearly half a million people spent three days with music and peace on their minds. He stated, ""If we join them, we can turn those adversities that are the problems of America today into a hope for a brighter and more peaceful future. What a fantastic time for music and for the human race !! This may have been the real "Summer of love" !! Here is some incredible timeless video of Jimi Hendrix performing The Star Spangled Banner/Purple Haze at Woodstock 1969 !! 

Keep on ROCKIN !!
Trike :-)