We couldn’t let the week slip by without recognizing the fact that this weekend marks the 40th anniversary of the Woodstock Music & Arts Fair. Held on Max Yasgur’s farm in Bethel, NY; the festival featured a veritable who’s who of rock and folk – including one of the first live performances from Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and The Who performing a full-on rendition of their rock opera Tommy – which started somewhere around four in the morning for those of you who think Bonnaroo invented the late night set.
Sure there were massive traffic jams, tons of mud and bad brown acid, but there were also incendiary sets of music – you’ve heard the soundtrack and seen the film. With so many spectacular moments featured in the documentary, thought we’d dig a little deeper with one of the band’s the didn’t sign off on appearing in the original film – Creedence Clearwater Revival.
Arguably one of the biggest names on the entire bill at the time, CCR’s set was sandwiched in between the Grateful Dead’s tech-plagued set and Janis Joplin’s taking the crowd to the church psychedelic blues. Taking the stage well into the late night hours on Saturday night, John Fogerty originally complained that most of the audience had gone to bed and believed their performance to be subpar – though after watching this take on Keep On Chooglin you might beg to differ…
More From Woodstock:
We guess recording and touring with three different bands just isn’t enough for Jack White as the White Stripes/Raconteurs/Dead Weather member managed to squeeze in enough time to set to wax his solo debut via a single titled Fly Farm Blues. The song, which was recorded during the filming of the upcoming documentary It Might Get Loud, will be released on White’s label, Third Man Records, on 7-inch single and digital download August 11.
Finally, the Newseum in Washington, DC has recently unveiled a new exhibit that not only celebrates the milestone anniversary of Woodstock, but also a subject that is near and dear to our hearts – music journalism. The interactive museum’s Woodstock At 40: The Rise Of Music Journalism takes a look at the “moment when the news media first recognized music and entertainment as a cultural and commercial force,” and runs through the end of October. Be sure to check it out if you’re in our nation’s capital.
The Royal Potato Family artist Nathan Moore, who’s probably familiar to most of our audience as the frontman of Surprise Me Mr. Davis, has put together a batch of beautifully crafted, honest tunes for a new EP titled Folk Singer which hits stores and online outlets on August 18. Checkout the timely Hard Times for a sample of Nathan’s new release…
Nathan just started a lengthy tour that will take him across the country.
Let’s take a look at some other stories making news today…
Finally, a sweet-looking giveaway has been posted on the newly relaunched Woodstock.com featuring the “Ultimate Woodstock Prize Package” in celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the legendary festival. The prize package contains an Ang Lee Autographed Taking Woodstock Poster, The Woodstock Experience (Limited Edition Complete CD Box Set), Woodstock: 3 Days of Peace & Music (40th Anniversary Ultimate DVD Collector’s edition), an Autographed copy of The Road To Woodstock and the Woodstock – 40 Years On: Back to Yasgur’s Farm box set. Go enter now.
While Luther Dickinson has been spending his off time from the NMAS as a member of the Black Crowes, his band mates brother Cody and Chris Chew have a side-project of their own – the Southern blues and boogie-rock band Hill Country Revue, that also features Ed “Hot” Cleveland (drums), Daniel Coburn (vocals/harp) and Kirk Smithhart (guitar/vocals). The band, who released their debut album Make a Move today, are set to hit the road later this month for a mix of festival appearances, club dates and two support slots for Dave Matthews Band that stretches late into the summer.
If you’re not into a night of nasty Southern boogie-rock, then maybe you’ll want to hit one of these recently announced tours…
Finally, a few weeks back we mentioned Michael Lang’s attempt to put together a free concert in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park to honor Woodstock’s 40th Anniversary. While there hasn’t been any traction from Lang on the status of the event, a number of acts that played the original fest will come together to honor the milestone anniversary. On August 15 the Levon Helm Band, Jefferson Starship, Big Brother and the Holding Co., Ten Years After, Canned Heat, Mountain, and Country Joe McDonald will all come together for a concert to be held at the Bethel Woods Center For The Arts – which is just up the hill from where the original fest’s stage sat in 1969.
When the names Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr both appeared on the bill for the last night’s Change Begins Within benefit at Radio City Music Hall those who had plunked down money for the all-star bill – that included Ben Harper, MMJ’s Jim James, Eddie Vedder, Donovan and Sheryl Crow – were hoping that the former band mates would share the stage together for a tune or two. While the stellar night seemed to included a number of musical highlights, it wasn’t until almost the very end of the night during McCartney’s hit-laden set that that moment that everyone had anticipated finally happened when McCartney brought out Starr out by join him on vocals for With a Little Help From My Friends by introducing him as Billy Shears.
Starr remained on-stage moving to behind the drums for a take on Cosmically Conscious, a rarity written during The Beatles trip to India and the show closing all-star sing-along of I Saw Her Standing There.
Finally a few weeks back we reported that original Woodstock promotor Michael Lang was looking to honor the 40th annivesary of the fest with a pair of free concerts in New York and Germany. The latest rumor to circulating around the one-day free concert finds it landing in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park’s Long Meadow. Lang who has been in talks with the city’s parks department, is also still looking to lockdown between $8 to 10 million in sponsorship funding, which he would need to do by month’s end to pull off the event – which he is hoping to attract original Woodstock acts along with contemporary bands that have embraced the fests vibe like Phish and Dave Matthews Band.
Last year, I was infatuated with Light In The Attic’s reissue of Cold Fact, the rediscovered lost classic of psychedelic-soul and folk-rock from a guy simply known as Rodriguez. The 67 year-old singer-songwriter will embark on his first ever North American tour this spring that kicks off on April 10 in Madison, WI with scattered dates through the end of June including a stop at NYC’s Bowery Ballroom on May 15 that I’m eagerly anticipating.
If the music of Rodriguez isn’t your thing, than maybe you’ll want to hit one of these recently announced tours…
Finally, this August will mark the 40th anniverasry of the prototype for the modern American music festie – the Woodstock Music & Art Fair. To celebrate the milestone original fest, founder Michael Lang is looking to honor the event with a pair of free two-day events to be held in New York and Germany. Rumors are currently circulating that event promoters are looking to recruit some of the acts that played the original Woodstock – which include the Grateful Dead, Santana and The Who. The New York concert will take place on the actual anniversary, while the event to be held at an abandoned airport in Berlin will take place a week later. Let’s hope that this one works out better than the disastrous ’99 incarnation.
Filmmaker Ang Lee has already showed us the softer side of cowboys with 2005′s Brokeback Mountain. For his next project, Taking Woodstock, Lee will return to a gay-centric story based on Eliot Tiber’s memoir. Here’s some info…
“Taking Woodstock” centers on the colorful life of a Greenwich Village-based interior designer and part-time Catskills hotel manager who headed the Bethel, N.Y., Chamber of Commerce. He issued the permit for the legendary 1969 concert on his neighbor Max Yasgur’s farm.
It is based on Elliot Tiber’s 2007 memoir “Taking Woodstock: A True Story of a Riot, a Concert, and a Life,” which he wrote with Tom Monte.