Woodstock Scholarship: An Interdisciplinary Annotated Bibliography/Arts & Literature
Arts & Literature
- Banes, Sally. Terpsichore in Sneakers: Post-Modern Dance. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 1987.
- Ertegun, Ahmet. ‘What’d I Say’: The Atlantic Story―50 Years of Music. New York: Welcome Rain, 2001.
Presents the history of Ahmet Ertegun and Atlantic Records in an oversized coffee table book. Quotes Ertegun describing why he acquired the recording rights for the Woodstock Music and Art Fair, why he initially turned down the option to purchase the film rights, and how he eventually ended up with both. Includes glossy photographs from the festival.
- Evans, Ron. Chasing Woodstock: Finding the Cost of Freedom. N. Clarendon, Vermont: Euprax Books, 2013.
Presents the results of the author’s quest (i.e., Woodstock Program Project) to show Woodstock Music and Art Fair performers his copy of the long forgotten and rarely seen official program from the festival. Shares the musicians’ “priceless and sometimes shocking” reactions. Provides insights not found elsewhere, but mostly serves as a light and entertaining read.
- Grateful Dead: The Illustrated Trip. New York: DK, 2003.
Serves as a coffee table book on the history of the Grateful Dead, arranged chronologically and illustrated extensively with color photographs. Describes the circumstances of the group’s performance at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Notes their generally poor set at the festival and explains why they were not included in the motion picture Woodstock. Foreword by Robert Hunter.
- Landy, Elliott. Woodstock 1969: The First Festival. Santa Rosa, CA: Squarebooks, 1994.
Presents a commemorative collection of both color and black and white photographs from the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Contains images by a dozen photographers: Ralph Ackerman, Henry Diltz, Dan Garson, Charles Harbutt, Elliot Landy, Lisa Law, Barry Levine, Shelly Rusten, Peter Menzel, Joseph Sia, Burk Uzzle, and Baron Wolman. Includes reproductions of selected New York Times articles from the event. Provides contextual narratives from selected festival participants and photographers (John Roberts, John Morris, Lisa Law, Henry Diltz, Greil Marcus, Michael Lang, and Elliott Landy). Introduction by Jerry Garcia.
- Landy, Elliott. Woodstock Vision: The Spirit of a Generation. New York: Continuum, 1994.
Collects photographs from the late 1960s taken by the author, a professional photographer. Devotes a section to the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Includes an afterword by Richie Havens titled “The Essence of Woodstock” which he describes as “bringing people of like mind together.” Havens claims that in 1994 “everyone now is a product of the Woodstock spirit.”
- Lang, Michael, Henry Diltz, and Dan Garson. Woodstock Experience. Guildford, U.K.: Genesis Publications, 2009.
Collects artifacts and other memorabilia related to the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Packages photographs, art, graphics, recordings, and writings by Ben Fong-Torres, Dan Garson, Paul Krassner, George Lois and Tim O’Brien. Limited edition of 1,000 copies. Foreword by Arlo Guthrie. Afterward by Rona Elliot, US Editor of this work. Volume one contains first-hand accounts from all of the key organizers, personnnel, and performers including Michael Lang, Joel Roseman, Artie Kornfeld, Chip Monk, many of the musicians, and others not quoted elsewhere. Volume two consists of numerous exclusive photographs from the event taken by 17-year-old Dan Garson who somehow managed to acquire a press pass for the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Also included, a fine art print by Peter Max and a facsimile site map of the festival.
- Lawton, John. Sweet Sunday. New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 2014.
Presents a work of fiction in which the protagonist, a private investigator, eventually attends the Woodstock Music and Art Fair.
- Littleproud, Brad, and Joanne Hague. Woodstock: Peace, Music & Memories: 40th Anniversary. Iola, WI: Krause, 2009.
Celebrates the 40th anniversary of the 1969 Woodstock Music and Art Fair in a coffee table book format. Contains text of numerous personal recollections from organizers, musicians, and attendees, along with many color photographs. Reproduces newspaper articles, posters, and other miscellaneous items (e.g., the contract used for hiring The Who). Devotes one chapter to collecting memorabilia, with suggested items and market values. Foreword by Artie Kornfeld, one of the Woodstock organizers, and an epilogue by Wavy Gravy. Authors were members of the Woodstock Preservation Alliance.
- Logsdon, Gene. The Mother of all Arts: Agrarianism and the Creative Impulse. Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky, 2007. https://doi.org/10.5810/kentucky/9780813124438.001.0001
Studies the way in which “the creative impulse in art acts itself out when influenced by farming and rural life.” Explores connections between art and agriculture and the impact on society. Claims, in a chapter titled “Singing Farmers,” the massive turnout of urbanites to the Woodstock Music and Art Fair was a desire to discover “primeval agrarian roots, instinctively, if not consciously.” Asserts that above all else, the festival was “an example of how art could be profoundly influenced by old mother agriculture, even if in a pathetic way.” Suggests the concert was a trigger event for the back-to-the-land movement that became predominant among members of the counterculture.
- Rosebud: Jenny Holzer, Matt Mullican, Lawrence Weiner. Eds. Michael Tarantino and Ulrich Wilmes. Munich, Germany: Kunstbau Lenbachhaus München, 1994.
Serves as an exhibition catalogue for a touring set of installations by American artists Jenny Holzer, Matt Mullican and Lawrence Weiner. The section of text by Ulrich Wilmes uses two culmination events from 1969, the Apollo moon landing and the Woodstock Music and Art Fair, to proclaim the reality of art is determined by its relationship to the present. Suggests that art “conveys an aesthetic experience of reality whose authenticity is a function of permanent progress” in the conditions of its making. Considers the impact of this on avant-garde art and the possibility of it becoming “an emancipatory model for the self-identification of the individual in relation to others.”
- Sackett, Linanne G., and Barry Z. Levine. The Woodstock Story Book: A Chronologically and Anatomically Correct Illustrated Tale for Post-Woodstock Generations. Troy, NY: Brunswick Institute, 2009.
Publishes nearly 300 large color photographs accompanied by text written in child’s verse, but clearly intended as an adult story book. Photographer Barry Z. Levine was part of the Woodstock film crew and captured the event with his camera on site prior to, during, and after the August 1969 weekend of the festival. Reproduces the lyrics to I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixing-To-Die Rag by Country Joe McDonald. Contains a foreword by Wavy Gravy, who states the book “brings back for me the magic that was Woodstock―the energy of the community that terrified the powers that be.” Includes photographs taken at the concert identifying members of the film crew and, more recently, a photograph of the commemorative monument at the site. Concludes with an afterword by the photographer reflecting back on the 1969 festival.
- Sia, Joseph J. Woodstock 69: Summer Pop Festivals. New York: Scholastic Book Services, 1970.
Collects black and white photographs of audiences and performers from selected major music festivals held in 1969, from the Newport Jazz Festival to the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Many of the musicians appearing at Woodstock also performed at a number of these other music festivals. Observes that even though dire predictions were made about potential violence and crisis-like conditions at such a large gathering as Woodstock, attendees simply came to “listen to the supersounds of their favorite rock groups.” Paperback quality printing.
- Soares, Valérie I. O., and Jack Tzekov. Lily and Kayden’s 1969 Woodstock Adventure. Ottawa, Canada: Petra Books, 2014.
Children’s book about two youngsters taken on a flying couch to the Woodstock Music and Art Fair.
- Sonnenblick, Jordan. Are You Experienced? New York: Feiwel and Friends, 2013.
Presents young adult fiction in which a contemporary fifteen-year-old boy is transported back in time to the Woodstock Music and Art Fair.
- Tiber, Elliot. Woodstock Delirium: Music, Mayhem & Madness. New York: Woodstock Delirium, 2001.
Represents a humorous “fictionalized version of non-fiction events.” Foreword by Richie Havens.
- Wallace, Rich. War & Watermelon. New York: Puffin Books, 2012.
Presents a young adult fictional coming of age story in which the twelve year old main character attends the 1969 Woodstock Music and Art Fair.
- Walter, Greg, and Lisa Grant. Woodstock: A New Look. Cranston, RI: Writers Collective, 2008.
Presents the author’s personal photographs mixed with those from the Associated Press and Henry Diltz, all taken during the 1969 Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Explains Walter was eighteen years of age and an employee of Woodstock Ventures. Notes he was hired to work on the art crew and he helped to build the stage. Describes the process by which he was hired, his meeting Max Yasgur, and his experiences during the three days of the concert. During his time before and while at the festival, the author took lots of photographs, developed them as slides, and then forgot about them for forty years. Thus, this work includes many photographs of the event not previously seen by anyone. Uses the Afterword to describe the author’s experience as a Vietnam War draft dodger.
- Westfahl, Gary. William Gibson. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2013.
Relates very briefly William Gibson, science fiction author, describing his experience at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair as being “like going to a Civil War battle.”
- Wolman, Baron. Woodstock. London: Reel Art Press, 2014.
Collects scores of black and white photographs taken by Baron Wolman at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair in 1969. Concentrates on images of the throngs of festival attendees. Notes how Wolman “was fascinated, captivated, enchanted and transfixed by the crowd.” Transcribes a lengthy joint interview with Wolman and Michael Lang (one of the Woodstock promoters), conducted by Dagon James. Quotes Wolman describing how he and photographer Jim Marshall had spent the summer of 1969 traveling the country photographing music festivals. Delves into many detailed aspects of the Woodstock festival and its aftermath. Reproduces as an appendix Wolman’s contact sheets from the event. Includes a Foreword by Carlos Santana.
- Woodstock ‘94: The Book. New York: Callaway Editions, 1994.
Commemorates the Woodstock ‘94 concert. Gathers both color and black and white photographs interspersed with text in the style of an exhibition catalog. Includes black and white backstage portraits of performers and audience photographs taken by Albert Watson. Contains essays by John Milward and Christopher John Farley. Foreword by Amy Wu.
- Yasgur, Abigail, and Joseph Lipner. Max Said Yes!: The Woodstock Story. Los Angeles: Change the Universe Press, 2009.
Presents a child’s story book, included here as an artifact. One of the co-authors is a relative of Max Yasgur. Quotes Max Yasgur’s edited remarks from the stage at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Includes the lyrics to Joni Mitchell’s song Woodstock. Illustrated by Barbara Mendes.
Quotes choreographer Simone Forti explaining her inspirational experience at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. She perceived a sharing of space and fate in a way that stimulated her to immerse herself into the hippie culture the following year.
- Burt, Ramsay. “Simone Forti and Bill T. Jones at Woodstock.” Judson Dance Theater: Performative Traces. London: Routledge, 2006. 130–134. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203969663
- Chess, Richard. “Alan Shapiro (1952-).” Holocaust Literature: An Encyclopedia of Writers and their Work. Ed. S. Lillian Kremer. New York: Routledge, 2003. 1152–1155.
Discusses a poem about the Holocaust titled “Mud Dancing” and set at the 1969 Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Notes the poem “invokes the ghosts of victims of the Holocaust who are drawn to the scene because of its familiarity.”
- Cooke, Jon B. “Still Chaykin After all these Years: A Life in American Comics.” Howard Chaykin: Conversations. Ed. Brannon Costello. Jackson, MS: University Press of Mississippi, 2011. 188–241.
Quotes Howard Chaykin (noted comic book writer, artist, and graphic novel pioneer) explaining his Woodstock Music and Art Fair experience. States he went to the festival in a ’63 Bonneville convertible and once there he learned “I don’t do dirty and smelly well.” Reprinted from Comic Book Artist. v. 2, no. 5 (December 2004). The rest of the book reveals Chaykin’s aesthetics through a series of other reprinted interviews.
- Dolin, Sharon. “Phonography.” Whirlwind. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2012. 57.
Presents a collection of the author’s poems, including “Phonography” in which playing the record album Woodstock: Music from the Original Soundtrack and More evokes childhood memories of the Vietnam War.
- “Flashbacks.” 1969: Woodstock, the Moon and Manson: The Turbulent End of the ‘60s. Ed. Kelly Knauer. New York: Time Books, 2009. 88–93.
Presents a photographic essay on the Woodstock Music and Art Fair using both color and black and white photographs of the performers and audience.
- Forti, Simone. “The Garden.” Handbook in Motion. Halifax, Canada: The Press of Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, 1974. 15–16. https://monoskop.org/images/4/4e/Forti_Simone_Handbook_in_Motion.pdf
Collects drawings, photographs, essays, and handwritten notes by Forti, a dancer, choreographer, and musician. Recounts her experience attending the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Describes dancing to her simultaneous hearing of various pockets of music “already somewhat integrated because they were within earshot of each other.” Remembers feeling a shared ethos of space and fate.
Explores the development and legacy of the Judson Dance Theater in the creation of postmodern dance. Contrasts two differing race-based perspectives on the avant-garde by using personal narratives of individual experiences from the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Criticizes Forti for believing her observations of an African-American attendee dancing represented “an ahistorical, premodern past.” Suggests she is naive for not considering the experience from the dancer’s perspective. Observes Jones’ description of an audience member (his brother) dancing is “both personal and political,” noting this possibility had not occurred to Forti.
- Dumas, Timothy. “Still Together Now.” Smithsonian 40.5 (2009): 6–8.
- Ecker, David W. “The Structure of Affect in the Art Curriculum.” Art Education 24.1 (1971): 26–29. https://doi.org/10.2307/3191570
Calls for a re-examination of art curriculum “in terms of the relationship between the affective and cognitive structures now built into it and those structures our students display outside of school,” meaning the 1960s counterculture ethos. Uses descriptions by attendees of the Woodstock Music and Art to illustrate the “structure of affect.” Recommends art educators better understand student attitudes, feelings, values, and beliefs and how these things should be discussed in the classroom as learning objectives. Offers art curriculum should be open ended. Contends “deeply felt experiences both of the creative process and the aesthetic response to art should be the overall objective of art education.”
- Hafen, P. Jane. “Rock and Roll, Redskins, and Blues in Sherman Alexie’s Work.” Studies in American Indian Literatures 9.4 (1997): 71–78.
Discusses the writings of Sherman Alexie as being “a fusion of historical sensibilities and grim realisms of contemporary Indian life.” Describes a chapter from Alexie’s book The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven in which the Woodstock Music and Art Fair is used to manifest the hippie movement’s affectation of American Indian culture, one which does not symbolize counterculture subversion but instead becomes “merely another extension of colonialism.” Relays the deep affinity the narrator’s father had for Jimi Hendrix. Suggests the challenge for critics assessing the works of Alexie is to assess his body of work “in terms of tribal and intellectual sovereignty.”
- Hernandez, Debra Gersh. “No Nudes is Good Nudes: Firs-Prize Photograph in the White House News Photographers Association Competition Creates a Stir.” Editor and Publisher 128.6 (1995): 9–10.
Relays the story of a photograph taken by Kenneth Lambert at Woodstock ’94 depicting a naked man sitting in a lawn chair with a woman looking at him cynically. Highlights the photograph’s award of first prize in a White House News Photographers Association (WHNPA) competition. States the photographer wanted to illustrate how the festival differed from the original Woodstock Music and Art Fair because the male subject is the only person naked and is being shown some disdain by others at the event. Notes an unsuccessful attempt by Ken Blaylock to ban the photograph from an exhibition and publication for being “inappropriate.”
- Hirsch, Edward. “The Duende.” American Poetry Review 28.4 (1999): 13–21.
Contemplates Federico Garcia Lorca’s invocation of the Dionysian spirit of art as duende. Describes Lorca’s definition of duende as “not a completed work in and of itself, but a force that drives through the work, that electrifies it.” Explores the presence of duende in modern American art. Illustrates the essence of duende through examples, including Jimi Hendrix’s performance of The Star Spangled Banner at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Offers the rendering “reverberated across the fields with the gusto of an American childhood, with the patriotic memory of previous American wars, with the flaming sounds of an undeclared war going on halfway across the world.” Includes a poetic description of Hendrix’s performance by James McManus. Compares Hendrix’s description of his version of the national anthem to vernacular “heard often in the dark personal agon of our poetry.” Concludes by describing duende, in part, as “a joy that burns and a suffering that scalds.”
- Hoberman, J. “Moon Dance: On the Summer of ‘69.” Artforum International 32.10 (1994): 10, 117.
Compares and contrasts two major events from 1969 as being two of the most culturally significant events of the twentieth century: the Apollo moon launch in July and the Woodstock Music and Art Fair in August. Interjects the occurrences of the Manson murders and other major news items from that year.
- Meyer, James. “Impure Thoughts: The Art of Sam Durant.” Artforum International 38.8 (2000): 112–117.
Profiles American artist Sam Durant, whose installation Partially Buried 1960s/70s: Utopia Reflected, Dystopia Revealed (1998) builds upon the dichotomous relationship between the Woodstock Music and Art Fair and Altamont Speedway concert, both of 1969. Explores the “dialectical relationship of the two, the entropic collapse of one state into another.” Dissects the mythology surround the juxtaposed events to demonstrate a “basic structural logic.”
- Rohlehr, F. G. “Some Problems of Assessment: A Look at New Expressions in the Arts of the Contemporary Caribbean.” Caribbean Quarterly 17.3/4 (1971): 92–113.
Mentions in a few words the impact of the motion picture Woodstock on Trinidad in the early 1970s. Claims the film’s “white liberal orientation and vagueness, its atmosphere of cliché and escapism, provided the youth with all the justification that they needed for a retreat into the uneasy nirvana of weed and pills.”
- Schwartz, Steven. “What We Talk About When We Talk about Negative Attachment.” The North American Review 290.2 (2005): 43–52.
Presents a short fiction in which a trip in 1969 to the Woodstock Music and Art Fair is included.
- Shapiro, Alan. “Woodstock Puritan.” TriQuarterly 92 (1994): 139–164.
Presents a story recounting coming of age in the era of the 1960’s counterculture. Ponders on the narrator’s experiences as reflected from his close friend’s social and political transformation. Describes their pilgrimage to the Woodstock Music and Art Fair in August 1969 as having reached the promised land, at least initially. Observes how at the event “we could openly do with no fear of reprisal what we had grown accustomed to doing late at night behind locked doors.” Comments in some detail on the two’s experience of surviving the weekend at the festival while at the same time growing apart.
- Snaevarr, Stefan. “Dylan as a Rortian: Bob Dylan, Richard Rorty, Postmodernism, and Political Skepticism.” Journal of Aesthetic Education 48.4 (2014): 38–49. https://doi.org/10.5406/jaesteduc.48.4.0038
Examines Bob Dylan’s postmodern political skepticism as expressed in his music and writings dating from the 1960s. Introduces Richard Rorty’s philosophy to ground the essay in theory. Invokes Jimi Hendrix’s performance of The Star Spangled Banner at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair as an example of music expressing political emotions. Claims Hendrix’s rendering the piece without words messaged the patriotic lyrics as being near worthless. Suggests Hendrix demonstrated how one can articulate political emotions using nonverbal symbols. Concludes by stating Dylan “uses artistic means” to create a political multidimensional dialogue avoiding traditional dichotomies.
- Sussler, Betsy. “James McLure.” BOMB 5 (1983): 32–34. http://bombmagazine.org/article/234/james-mclure
Prints an interview with James McLure discussing, among other things, his play The Day They Shot John Lennon which includes two characters who had attended at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Contrasts their reactions to John Lennon’s murder with those reactions of the other characters.
- “Woodstock Music Festival.” Aperture 107 (1987): 56.
Reproduces a photograph taken by Jason Laure at the 1969 Woodstock Music and Art Fair in a thematic issue titled “Mothers & Daughters: That Special Quality.”
- Young, Julian. “Artwork and Sportwork: Heideggerian Reflections.” Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 57.2 (1999): 267–277. https://doi.org/10.2307/432318
Theorizes Martin Heidegger’s “principal paradigm of the artwork is more illuminating with respect to modern sport than it is with respect to modern art.” Evokes the Woodstock Music and Art Fair as an alleged Heideggerian artwork, but acknowledges it was “a barren event” without successors, making it a “reactive phenomenon, a protest against the way of life that had led to the Vietnam war rather than the positive affirmation of the integrity of any, even subcultural, community.” Proclaims sporting events are better representations of Heideggerian artwork because of the coming together of players and spectators into a large group consisting of a wide societal cross-section.
Reveals how the photograph used for the iconic Woodstock: Music from the Original Soundtrack and More album came to be taken. Notes the picture is of a couple (Nick Ercoline and Bobbi Kelly) embracing at the festival. Describes the journey that randomly brought together the photographer (Burk Uzzle) and the subjects at the right moment in time to capture a candid image representing the peace and love ethos of the event. Reveals the significance of the plastic butterfly also capture in the image. Explains “a spaced-out Californian named Herbie tagged along, carrying a wooden staff with a plastic butterfly dancing from the tip.” Adds he had joined Ercoline and Kelly on their walking trek to the festival after having abandoned their Impala station wagon along the way. Notes the famous photograph was taken as Jefferson Airplane played in the dawn’s early light.
- Brau, Edgar. “Woodstock.” 2007. http://wordswithoutborders.org/article/woodstock
Offers a poem by the Argentine author, translated by Michael McKay Aynesworth.