Woodstock Scholarship: An Interdisciplinary Annotated Bibliography/History
History[edit | edit source]
Books[edit | edit source]
- Alan, Carter. Radio Free Boston: The Rise and Fall of WBCN. Boston: Northeastern University Press, 2013.
- Anson, Robert Sam. Gone Crazy and Back Again: The Rise and Fall of the ‘Rolling Stone’ Generation. New York: Doubleday, 1981.
Provides a history of Rolling Stone magazine and an examination of its cultural significance. Focuses on Jann Wenner who founded the publication in 1967 with $7,500 in borrowed capital. Recounts the highlights of the Woodstock Music and Art Festival, noting “the moment is beyond comprehension.” Focuses on the peaceful nature of the event and the politeness extended to the local community by the attendees. Mentions Wenner was startled by the festival. Claims he did not think the event would be successful by any measurement. States many journalists covering the festival reported it as a new beginning, signaling a recognition of Wenner’s assertions of rock music representing an anthem of new values.
- Blake, Mark. Pretend You’re in a War: The Who and the Sixties. London: Aurum Press, 2014.
Provides the most detailed account of The Who’s experience at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Describes how the band demanded payment before taking the stage. Offers thoughts on the group having to perform at the festival immediately following Sly and the Family Stone’s set. Recounts the incident of Abbie Hoffman attempting to take the stage during The Who’s performance and Pete Townshend intervening by knocking him off the stage.
- Blelock, Weston, and Julia Blelock, eds. Roots of the 1969 Woodstock Festival: The Backstory to “Woodstock.” Woodstock, NY: WoodstockArts, 2009.
Explains why the Woodstock Music and Art Fair was named after the town of Woodstock, New York, even though the concert took place in Bethel, New York. Presents the transcript from a panel discussion (August 9, 2008) revealing how the concept for the festival developed from, and was shaped by, the legacy of art and music events associated with the community of Woodstock. Panelist included Michael Lang, Woodstock resident and one of the promoters of the 1969 Woodstock concert; Jean Young, co-author with Lang on the book Woodstock Festival Remembered; plus others knowledgeable about the local music scene in the late 1960s. Delves into the town of Woodstock’s early arts and crafts tradition and its history of weekend-long musical concerts. Includes numerous photographs and maps.
- Bordowitz, Hank. Bad Moon Rising: The Unauthorized History of Creedence Clearwater Revival. Chicago: Chicago Review Press, 2007.
Presents the story of the band Creedence Clearwater Revival. Describes how the band was signed early on, in April 1969, to play at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Suggests the group was used as leverage by the festival promoters to attract other acts. Quotes John Fogerty on his disappointment of playing the gig at 3:00 a.m. with the audience mostly asleep. Explains Creedence Clearwater Revival’s absence from the motion picture Woodstock due to Fogerty’s displeasure with their performance. Notes Fogerty also kept the film footage of the band out of the twenty-fifth anniversary director’s cut of the film.
- Brant, Marley. Join Together: Forty Years of the Rock Music Festival. New York: Backbeat Books, 2008.
Surveys the major rock music festivals held between 1967 and 2007. Attempts to portray the events as having made important contributions to society. Asserts the Woodstock Music and Art Festival came to “represent a massive sociological transformation and define a generation.” Provides background on how Joel Rosenmann, John Roberts, Artie Kornfeld, and Michael Lang (the four promoters of the original Woodstock festival) came to know each other and to eventually form Woodstock Ventures. Offers insight on securing a site for the event from farmer/businessman Max Yasgur. Mentions some of the fees negotiated to secure performers. Explains how the festival came together as a series of last minute activities and the consequences regarding traffic control, food, and security arrangements. Includes details on many of the on-stage and behind-the-scenes issues surrounding the performances and the impromptu scheduling of the opening act, Richie Havens. Incorporates the ways in which adverse weather affected the various acts and their sets. Covers some of the artists who did not play at Woodstock and the reasons why. Quotes the overall positive reflections on the festival by some of the performers. Delves into post-event financial issues facing the promoters and the eventual success of the motion picture Woodstock. Concludes with a discussion on the impact of the event on the music industry, performers, and subsequent music festivals. Includes sections devoted to Woodstock ’79, Woodstock ’89, Woodstock ’94, and Woodstock ’99.
- Brown, Tony, ed. Jimi Hendrix: In His Own Words. London: Omnibus, 1994.
Collects excerpts from interviews with Jimi Hendrix. Notes Hendrix was “always very articulate and unafraid to express his views.” Quotes selectively Hendrix’s comments on the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Hendrix mentions extensively the non-violence at the festival and extrapolates it to the larger counterculture; bemoans the lack of access to music festivals for inner city youth; and recommends future events should include a variety of activities to occupy the audience, suggesting there be films, dances, art, exhibits, and plays. Comments on his rendition of The Star Spangled Banner at the festival. Other topics include his time spent in the U.S. Army, songwriting, and politics.
- Carson, David A. Grit, Noise, & Revolution: The Birth of Detroit Rock ‘n’ Roll. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 2005. https://doi.org/10.3998/mpub.93680
Chronicles the Detroit music scene of the 1960s and 1970s. Describes the Woodstock Music and Art Fair from the perspective of the White Panthers and the “Free John Sinclair” movement. Tells the story of representatives from the White Panthers traveling to the festival and connecting with Abbie Hoffman. Sheds insight into Hoffman’s ill-fated attempt to radicalize the audience from the stage. Reveals actual roadblocks were established to catch hippies with illegal drugs leaving the event.
- Cooke, John Byrne. On the Road with Janis Joplin. New York: Berkley Books, 2014.
Describes the author’s experience as road manager for Janis Joplin. Details difficulties of getting Joplin to the Woodstock Music and Art Fair due to the heavy traffic. Describes the helicopter ride from the Holiday Inn to the festival site. Provides insights to backstage happenings. Draws comparisons between 1967’s Monterey International Pop Festival and 1969’s Woodstock, both of which the author attended.
- Curtis, Jim. Rock Eras: Interpretations of Music and Society, 1954–1984. Bowling Green, OH: Bowling Green State University Popular Press, 1987.
Utilizes Marshall McLuhan’s work to organize the history of rock music into three eras. Subdivides each era into two parts, innovation and assimilation. Stresses the political environment in the second era, 1964–1974. Discusses the relationship forged between popular culture and high culture while exploring the late 1960s counterculture politics of music. Illustrates the redefining of what it meant to be an American by citing Jimi Hendrix’s rendering of The Star Spangled Banner at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Discusses the creation and undermining of the Woodstock mythology of peacefulness and gentleness. Draws a connection among the Charles Manson murders, Woodstock, and the Altamont Speedway concert. Points to the contradictions between the counterculture ethos of “we are brothers and sisters” and everyone “do your own thing.” Claims the Woodstock festival illustrates a key principle of McLuhan’s, that “processes are not monolithic, and that they can reverse themselves.” Delves into the religious parallels of Woodstock, noting the performance by Sly Stone was reflective of black gospel music given he invoked a call-and-response during the set. Suggests Woodstock provided a “lasting spirituality.”
- Davidson, Sara. Loose Change: Three Women of the Sixties. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1977.
Presents the stories of how three women, including the author, lived through the counterculture experience of the 1960s. Comments in a few words about the author’s backstage experience at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Comments on the odor of 500,000 attendees (“rotting fruit, urine, sweat, incense”). Reports the author wrote an article about the event for The Globe.
- DeGroot, Gerard J. The Sixties Unplugged: A Kaleidoscopic History of a Disorderly Decade. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2008.
Offers a history of the 1960s from an atypical perspective suggesting the decade lacked a “coherent logic.” Defies convention by examining the 1960s in a nonlinear fashion. Presents sixty-seven topics lacking a single narrative in order to demonstrate a more realistic and less romanticized portrayal of history. Describes the origins of the Woodstock Music and Art Fair as a money-making scheme. States the artists performing at the festival did so only due to offers of being well paid. Discusses the financial aspects of the event, but notes the post-festival mythology recast the concert as the “perfect ending to the Heavenly Decade,” representing “the epitome of freedom.” Suggests the mythology sustains itself because it symbolizes sentiment over a brief moment in time that was quickly destroyed by commercialism. Hints the following disastrous Altamont Speedway concert was doomed because “so many people thought Altamont was going to be like Woodstock, even though Woodstock was not really like Woodstock.”
- Draper, Robert. The Rolling Stone Story. Edinburgh, Scotland: Mainstream, 1990.
Offers a history of Rolling Stone magazine, with a focus on the individuals who helped craft the publication across time. Reports on the experience of three Rolling Stone reporters (Jan Hodenfield, Greil Marcus, Baron Wolman) attending the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Provides a perspective on the festival from the impressions of counterculture journalists. Comments on the traffic and the weather. Offers the threesome came to the realization they were at an event that “defied historical precedent” and was “a triumph of the ordinary — a celebration of, by and for the masses.” Notes Hodenfield’s interpretation of Jimi Hendrix’s rendering of The Star Spangled Banner as being a clarion call.
- Evans, Mike, and Paul Kingsbury, eds. Woodstock: Three Days that Rocked the World. New York: Sterling, 2009.
Celebrates the 40th Anniversary of the 1969 Woodstock Music and Art Fair with a massive amount of photography accompanied by informative blocks of text and quotes. Starts with presenting in snippets the cultural events that allowed the Woodstock festival to be born (e.g., Civil Rights Movement, Vietnam War, Democratic Convention in Chicago 1968, hippies, Newport Jazz Festival, Newport Folk Festival, Monterey International Pop Festival). Continues with the events surrounding the conceptualization and realization of Woodstock. Devotes the majority of the work to the unfolding of the three days in August 1969, with a presentation of each performer’s set in the same order of appearance as at the event. Mentions the reasons some of the artists who were expected to play at Woodstock did not make it. Includes a section on the aftermath (the media, the film, the money trail, and some subsequent music festivals). Ends with a “where are they now” piece and a discography. Contains annotated timelines (pre-Woodstock, from 1954 to 1969; post-Woodstock, from 1969 to 1975) and a bibliography. Foreword by Martin Scorsese.
- Evers, Alf. The Catskills: From Wilderness to Woodstock. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1972.
Details the history of New York’s Catskills Mountains. Suggests some of the residents of Sullivan County, site of the Woodstock Music and Art Fair, were receptive to hosting the festival as a means of shedding its “Borscht Belt image.” Provides a local perspective on the festival. Claims during Woodstock many of the residents “lived in fear, cut off from the rest of their world by a restless sea of 400,000 young people.” Notes after the event, Bethel, New York, citizens had the town supervisor removed from office. Reports the town’s Postmaster, Richard Joyner, lost twenty pounds during the three-day weekend. Explains how the festival came to be named after the New York town of Woodstock, relating the community’s history as an artists’ colony. States one result of the concert was the ability of local resorts to more easily promote the region.
- Evers, Alf. Woodstock: History of an American Town. Woodstock, NY: Overlook Press, 1987.
Details the long history of Woodstock, New York, including its evolution into an artists’ community. Mentions concisely how Woodstock Ventures managed a “brazen theft of the town’s name” for the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Notes many of those hoping to attend the festival ended up first arriving at this town only to be told the event was sixty miles away. Offers insight into relationships among the community, tourism, and the hippie culture of the 1960s.
- Fornatale, Pete. Back to the Garden: The Story of Woodstock. New York: Touchstone, 2009.
Represents scores of first-person accounts of the Woodstock Music and Art Fair, focusing mainly on the music and musicians while placing the festival within a cultural context. Contends Woodstock redefined “the culture, the country, and the core values of an entire generation.” Organizes chapters chronologically by each performance. Describes the various narratives as “blind men and women trying to describe this behemoth based on the part of the body that we touched.” Invoking the Rashomon effect, contends that despite differing experiences and descriptions of the same weekend in August 1969, some of which are “wildly divergent” and “diametrically opposed,” it is true “each account can still be plausible” because each person’s experience is the reality of the event for them. References Joseph Campbell, asserting “Woodstock made us feel the rapture of being alive.” Foreword by Country Joe McDonald.
- Francese, Carl, and Richard S. Sorrell. From Tupelo to Woodstock: Youth, Race, and Rock-and-Roll in America, 1954–1969. Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall/Hunt, 1995.
Contributes little new to the subject matter, but this textbook does place the Woodstock Music and Art Fair within the context of the social history of American youth during the 1950s and 1960s. States the festival demonstrated one of the “central tenets” of the time, “civilization was evil and people (young ones, at least) would behave better in some primal state of nature.” Mentions briefly as an epilogue the Woodstock ’94 and Woodstock ’99 concerts.
- Friedlander, Paul. Rock and Roll: A Social History. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2006.
Chronicles the first fifty years of rock music. Mentions Woodstock ’94 was intended to be a marriage and celebration of two eras, the 1960s and the 1990s, with the former representing the mythology of community while the latter represented unashamed capitalism. Describes the rock music festival environment as it existed in the 1990s (e.g., Lilith Fair). Describes the violence at Woodstock ’99.
- Gelfand, H. Michael. Sea Change at Annapolis: The United States Naval Academy, 1949–2000. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2006. https://doi.org/10.5149/9780807877470_gelfand
Recounts the most recent fifty year history (1949–2000) of the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis. Explores the people and events in relation to the Naval Academy’s attempt to transform itself during changing times in order to remain relevant to midshipmen. Relates pithily a report from some students who attended the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Notes “one thing that the weekend proved was the Midshipmen are human and can get along with civilian college students, as long as the civilians do not know they are Midshipmen.” Includes a Foreword by Senator John McCain.
- Gerdes, Louise I., ed. Perspectives on Modern History: Woodstock. Detroit, MI: Greenhaven Press, 2012.
Aims toward high school and college students by presenting an anthology of twenty-three edited reprints from a wide range of original sources. Organized into three sections: historical background, controversies, and personal narratives. Introduces the topic through an exploration of the significance of the event. Notes the cultural symbolism is “perplexing to many” considering the numerous conflicting stories of what happened during those three days in August 1969. Questions some of the mythology surrounding the event, pointing out “the festival was free because of exigent circumstances, not benevolence.” Contends “what actually happened at Woodstock is less important that what it means.” Includes a chronology of relevant Woodstock-related events from 1966 through 2009.
- Gittell, Myron. Woodstock ‘69: Three Days of Peace, Music & Medical Care. Kiamesha Lake, NY: Load N Go Press, 2009.
Recreates, from “sketchy” documentation and the memories of others, the numerous problems faced by medical personnel at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Observes that more than 3,000 attendees required medical care, thus making the festival “one of the significant disaster scene in modern America.” Discusses the preparations and volunteers, the role of the Hog Farm, and the use of helicopters to airlift patients from the site. Reprints numerous primary documents related to the medical conditions at the event. Includes a statement issued immediately following the event by Max Yasgur, owner of the farm where the festival was held, stating if the festival attendees “could turn such adverse conditions, filled with the possibility of disaster, riot, looting and catastrophe into three days of peace and music, then perhaps there is hope” for a brighter future. The author, now a Registered Nurse, was at the concert but only as a spectator and not as a medical professional.
- Green, Jonathon. All Dressed Up: The Sixties and the Counterculture. London: Jonathan Cape, 1998.
Traces the rise and fall of the 1960s counterculture. Refers in brief to the Woodstock Music and Art Fair as a paradigm spawning the concept of a “Woodstock nation,” a fantasized alternative culture based on a single “supreme counter-culture feelgood event.”
- Harris, Craig. The Band: Pioneers of Americana Music. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2014.
Examines the influences on the music made by The Band as well as the group’s impact on the popular music of their time. Looks at The Band’s appearance at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Provides some background with quotes from Michael Lang, one of the promoters. Lang describes the difficulties in securing a site for festival. Artie Kornfeld, another promoter, gives insight into how he and Lang evolved the concept for the event. Robbie Robertson articulates why the Woodstock concert was not the best venue for highlighting The Band’s style.
- Havers, Richard, and Richard Evans. Woodstock Chronicles. New York: Chartwell Books, 2009.
Contains information on the performers at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair, including short biographies, brief descriptions of their Woodstock performances, and summaries of the “Woodstock effect” on their careers. Includes a brief history of music festivals leading up to Woodstock and provides a festival chronology listing the performers at each event. Itemizes the amount each Woodstock artist was paid for their appearance. Heavily illustrated with photographs of performers and artifacts, many not from the event itself. Ends with sections on the aftermath, the albums, the film, and Woodstock ‘94.
- Hillstrom, Kevin, and Laurie Collier Hillstrom. Defining Moments: Woodstock. Detroit, MI: Omnigraphics, 2013.
Provides an extensive accounting of the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Targets middle and high school students. Includes a narrative overview, short biographies of ten key individuals (e.g., Michael Lang, Max Yasgur), and selections from primary sources (e.g., Ayn Rand’s 1969 essay “Apollo and Dionysus”), thus making this work a comprehensive launching point for anyone researching the phenomenon. Places Woodstock within the larger context of 1960s America (e.g., Civil Rights Movement, Vietnam War, rise of the counterculture) and the role of music in shaping society during that time period (e.g., Bob Dylan, The Beatles). Examines how the festival influenced an evolving popular music culture “both as a business and as an art form.” Explores the “enduring symbolic significance” of Woodstock. Presents a glossary of people, places, and vocabulary. Also includes some photographs and a chronological timeline of relevant events from 1945 (the beginning of a strong economic growth in the U.S.) to 1999 (Woodstock ’99). Contains the lyrics to Joni Mitchell’s song Woodstock. “Defining Moments” is a series of books by Omnigraphics designed to highlight significant events from American history.
- Hoskyns, Barney. Across the Great Divide: The Band and America. New York: Hyperion, 1993.
Presents a history of The Band, from 1957 through 1992. Describes the group’s experience at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Comments on the reception of their performance. Notes the band’s manager, Albert Grossman, refused to allow any of his acts at the festival (i.e., The Band, Janis Joplin, and Blood, Sweat & Tears) to be included in the motion picture Woodstock or on the album soundtrack. Suggest the motivation was at first financial, then vindictive towards John Roberts because of his refusal to sell the film rights to Grossman. Speculates on the career trajectory of The Band had they been included in the media products. Includes a discography.
- Hoskyns, Barney. Beneath the Diamond Sky: Haight Ashbury 1965–1970. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1997.
Presents a history of San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury hippie culture of the 1960s. Contends the tenor of the Woodstock Music and Art Fair was established by the acts from San Francisco. Claims although Janis Joplin and the Grateful Dead performed poorly at the festival, sets by Sly and the Family Stone and Santana gave “acid rock the multiracial, Afro-Latin-American jolt it needed.”
- Jahn, Mike. Rock: From Elvis Presley to the Rolling Stones. New York: Quadrangle, 1973.
Attempts to convey a “complete overview of the rock age.” Errors on the side of including only information about artists who contributed to the ongoing development of the genre, as opposed to those who “simply made money playing it.” Offers the Woodstock Music and Art Fair as the zenith of the youth culture movement of the 1960s, after which “the downhill path was swift and straight.” Attributes part of the Woodstock phenomenon to the “back to nature” movement and the growth in popularity of country rock music as evidenced by Bob Dylan’s Nashville Skyline album, as well as recordings by Joan Baez, The Byrds, and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. Quotes an article from Rolling Stone magazine declaring Woodstock had given birth to a “new nation.” Mentions the audience-engaging performance by Sly and the Family Stone as a highlight of the festival in which the communal aspects of the event were most realized. Includes a selective discography of representative music.
- Joseph, Peter. Good Times: An Oral History of America in the Nineteen Sixties. New York: Charterhouse, 1973.
Based on Stud Turkel’s Hard Times: An Oral History of the Great Depression, the author “attempts to recapture the tone and the texture” of the 1960s, if not exact facts and precise recollections. Quotes Jerry Garcia’s comments on the Grateful Dead’s experience at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Notes there were too many distractions for the band to play very well (e.g., the weather, the crowds, backstage problems). Also includes comments from Zodiac (Michael Alan Carl), providing an attendee’s perspective from one of Ken Kesey’s Merry Pranksters.
- Lifton, Robert Jay. Home from the War. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1973.
Investigates the personal impact on veterans of having been soldiers during the Vietnam War. Claims the Woodstock Music and Art Fair had “a very special meaning for young Americans who fought in Vietnam.” Relates how one veteran gained insight into “ways of living” from watching performances by Joan Baez and Richie Havens in the motion picture Woodstock, specifically by understanding how to enable one’s ability to live their convictions.
- Makower, Joel. Woodstock: The Oral History. 40th anniversary ed. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 2009.
Details the Woodstock Music and Art Fair through scores of interviews conducted in 1988 with “producers, performers, doctors, cops, neighbors, shopkeepers, carpenters, electricians, lawyers, journalists, filmmakers, and an assemblage of just plain folks who, by design or circumstance, became part of the event.” Notes a common thread in which most people interviewed seem to date their life using the festival as a major milestone. Topics range from art and politics to life and death; and from generosity and greed to enlightenment and disenchantment. Foreword by festival producers Michael Lang and Joel Rosenman. “Who’s Who” section contains brief descriptions of key participants and their relevance to the concert. Includes a detailed subject index.
- Manchester, William. The Glory and the Dream: A Narrative History of America, 1932–1972. Boston, MA: Little, Brown & Co., 1974.
Focuses succinctly on the relative positive outcome of the Woodstock Music and Art Fair regarding the relatively peaceful August weekend despite rain, traffic jams, poor sanitary conditions, and lack of food, water, and medical supplies. Notes the success came mainly from members of the counterculture in the form of Ken Kesey’s Merry Pranksters and the Hog Farm commune providing essential services. Claims the festival was a “strong symbol of generational unity.”
- Marcus, Daniel. Happy Days and Wonder Years: The Fifties and the Sixties in Contemporary Cultural Politics. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2004.
Examines nostalgia and its effect on the narrative of history. Contends popular culture images have been used to reshape memories to fit political agendas. Points to the use by news media in the 1980s of film clips from the 1969 Woodstock Music and Art Fair as clichéd symbolism to quickly characterize the 1960s. Observes the “Sixties increasingly came to be represented by some of its most extreme and dramatic moments.” Notes “events like Woodstock remained as symbols of another age, a measure of the distance the nation had traveled since the 1960s.” Claims the media portrayed the 1960s as a hedonism that gave birth to the societal problems of the 1980s, such as widespread illegal drug use and sexually transmitted diseases. Considers the news media in the 1980s was often critical of the 1960s, yet the accompanying images may have been communicating an idealized, communal harmony.
- Marcus, Greil. Woodstock. San Francisco, CA: Straight Arrow, 1969.
Chronicles, in detail, the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Captures the event immediately after it happened and, thus, presents a unique perspective from that moment in time. Observes the festival “defied categories and conventional perceptions.” Describes both the music and the chaotic experiences of the attendees (e.g., problems with traffic, first-aid provision, drugs, food, sanitation, and weather). Comments on many of the performances. Notes how at Woodstock “thousands were able to do things that would ordinarily be considered rebellious” but were, instead, done for pure fun. Offers numerous black and white photographs by Baron Wolman, Joseph Sia, and Mark Vargas; a cover photo by Jim Marshall; and an overall design by Robert Kingsbury.
- McNally, Dennis. A Long Strange Trip: The Inside History of the Grateful Dead. New York: Broadway Books, 2002.
Presents a detailed and extensive history of The Grateful Dead. Describes the music group’s performance at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair as “one of their worst ever.” Notes problems with both the stormy weather and the electrical grounding on the stage resulted in band members being shocked from the microphones. Mentions the group’s members were intimidated by the size of the event and unprepared to deliver the spectacular show required of such a large audience. Provides a brief description of how the festival came to be organized. Describes the living arrangements for the festival performers at the nearby Holiday Inn. Sheds light on the backstage interactions and behind-the-scenes dealings. States The Grateful Dead were paid $2,250 for their performance.
- Perone, James. Woodstock: An Encyclopedia of the Music and Art Fair. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2005.
Presents information on all three official Woodstock festivals, concentrating heavily on the 1969 event. Uses the first half of the book to publish four essays. The first chapter covers other music festivals of the late 1960s and early 1970s, including the Monterey International Pop Festival, Newport Jazz Festival, Isle of Wight, Altamont Speedway, Newport Folk Festival, Concert for Bangladesh, and even the Beatles’ rooftop concert from January 1969. The second and largest chapter discusses in detail the 1969 Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Explores the organization and planning, the demographics of the audience, use of illegal drugs, and, quite substantially, the music. Explains how the event originated as a plan to raise funds in order to build a recording studio in Woodstock, New York. Describes Woodstock Ventures as “Andy Hardy meets Rube Goldberg.” Presents a statistical breakdown of the attendees, such as 55% male and 95% white. Offers some thoughts on the legacy of the original Woodstock event. The next two chapters examine in similar ways Woodstock ’94 and Woodstock ’99 respectively. Delves into some detail regarding the violence at Woodstock ’99. The remainder of the work comprises the encyclopedic section, probably the most exhaustive attempt to-date from any publisher. Entries consist mainly of individuals, but also address many other items such as “nudity,” “helicopters,” and “yoga exercises.” Appendices include set lists and the identification of relevant recordings and films. Closes by presenting a lengthy bibliography with brief annotations, including numerous popular magazine articles covering all three Woodstock events.
- Pollock, Bruce. When the Music Mattered: Rock in the 1960s. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1983.
Offers personal stories from individuals who played some part in the evolution of rock music during the 1960s. Marty Balin of Jefferson Airplane recalls playing poker at the Holiday Inn prior to be helicoptered to the site of the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Essra Mohawk claims she was scheduled to perform at Woodstock but was unable to take the stage for a variety of reasons. Recounts the story of how Bob Dylan was rumored to possibly appear at the festival. States Woodstock was “more discomfiting than euphoric, except in retrospect.” Describes the event as the last showing of the counterculture revolution. Paints John Sebastian’s role at Woodstock as being the ideal representative of the hippie movement. Notes Sebastian was not originally scheduled to perform and took the stage under the influence of drugs. Quotes Sebastian commenting on how commercialism devoured and “cannibalized a lot of things that could have happened out of Woodstock.” Reports Sebastian regrets his weak performance at the festival, especially since it was filmed and recorded for posterity.
- Reynolds, Susan, ed. Woodstock Revisited: 50 Far Out, Groovy, Peace-Loving, Flashback-Inducing Stories from those Who were there. Avon, MA: Adams Media, 2009.
Remembers the 1969 Woodstock Music and Art Fair from the personal perspectives of fifty participants. Provides more than descriptions of specific happenings by articulating “what was going on in the minds of those hardy souls who traveled to Woodstock, and thus what was going on in our nation.” Notes these stories reflect collectively American youth culture at the time. The editor describes this anthology as “a fascinating mixture of history, humor, and passion.” Each essay is brief and written in the first person. Includes contributions from Lisa Law (of the Hog Farm), who contends the people in attendance were the festival more so than was the music. Others describe, for example, the tribulations of traveling to the concert and their resourcefulness in managing the three days of the event. Includes an eclectic “Woodstock Glossary” and four pages of “Woodstock Stats” (e.g., estimated percentage of festival attendees smoking marijuana, 90; number of portable toilets, 600).
- Robins, Wayne. A Brief History of Rock, Off the Record. New York: Routledge, 2008. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203941058
Contains a typical shorthand description of the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. States the festival represented the end of an aesthetic era and resulted in the beginning of the exploitation of rock music as a commodity which affected significantly programming at radio stations. Includes an annotated discography of essential recordings.
- Rogan, Johnny. Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young: The Visual Documentary. London: Omnibus Press, 1996.
Reports on the history of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young using a date-by-date chronological approach. Includes an entry for August 18, 1969, the day they played at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Notes their intimidation on playing before such a large audience. States Neil Young did not join the others on stage until later in the set. Observes Young’s relative detachment during the performance. Claims their success at the festival was due more to the “empathy they displayed towards the audience, articulating and reflecting its ideals in everything from dress to political pronouncements.” Articulates how their name became synonymous with the event. Includes numerous photographs, an annotated discography, and a list of unreleased compositions.
- Santelli, Robert. Aquarius Rising: The Rock Festival Years. New York: Delta, 1980.
Depicts the rock festival phenomenon of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Contends the festivals “symbolized the temporary triumph” of the counterculture. Cover the Woodstock music and Art Fair from the very beginning of when John Roberts and Joel Rosenman first met, when Artie Kornfeld and Michael Lang first met, and the coming together of the foursome to formulate the concept of the Woodstock festival as a business venture. Explains issues with the initial concert location of Wallkill, New York. Reviews working relationship of the promoters and Max Yasgur, describing how his property was eventually secured for the event. Details traffic problems associated with attendees getting to the site. Highlights involvement of the Hog Farm commune in helping keep the festival from becoming a disaster. Chronicles tribulations of musicians contending with poor weather and provides notes on their performances. Highlights the acts Sly and the Family Stone and The Who. Mentions the tenor of the news media coverage, issues surrounding food availability, and medical care afforded to those having bad drug-induced experiences. Provides post-event information, including comments on the success of the motion picture Woodstock. Contains a partial list of the fees paid to each act.
- Sheehan, Rita J., Bethel. Charleston, SC: Arcadia, 2009.
Includes archival photographs of sites from around Bethel, New York, and associated with the Woodstock Music and Art Fair.
- Spitz, Robert Stephen. Barefoot in Babylon: The Creation of the Woodstock Music Festival, 1969. New York: Viking Press, 1979.
Declares the Woodstock Music and Art Fair to have been an “unprecedented historical event that spanned the generation gap and prompted a culturally divided nation to reassess its inherited morality.” Strives to uncover the motivating forces that created the event and the genesis of its magnetism. Attempts to substitute the now mythological visions of Woodstock with one of a vast commercial enterprise during a period of idealism. Includes a lengthy list of individuals and their associations with the festival and a detailed site map. Provides an exhaustive history of the event, starting with the formation of Woodstock Ventures, and a blow-by-blow account of the full three days of the music festival. Focuses on the idiosyncrasies and motivations of the individual players in order to highlight the “fascinating cornucopia of personality that became the very essence” of the historical event. Details the messy financial aftermath. Concludes with a where-are-they-now section.
- Stradling, David. Making Mountains: New York City and the Catskills. Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press, 2007.
Explores the relation between New York City and the Catskills Mountains. Provides a succinct accounting of the Woodstock Music and Art Fair from the perspective of its invasiveness on the New York state countryside. Focuses on the traffic and parking. Quotes dairy framer Clarence Townsend complaining of the “human cesspool” made of his property. Claims the event was a success simply because it could have been much worse. Concludes discussion of the festival by lamenting “once again the city had come to the country, as it is wont to do; it had made a mess, and then gone home.” Points out Woodstock was not homegrown, but rather forced upon the locality.
- Szatmary, David P. Rockin’ in Time: A Social History of Rock-and-Roll. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2010.
Places the social history of rock music within a context of American culture using a textbook format. Claims the Woodstock Music and Art Fair represented a collective antiauthoritarian attitude among America’s youth. Focuses on the performances by Country Joe McDonald and Jimi Hendrix in order to illustrate the political, and even militant, nature of the festival. Asserts the soon to follow Altamont Speedway concert “dashed any sense of power that Woodstock had engendered,” only to be further destroyed by the May 1970 Kent State campus shootings of students by the National Guard.
- Tamarkin, Jeff. Got a Revolution! The Turbulent Flight of Jefferson Airplane. New York: Atria, 2003.
Presents a history of the musical group Jefferson Airplane. Mentions briefly the band’s experience of being at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Notes the group elected to not allow their performance to be included in the motion picture Woodstock.
- Walker, Michael. Laurel Canyon: The Inside Story of Rock-and-Roll’s Legendary Neighborhood. New York: Farber & Farber, 2006.
Relays the history of Laurel Canyon in its heyday of being a mecca for the Los Angeles music scene from 1964 to 1981. Reports Laurel Canyon was represented at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (CSN&Y) and Canned Heat. Notes CSN&Y rehearsed for the festival at a house in the canyon rented by Stephen Stills and owned by Peter Tork of The Monkees. Mentions David Geffen getting Warner Bros. to use the CSN&Y recording of Joni Mitchell’s song “Woodstock” in the closing credits of the motion picture Woodstock. Contrasts the positive spirit of Woodstock with the disastrous Altamont Speedway concert taking place a few months later and held to high expectations generating from the overall positive Woodstock festival. States Woodstock and Altamont were, despite the mythology, separated only by “luck and marginally better planning.”
- Woodstock: The 35th Anniversary (1969 Special Edition Reprint). [s.l.]: Life, 2004.
Serves primarily as a photographic essay documenting the original Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Includes some textual content. Originally published in 1969 as a special edition of Life magazine.
- Woodstock Music & Art Fair. Three Days of Peace and Music. Concert Hall Publications for Woodstock Ventures Inc., 1969.
Serves as the official program book for the Woodstock Music and Art Fair (August 15–17, 1969).
- Young, Jean, and Michael Lang. Woodstock Festival Remembered. New York: Ballantine Books, 1979.
Remembers the Woodstock Music and Art Fair from the perspective of Michael Lang, “the man who conceived and planned it.” Attempts to provide readers with a sense of the experience from Lang’s perspective, starting with the initial concept through the planning and preparations to the financial aftermath and dealings with Warner Bros. over the motion picture. Notes the first three acts booked for the festival were Jefferson Airplane, Canned Heat, and Creedence Clearwater Revival for $10,000 each. Provides insights to the efforts put towards wrangling the performers and managing the personalities behind the scenes (e.g., Abbie Hoffman). Offers the event was successful because of how it unfolded beyond anyone’s imagination, “it happened spontaneously, and so folks had to react to it naturally.” Reflects on the culture of the times that allowed the festival to become a historic milestone. Observes how the Hog Farm commune set the peaceful and cooperative tone for the weekend. Heavily illustrated with both color and black and white photographs.
Chronicles the history of radio station WBCN (Boston). Reveals briefly the role and activities of WBCN during Woodstock ’94. States the radio station’s experience at the concert played a major role in transforming WBCN from an AOR format to modern rock. Observes how Woodstock ‘94 served as a large test market for the demographics WBCN was attempting to target. Foreword by Steven Tyler.
Chapters[edit | edit source]
- Aronowitz, Alfred G. “1969: Benign Monster Devoured Music.” American Datelines: Major News Stories from Colonial Times to the Present. Eds. Ed Cray, Jonathan Kotler, and Miles Beller. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 2003. 339–341.
- Bass, Amy. “Whose Broad Stripes and Bright Stars?” Not the Triumph but the Struggle: The 1968 Olympics and the Making of the Black Athlete. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2002. 291–348.
Offers a history of the African-American athlete. Argues one must “consider culture as a primary vehicle for understanding national identity.” Evokes both Jose Feliciano and Jimi Hendrix as performers of controversial versions of the nation anthem. Describes Hendrix’s performance of The Star Spangled Banner at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair as a deconstruction in which he critiqued and “dismantled the central ideas and mythologies of the United States” in an attempt at redemption. Asserts Hendrix performed a celebration, elegy, and dirge in a single instance. Equates this act at Woodstock with the black power salutes by Tommie Smith and John Carlos at the 1968 Olympics, both representative of “performative nationalism.” Discusses the historic need for African Americans to use alternative methods of protest.
- Bernstein, Jacob. “The Woodstock Festival is Now More Myth than Reality.” Perspectives on Modern World History: Woodstock. Ed. Louise I. Gerdes. Detroit, MI: Greenhaven Press, 2012. 122–128.
Claims news media did not initially consider the 1969 Woodstock Music and Art Fair newsworthy. Reveals New York Times reporter Barnard Collier was at the event “on his own dime” and the Associated Press sent 19-year-old intern Lawrence Kramer to the festival as his first photography assignment (the photographs were published in Life magazine). Acknowledges the press reversed quickly this attitude, but has since overcompensated with attention and enthusiasm across time thus contributing to Woodstock’s mythological status. Includes a sidebar of memorable Woodstock quotes.
- Budds, Michael J., and Marian M. Ohman. “The Woodstock Nation.” Rock Recall: Annotated Readings in American Popular Music from the Emergence of Rock and Roll to the Demise of the Woodstock Nation. Needham Heights, MA: Ginn Press, 1993. 292–295.
Contains reprints of items written about the Woodstock Music and Art Fair: “As Reported in the Pages of a Regional Newspaper” (Denver Post, August 18, 1969); “As Recalled by Participant David Crosby” (Woodstock: The Oral History, 1989); and “The Message of History’s Biggest Happening” (Time, August 29, 1969). All of the items attempt to derive meaning, either cultural or personal, from the event. The book, as a whole, consists of numerous reprints and annotations that provide context through a history of writings on rock music. Emphasizes first-person accounts by performers and influential persons from behind the scenes.
- Cavett, Dick. “The Dick Cavett show Interview (September).” Hendrix on Hendrix: Interviews and Encounters with Jimi Hendrix. Ed. Steven Roby, 2012. 219–225.
Transcribes Jimi Hendrix’s interview on The Dick Cavett Show (September 9, 1969). Hendrix comments on the Woodstock Music and Art Fair, his performance of The Star Spangled Banner, and the lack of violence at the festival. Watch the video at: http://www.historyvshollywood.com/video/jimi-hendrix-interview-dick-cavett-show/
- Coates, Norma. “If Anything, Blame Woodstock: The Rolling Stone — Altamont, December 6, 1969.” Performance and Popular Music: History, Place and Time. Ed. Ian Inglis. Aldershot, U.K.: Ashgate, 2006. 58–69.
Argues the underground and mainstream press created an untrue representation of the 1960s counterculture and was “willfully blind to the practical realities of rock music” culture, leading to the tragedy at the Altamont Speedway concert. Claims the immediate mythology of the Woodstock Music and Art Fair, created by the news media, made the inadequate and loose construct of the Altamont Speedway concert inevitable. Cites overall bad publicity associated with large-scale music festivals prior to the Woodstock event, making the case that Woodstock was the exception to the rule. Scrutinizes in detail how mass media essentially forced the conditions at Altamont. Focuses to a large extent on Rolling Stone magazine and rock critic Ralph Gleason.
- Collier, Barnard L. “Woodstock Participants were Peaceful and Community-Minded.” Perspectives on Modern World History: Woodstock. Ed. Louise I. Gerdes. Detroit, MI: Greenhaven Press, 2012. 86–93.
Reproduces the New York Times (August 17, 1969) article from which excerpts were read from the stage to the crowd at the 1969 Woodstock Music and Art Festival. Presents Woodstock in an overall favorable light. Observes that despite the poor conditions (drenching rain and shortages of food, water, and medical facilities), the participants were well behaved, even according to the police. Continues by discussing the doctors summoned from New York City, the parked automobiles blocking the highways, the piles of garbage, and the size of the police force comprised from various agencies. Notes most of the attendees could not see the performances nor hear the music very well.
- Cooke, Alistair. “Dire Prophecies before, and High Spirits during, Woodstock.” Perspectives on Modern World History: Woodstock. Ed. Louise I. Gerdes. Detroit, MI: Greenhaven Press, 2012. 67–71.
Pulls from the U.K. newspaper, The Guardian (August 18, 1969), an article from immediately following the Woodstock Music and Art Fair (available at https://www.theguardian.com/theguardian/2010/aug/19/woodstock-music-art-fair). Indicates the fears were mostly exaggerated regarding what could possibly happen with so many from the counterculture gathering in one location (i.e., “wholesale pot smoking at best, heroin at worst, an ocean of garbage, universal bad manners, an orgy of love-ins, and probably a bloody encounter with the police”). Includes a sidebar on Jimi Hendrix.
- Cooke, Douglas. “Woodstock Music and Art Fair 1969: Three Days of Peace and Music.” Perspectives on Modern World History: Woodstock. Ed. Louise I. Gerdes. Detroit, MI: Greenhaven Press, 2012. 15–29.
Summarizes the Woodstock Music and Art Fair, the associated controversies, and impact of the event. Food shortages, sanitation issues, and extreme weather created an initial reaction in many of viewing the festival as a disaster. Reports the event was considered to be “a monument to faulty planning, a testament to the limitations and hypocrisies of hippie idealism, a nightmare of absurdities, ironies, and incongruities.” Notes later analysis of the communal spirit, generated at the event out of necessity in the face of disaster, raised the festival to its iconic stature. Touches on the tensions between the commercial motivations behind Woodstock and the lingering mythological status it holds within American culture. Observes the anniversary event, Woodstock ’94, “reflected the apathy and passive consumption” associated with Generation X.
- Cullen, Jim. “Woodstock Music Festival Marks the Climax of 1960’s Youth Culture.” Great Events from History. Ed. Robert F. Gorman. v. 6, 1969–1970 (The 20th Century: 1941–1970). Pasadena, CA: Salem Press, 2008. 3288–3291.
Characterizes the “road to Woodstock” beginning with the 1967 Monterey International Pop Festival and the “road from Woodstock” leading to the Altamont Speedway concert. Breaks the essay into two sections: summary and significance. Describes the politically turbulent decade leading up to the festival and notes how the Woodstock Music and Art Fair “became a litmus test as to whether the counterculture could be true to its principles.” Observes Woodstock, at the time, was a symbol of the power of the counterculture, suggesting the beginning of new order of “personal freedom, political pacifism, and social optimism.” States history has shown it to have been the beginning of the end of the youth movement in America. Discusses the social conflicts within the counterculture, struggling between the youth movement as a political entity versus a lifestyle. Includes a short annotated bibliography.
- Dalton, David. “Woodstock Planted Seeds of Activism that Persist Today.” Perspectives on Modern World History: Woodstock. Ed. Louise I. Gerdes. Detroit, MI: Greenhaven Press, 2012. 94–101.
Suggests the Woodstock Music and Art Fair created a legacy that is still very present. Contains observations by individuals regarding the lasting impact of the event on their lives. Quotes from key persons, including comments from Michael Lang (co-founder of the festival), Michael Wadleigh (director of the motion picture Woodstock), Eddie Kramer (sound engineer), the author (former writer for Rolling Stone magazine), and festival performers Country Joe McDonald, Melanie, and Carlos Santana. Reports on several observations from these individuals claiming the event planted seeds of hope for a more peaceful world. Includes a sidebar of other historic events occurring in 1969, such as the Apollo moon landing, the Manson murders, and the disastrous Altamont Speedway concert featuring the Rolling Stones.
- Doyle, Michael William. “The Woodstock Festival Site has Historical and Cultural Significance Worth Commemorating.” Perspectives on Modern World History: Woodstock. Ed. Louise I. Gerdes. Detroit, MI: Greenhaven Press, 2012. 138–150.
Excerpts from the Preliminary Draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement of the Bethel Performing Arts Center, on behalf of the Gerry Foundation (a corporation committed to building a museum at the original site of the festival). Outlines some of the ways in which the Woodstock Music and Art Fair has become ingrained in the cultural vocabulary and in American history. Offers the event was different from previous large-scale rock festivals because it featured the largest audience and selection of musicians ever assembled, lacked violence despite the presence of all the necessary conditions, and in many ways succeeded as it “took on the aspect of a high stakes experiment.” Articulates the festival’s symbolism, long-term significance, and impact on music (e.g., the advent of large-scale stadium concerts). Includes a sidebar on the band Santana.
- “A Fleeting, Wonderful Moment of ‘Community’.” Takin’ it to the Streets: A Sixties Reader. Eds. Alexander Bloom and Wini Breines. New York: Oxford University Press, 2003. 508–511.
Reprints an article from The New Yorker published shortly after the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Mentions one college student’s experience attending the festival, noting he viewed the event much more positively than did the news media. Describes what it was like to be an attendee in terms of dealing with the traffic, obtaining food from The Hog Farm, and wandering the crowd. Notes the impact of the heavy rain storms and how audience members coped. Relays there was an overall air of good attitudes amongst the throngs.
- Fong-Torres, Ben. “The Resurrection of Santana.” Not Fade Away: A Backstage Pass to 20 Years of Rock & Roll. San Francisco, CA: Miller Freeman, 1999. 100–117. http://www.rollingstone.com/music/features/the-resurrection-of-santana-19721207
Reprints a feature article on the group Santana originally appearing in Rolling Stone magazine (December 7, 1972). Quotes Bill Graham at length describing how he helped promote Santana and develop their career, including negotiating with Michael Lang to get the relatively unknown group a spot in the line-up for the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Comments on his successful efforts to have Santana highlighted in the motion picture Woodstock. Explains how Graham also managed to increase the group’s payment for film rights by tenfold, from $750 to $7,500.
- Frisch, Michael. “Woodstock and Altamont.” True Stories from the American Past. Ed. William Graebner. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1993. 217–239.
Attempts to disjoin the Woodstock Music and Art Fair and the Altamont Speedway concert, two events from 1969 that evoke a good-vs-evil mythology convenient for capturing and summarizing the dichotomies of America in the 1960s. Describes how two investors (John Roberts and Joel Rosenman) entered into a partnership with two promoters (Michael Laing and Artie Kornfeld) to form Woodstock Ventures and plan the Woodstock festival. Explains how other key players came to be involved (e.g., Mel Lawrence, Chip Monck, Wes Pomeroy). Covers the failed attempt to stage the event in Walkill, New York, and the eventual site selection of Max Yasgur’s farm near Bethel, New York. Points out the significance of Yasgur’s support in launching the concert. Details the issues surrounding logistics, security, and the enlistment of the Hog Farm for assistance. Explores in detail the youth culture represented by Woodstock attendees and the influence of rock music in shaping the demographic. Recounts how the weekend unfolded in terms of the crowd size, the weather, and the use of illegal drugs. Contends this all somehow evolved into an idealized imagery in retrospect. Continues by reporting on the violence and murder at the Altamont Speedway concert held just a few months later. Concludes Woodstock “epitomized the values of culture, politics, and community at the core of generational change” and how these images can “transform the meaning of experience.” Argues the Altamont Speedway concert, in reality, may have been more “innocent” than Woodstock in terms of the actual experience for the majority of attendees.
- Frisch, Michael. “Woodstock Festival.” Encyclopedia of New York State. Ed. Peter R. Eisenstadt. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 2005. 1716–1717.
Describes the Woodstock Music and Fair from a somewhat historical context. Touches on the immediate aftermath and society’s reactions and responses to the event. Observes the turmoil at the festival represented “free-form museum of urban problems.” Claims “threat of chaos and the music-mediated response of strangers linked by self-discipline and collective self-help served to create a political, cultural, and musical generational community where none had quite existed.” Notes the generational contrasts with both Woodstock ’94 and Woodstock ’99.
- Glausser, Wayne. “Woodstock.” Cultural Encyclopedia of LSD. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2011. 166–167.
Reports LSD was one of the more commonly used drugs at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Notes “widespread distribution and consumption of the drug went unchallenged by the police” at the festival. Explains how members of the Hog Farm preferred to talk someone off of a bad LSD trip as opposed to administering Thorazine. Observes the only significant drug casualty was a heroin-induced death. States LSD was a drug of choice at Woodstock ’94 as well, but concerns were raised over the attendees’ lack of experience with taking acid.
- Graham, Bill, and Robert Greenfield. “Woodstock Nation.” Rock and Roll is here to Stay: An Anthology. Ed. WIlliam McKeen. New York: W. W. Norton, 2000. 404–414.
Contains excerpts from an oral history project undertaken by the authors. Provides a perspective from Graham’s Fillmore East crew who were drafted into helping organize the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Includes comments by Graham and others on Graham’s feelings towards the event. Carlos Santana describes how Graham coerced the promoters into putting the band Santana on the bill. Discusses the quality of performances and the poor conditions during the three days of the concert. Touches on the financial compensation of the musicians for both the event and the subsequent film. Includes quotes from Wavy Gravy, Carlos Santana, Pete Townshend, and several others involved with the festival.
- Gravy, Wavy. “Hog Farming at Woodstock.” The Sixties: The Decade Remembered Now, by the People Who Lived it Then. Ed. Lynda Rosen Obst. New York: Rolling Stone Press, 1977. 274–279.
Relays the experience of the Hog Farm being flown to and from the Woodstock Music and Art Fair and the author’s impressions of working with festival attendees who were coping with bad drug trips. Explains the methodology employed by members of the Hog Farm to enlist volunteers in providing medical care and food services. Accompanied with large black and white photographs by Baron Wolman. Represents one chapter in a work of collected oral histories from individuals with unique perspectives on key events from the 1960s.
- Hamilton, Neil A. “Woodstock.” The ABC-CLIO Companion to the 1960s Counterculture in America. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 1997. 336–338.
Focuses on the audience experience at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair more so than the music, noting the event was the personification of counterculture ideals. The publication as a whole elucidates in an encyclopedic format the people and events that challenged 1960s’ society and made the period “among the most tumultuous, and controversial, in U.S. history.”
- Haskins, James, and Kathleen Benson. “The Music of the Sixties.” The 60s Reader. New York: Viking Kestrel, 1988. 81–104.
Notes the first item to leave the shelves empty at Vassmer’s General Store during the Woodstock Music and Art Fair was potato chips. Quotes the store’s owners fifteen years after the event as noting not one of the checks cashed during the historic weekend bounced. Mentions the lingering general goodwill held regarding the festival, with many persons claiming to have been there who, in fact, were not in attendance. Observes Woodstock has come to symbolize the 1960s rather than the tragic Altamont Speedway concert where one audience member was murdered in front of the stage. Concludes this means overall positive aspects of the 1960s generation “struck a responsive chord.”
- Hertzberg, Hendrik. “You had to be there.” Politics: Observations and Arguments, 1966–2004. New York: Penguin Press, 2004. 39–41.
Reprints an article from The New Republic (August 28, 1989) describing the author’s personal account of having attended the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Claims he went because of the rumor that Bob Dylan would be making an appearance at the festival. Describes journey to the site as a “vast medieval gypsy pilgrimage.” Explains how he and his three friends managed in the mud and rain. Hertzberg is a political writer for The New Yorker.
- “Jimi Hendrix’s Post-Woodstock Comments.” Hendrix on Hendrix: Interviews and Encounters with Jimi Hendrix. Ed. Steven Roby. Chicago: Chicago Review Press, 2012. 213.
Transcribes Jimi Hendrix’s response to a reporter when asked to share his thoughts on the Woodstock Music and Art Fair that had just ended. Hendrix discusses nonviolence. From a Canadian radio broadcast (August 18, 1969).
- Kirkpatrick, Rob. “Heaven in a Disaster Area.” 1969: The Year Everything Changed. New York: Skyhorse, 2009. 171–193.
Provides a detailed chronological narrative of the entire three days of the Woodstock Music and Art Fair and the trials, tribulations, missteps, and preparations leading up to it. Notes the event followed several months of numerous outdoor concerts, many featuring the same acts later to appear at Woodstock. These music festivals set the stage for increasingly large-scale, loosely-organized rock concerts. Describes the sets performed by each act at Woodstock. Envelops the entire narrative with the parallel tracking of Hurricane Camille. Touches on the legacy of the Woodstock festival.
- Laure, Jason. “The Spontaneity of Woodstock Cannot be Reproduced.” Perspectives on Modern World History: Woodstock. Ed. Louise I. Gerdes. Detroit, MI: Greenhaven Press, 2012. 167–170.
Suggests the “defining spontaneity” of the original Woodstock Music and Art Fair is elusive. Contends the event “grew to half a million by word of mouth alone” and there was no purpose other than to enjoy the music, a “common bond that transcended professional status, religion, education, and region.” Claims the festival created community by allowing like-minded individuals to discover how many others shared their social perspectives.
- Lerner, Steve. “Woodstock as a Coming-Out Party for Hippies.” Perspectives on Modern World History: Woodstock. Ed. Louise I. Gerdes. Detroit, MI: Greenhaven Press, 2012. 58–66.
Reprints the author’s Village Voice front page article from August 21, 1969. Describes the Woodstock Music and Art Fair in terms of being a pilgrimage to confirm the hippie lifestyle. Depicts the reactions of local residents as the onslaught of festival attendees began. Delves into the miserable drug-related conditions. Notes the event site was “like the Sinai Desert after the Egyptian retreat” as the crowds dispersed at the end of the festival, leaving shoes, sleeping bags, and other artifacts scattered across Max Yasgur’s farm.
- Madden, David W. “Woodstock Festival.” The Sixties in America. Ed. Carl Singleton. Pasadena, CA: Salem Press, 1999. 793–795.
Recounts the origins, history, and basic key points of the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Notes the promoters decided to have the performances run continuously so as to alleviate potential rioting due to the poor weather conditions and the unanticipated size of the crowd. Concludes by commenting on the impact of the festival (e.g., growth of arena concerts, increased commercialism of rock music culture).
- Marcus, Greil. “The Woodstock Festival.” 20 Years of Rolling Stone: What a Long, Strange Trip it’s Been. Ed. Jann S. Wenner. New York: Friendly Press, 1987. 49–56.
Collects selected articles originally published in Rolling Stone during the magazine’s first twenty years. Attempts to provide an “impressionistic chronology” suggesting a social and political history. Marcus relates his audience experience during the Woodstock Music and Art Fair, with particular attention given to the performance by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. Discusses the meaning of the event.
- Moodie, David, and Maureen Callahan. “Don’t Drink the Brown Water.” Da Capo: Best Music Writing 2000. Ed. Peter Guralnick. New York: Da Capo Press, 2000. 72–97.
Recounts in great detail the behaviors of the crowds and promoters at Woodstock ’99 leading to riots, rapes, and general mayhem. Describes the locale of the event as a former air base with “the surface of which was mostly concrete.” Explains the extremely level site made it difficult for attendees to stay oriented. Discusses the commercialization and exploitation of the promoters and vendors, the poor sanitary conditions, and the attendees’ experience of exceptional hot weather on a mostly concrete plateau. Suggests the audience was encouraged from the stage, by some of the performers, to act out violently. Highlights exceptionally aggressive assaults experienced by audience members in the mosh pits. Provides little commentary on the music.
- Morrison, Joan, and Robert K. Morrison. “Bruce Hoffman.” From Camelot to Kent State: The Sixties Experience in the Words of those Who Lived it. New York: Oxford University Press, 1987. 210–218.
Resides as a chapter in a book of oral histories on the 1960s. Hoffman spent his time at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair distributing thousands of cards printed with a picture of the Indian spiritual master Meher Baba. States he also helped attendees come off of bad drug trips.
- Morrison, Joan, and Robert K. Morrison. “David Malcolm.” From Camelot to Kent State: The Sixties Experience in the Words of those Who Lived it. New York: Oxford University Press, 1987. 202.
Resides as a chapter in a book of oral histories on the 1960s. Malcolm, now a newspaper editor, attended the Woodstock Music and Art Fair, but disliked most of it. Articulates distaste and hostility towards hippies and the 1960s counterculture. Believes the type of music played at the festival hasn’t held up over time.
- Morrison, Joan, and Robert K. Morrison. “Jason Zapator.” From Camelot to Kent State: The Sixties Experience in the Words of those Who Lived it. New York: Oxford University Press, 1987. 197–201.
Resides as a chapter in a book of oral histories on the 1960s. Zapator was nineteen years old when he attended the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Comments on his observations of the Hell’s Angels, the Hog Farm, and the availability of illegal drugs. Describes performances by Melanie, The Who, and Jimi Hendrix.
- Morrison, Joan, and Robert K. Morrison. “Kevin Compton.” From Camelot to Kent State: The Sixties Experience in the Words of those Who Lived it. New York: Oxford University Press, 1987. 203–204.
Resides as a chapter in a book of oral histories on the 1960s. Compton attended the Woodstock Music and Art Fair while still in high school. Notes he was an outcast in his small hometown because of his long hair, but the large crowd at Woodstock showed him “how widespread the counterculture movement was.” Acknowledges just because hippies all looked similar it didn’t mean they shared the same values.
- Morrison, Joan, and Robert K. Morrison. “Woodstock Nation.” The Rock History Reader. Ed. Theo Cateforis. New York: Routledge, 2007. 115–119.
Acknowledges the Woodstock Music and Art Fair is mythologized “as the canonizing statement of the 1960s counterculture.” Presents deviating recollections from three festival attendees. Illustrates the differing realities of the experience in order to refute popular myths regarding the concert as “a monolithic, unifying event.” Draws from the authors’ oral history project on the 1960s.
- Onkey, Lauren. “Voodoo Child: Jimi Hendrix and the Politics of Race in the Sixties.” Imagine Nation: The American Counterculture of the 1960s and ‘70s. Eds. Peter Braunstein and Michael William Doyle. New York: Routledge, 2001. 189–214. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203615171
Compares and contrasts two Jimi Hendrix performances, held three weeks apart, to illustrate the politics of race in America during the 1960s. Suggests his set at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair, and the performance of The Star Spangled Banner in particular, became symbolic of the counterculture because the “crowd was struck dumb by this bravura deconstruction” of the national anthem by a “funkily elegant” dressed African-American who flashed a peace sign before starting to play. Notes Hendrix’s performance later at the Harlem United Block Association benefit evoked a much different response. There, playing to a predominantly black audience mostly unfamiliar with his music, he was seen as being apart from the crowd, someone dissimilar. Continues by examining Hendrix’s career as a “barometer of racial consciousness in the counterculture.”
- “Peace, Love and Mud.” 1969: Woodstock, the Moon and Manson: The Turbulent End of the ‘60s. Ed. Kelly Knauer. New York: Time Books, 2009. 84–87.
References The Museum at Bethel Woods, a structure dedicated to memorializing the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Notes the topic of the festival was proven to still be controversial when the U.S. Senate defeated legislation that would have provided funding to help build the museum. Observes new technology makes the Woodstock experience more accessible than ever thanks to home movies and outtakes from the documentary film, Woodstock (available on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=czFr_kJCdKQ). Describes the festival as a “triumph of improvisation” when recounting the story of how the event barely happened and barely avoided disaster.
- Potter, Sean. “The Impact of Weather on the Woodstock Festival.” Perspectives on Modern World History: Woodstock. Ed. Louise I. Gerdes. Greenhaven Press: Greenhaven Press, 2012. 72–77.
Describes the significant impact of the weather leading up to and during the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Claims heavy rains prior to the event made installing a fence around the site (in order to control access) difficult, thus making the event free to two-thirds of the attendees. States some performances ended early due to the weather. Observes by Sunday the festival site was “a sea of mud that was ankle-deep in some places.” Discusses the audience’s reaction to the weather and their collective coping strategies. Mentions the related effects of Hurricane Camille during this same weekend. Notes Woodstock ’94 experienced similar conditions. The author is a meteorologist.
- Rubin, Mike. “Summer of ‘69: Exploring the Cultural Battle between Charles Manson and Woodstock.” Spin Greatest Hits: 25 Years of Heretics, Heroes, and the New Rock ‘n’ Roll. Ed. Doug Brod. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & sons, 2010. 28–44. http://www.spin.com/featured/charles-manson-woodstock-summer-of-69-spin-1994-cover-story/
Contrasts the Woodstock Music and Art Fair with the Manson Family murders, both events from August 1969. Acknowledges the Woodstock festival created briefly an euphoric endorsement for counterculture values of love and peace. Asserts, however, this was soon overshadowed by ongoing media coverage of the “sinister and pervasive” nature of Charles Manson and his followers. Points to the twenty-fifth anniversary music events celebrating the original Woodstock concert as evidence of its “monumental importance.” Discusses Charles Manson as a “hippie doppelganger.” Claims although antithetical, “Manson and Woodstock are inextricable linked, with Manson considered the Grim Reaper of the Woodstock dream.” Suggests the current younger generation romanticizes Manson in order to express disappointment and exert rebellion against their parents’ baby boom generation.
- Shriver, Jerry. “Views on the Legacy of Woodstock Vary Significantly.” Perspectives on Modern World History: Woodstock. Ed. Louise I. Gerdes. Detroit, MI: Greenhaven Press, 2012. 151–158.
Asserts the relevance of 1969’s Woodstock Music and Art Fair varies substantially among individuals forty years after the event. Reports on “opinions expressed by festival attendees and participants, museum visitors, bloggers and readers queried by USA Today.” Includes quotes from Paul Kantner (Jefferson Airplane), John Fogerty (Creedence Clearwater Revival), Dave Marsh (rock music critic), and Sam Yasgur (son of Max Yasgur), among others. Notes opinions regarding the festival range from it having been a paradise to an epic disaster, and from it representing youth united as a single voice to an accidental gathering without purpose. Concludes by stating the meaning of Woodstock is related to national identity because it was an exhibition of the freedom of expression.
- Ward, Ed, Geoffrey Stokes, and Ken Tucker. “Woodstock... and Altamont.” Rock of Ages: The Rolling Stone History of Rock and Roll. Harmondsworth, U.K.: Penguin Books, 1986. 420–446.
Begins with a description of the counterculture’s social, political, and musical disparities, thus illustrating the lack of an actual singularity. Moves into a discussion on growth in the number of rock music festivals and their associated problems, such as violence. Delves into the Woodstock Music and Art Fair’s economic appeal. Mentions the career successes of Santana and Joe Cocker spawned by the festival. Continues with an overview of major British recording artists of the time, including The Who, The Kinks, Led Zeppelin, and The Beatles. Concludes with a look at the Rolling Stones at the Altamont Speedway concert. Includes a list of the fees paid to many of the acts appearing at Woodstock.
- Warner, Simon. “Reporting Woodstock: Some Contemporary Press Reflections on the Festival.” Remembering Woodstock. Ed. Andy Bennett. Aldershot, U.K.: Ashgate, 2004. 55–74.
Studies how the print media, both mainstream and alternative presses, originally reported on the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Attempts to “challenge the mythic status bestowed on the festival by subsequent memoirs.” Asserts the festival “has been sold by a vocal generation who believed that the event was the apogee of their attainment.” Reviews in depth the coverage provided at the time by the New York Times, Village Voice, and Rolling Stone. Includes a briefer section examining coverage by the British publications The Guardian, Melody Maker, and New Musical Express. Considers ideological stances of the publications and the related influences on the reporting. Includes a postscript in which two journalists (Greil Marcus and Tom Smucker) revisit and reflect on their original reporting.
Reprints first-person account of the Woodstock Music and Art Fair by a New York Post correspondent. Refers to the massive crowd as a “monster,” describing it as benign, magnificent, and kept alive by the magic of music. Questions from the perspective of leaving by helicopter at the end of the event whether one would remember more the monster or its footprint.
Articles[edit | edit source]
- Brady, John. “An Afternoon with Max Yasgur.” Popular Music and Society 3 (1974): 24–40. https://doi.org/10.1080/03007767408591033
- de Yampert, Rick. “Suffering from Entertainment Writers’ Guilt no More.” Editor and Publisher 127.40 (1994): 48, 33.
Recounts humorously the author’s experience reporting on Woodstock ’94. Describes being “issued second-class press credentials―ones which denied us access to the press tent with its precious phone lines and electrical outlets.” Provides insight into the problems associated with reporting on such events.
- Graves, Tom. “Peace, Love and Music.” American History 30.6 (1996): 47+.
Touches on all the key points related to staging the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Mentions the planning for the festival, noting Michael Lang “had an almost mystical vision of the Woodstock festival.” Comments on the traffic, security, and Abbie Hoffman’s famous attempt to take the stage during the performance by The Who.
- Howard, John A. “Principles in Default: Rediscovered and Reapplied.” Vital Speeches of the Day 66.20 (2000): 618–619. http://www.stcroixreview.com/archives_nopass/2000-12/Howard.pdf
Presents a speech by the conservative author delivered at the Annual Meeting of the Philadelphia Society in Chicago, Illinois (April 29, 2000). Cites quickly the author’s attempt to stop the Woodstock Music and Art Fair upon learning of “the open use of marijuana and other illegal drugs.” States he contacted the White House to urge the termination of the festival.
- Isserman, Maurice. “3 Days of Peace and Music, 40 Years of Memory.” The Chronicle of Higher Education 55.43 (2009): [n.p.].
Reminisces on the author’s own first-hand memories of the Woodstock Music and Art Fair and his “sense of having unexpectedly blundered into the opportunity to make history.” Comments on the news media’s prejudices against the event as it was unfolding. Uses Civil War commemorations as illustrative parallels to the Woodstock festival’s enduring mythology of “innocence, self-reliance, and self-invention” owing much to the traditional American narrative. Acknowledges Woodstock was not an overtly political event, but also claims it would not have happened if it had not been for the Civil Rights movement and other political insurgencies of the 1960s. Observes the concert has also found its place in history as “a moment of reconciliation rather than confrontation.” Suggests that the event should be remembered, like the Civil War, as a more complicated phenomenon.
- Kopper, Philip. “Flashback to Woodstock.” American Heritage 59.2 (2009): 14, 16. http://www.americanheritage.com/content/flashback-woodstock
Describes the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, a museum built to celebrate the Woodstock nation and the “zeitgeist that spawned it, and the phenomena that flowed from it.” Uses the Woodstock Music and Art Fair as a focal point, but the museum spans the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights Movement, and the counterculture.
- Laure, Jason. “Memory of a Free Festival: Woodstock Thirty Years Later.” The World & I 14.8 (1999): 233–239.
Offers first-person account of the Woodstock Music and Art Fair from a photographer who captured the event for the cover of Newsweek. Describes the event as “a watershed moment of American culture and a landmark of the twentieth century.” Recalls being drawn to the event by the promise of music and with no plans on how to survive the weekend. States the music transcended social boundaries to create community. Claims efforts to recreate the spirit of the festival fail because the original spontaneity remains elusive.
- McHugh, Catherine. “Mind Over Mud: How LD Allen Branton and Crew Brought 90s Technology Back to the Garden for Woodstock 94.” Lighting Dimensions 18.8 (1994): 62–69, 165–174.
Details the process of creating and managing the lighting design for Woodstock ’94. Offers insight into maintaining the lighting system in the face of adverse weather conditions. Delves into the problems associated with producing a large-scale event, including having to account for both natural daylight and nighttime performances. Notes the need to meet the lighting demands of the performers and set designers. Reproduces a drawing of the stage lighting plans. Includes a list of the lighting supervisory staff members and an itemization of the equipment used.
- Noack, David. “Covering Woodstock.” Editor and Publisher September 10 (1994): 16–18.
Describes how three daily newspapers covered Woodstock ’94. Notes some of the planning that went into preparing to report from the site, the various logistics, and the associated problems in doing so that developed during the concert.
- Parker, James. “Long Time Gone.” Atlantic Monthly 304.2 (2009): 34–36. http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2009/09/woodstock-nation/307611/
Reflects on the Woodstock Music and Art Fair for the 40th anniversary of the event. Considers through an examination of the motion picture Woodstock how and what has been encapsulated and portrayed for history versus what has been ignored or glossed over. Faults filmmaker Michael Wadleigh for not capturing some of the behind-the-scenes controversies, such as the Grateful Dead demanding cash payment up front. However, these are dismissed as “sideshows” that would only serve to distract from the overall narrative.
- Sheehy, Michael. “Woodstock: How the Media Missed the Historic Angle of the Breaking Story.” Journalism History 37.4 (2012): 238–246.
Explores why the iconic nature and cultural importance of the Woodstock Music and Art Fair was not initially realized, emphasized, or reported by major news media. Examines six daily newspapers (New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, and Cincinnati Enquirer) and three magazines (Time, Life, and Rolling Stone) through the lens of framing theory to determine the prominence of the news event, the sources of information used to compile the coverage, and the extent to which the cultural aspects were given attention. Finds each publication used primarily official sources such as law enforcement representatives, as opposed to consulting actual attendees. As a result, the coverage focused mainly on the problems created by the festival rather than the broader social implications and significances. Suggests this “served the purpose of reinforcing the control of the ruling elites in society” despite Woodstock not being an intentionally political event.
- Shipley, Morgan. “A Conversation with Wavy Gravy.” Journal for the Study of Radicalism 6.2 (2012): 127–141. https://doi.org/10.1353/jsr.2012.0015
Transcribes an interview with Wavy Gravy (Hugh Romney), founder of the Hog Farm commune and participant in the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Talks about many aspects of his life, such as his involvement with Acid Tests, his children’s camp known as Camp Winnarainbow, his clown persona, philanthropic work, and the continuation of the Sixties ethos. Remarks on how he came to be involved with, and his experiences at, the Woodstock festival. Quotes him saying for the festival he “had a bear suit and a rubber shovel so if hippies built a stupid fire, I could burst out of the bushes and do my Smokey the Bear imitation.” Mentions how the Hog Farm introduced the Woodstock audience to granola.
- Sokol, David. “Down to Yasgur’s Farm.” SEGDdesign.22 (2008): 64–69. https://segd.org/museum-bethel-woods
Explains the creation of the Museum at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, “an interpretive center on Yasgur’s former fields dedicated to the cultural history of the 1960s and Woodstock.” Describes the relationship between the museum and the associated performing arts center.
- Spock, Daniel. “The Museum at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts: The Story of the Sixties and Woodstock.” Journal of American History 97.1 (2010): 127–131. https://doi.org/10.2307/jahist/97.1.127
Reviews in some detail the Museum at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts serving to memorialize the 1969 Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Reports on the politics behind the funding of the museum. Describes the exhibits, artifacts, and audiovisual presentations. Notes the museum reinforces existing notions of the event rather than attempting to overturn preconceptions. Asserts the Center “stands as a memorial more than a critical exercise.” Questions the relevance of the place once the baby boom generation is no longer alive.
- Yoders, Jeff. “Bronze Award: Back to the Garden.” Building Design & Construction 48.5 (2007): 58–59. https://www.bdcnetwork.com/bronze-award-back-garden
Describes the architecture of the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts near the historic site of the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Delves into the origins of the museum including the purchase of the land by Alan Gerry and hiring of the architectural firm. Notes the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation deemed the site of the original festival is of national significance and “asked that permanent construction not be placed within sight of the original natural amphitheater.”
- Zanetti, Mary. “Mathematical Lens: Woodstock Revisited.” The Mathematics Teacher 103.4 (2009): 246–249.
Uses both the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, a performing arts venue and a museum dedicated to preserving the Woodstock Music and Art Fair experience, and data from the Woodstock festival itself to present mathematical exercises.
Describes the author’s attempts and eventual success in interviewing Max Yasgur. Recounts first visiting Yasgur’s farm, the location of the Woodstock Music and Art Fair, and an encounter with a young man making a pilgrimage to the site who recollected on having been at the festival. Relays observations of the event by three other individuals who also attended Woodstock. Shares stories of the ways in which area residents interacted with the festival attendees, including a local dentist who “let the kids come into his office and brush their teeth.” Shares Yasgur’s remarks regarding the festival, his generally favorable opinions on the counterculture generation, and the impact on his relationships with local citizens. Reports Yasgur received approximately 10,000 letters following the concert.
Websites[edit | edit source]
- “A Clown for our Time.” http://www.wavygravy.net/bio/biography.html
- Lane, Steven. “A Conversation with an American Music Icon.... Arlo Guthrie.” http://www.broowaha.com/articles/3344/a-conversation
From a 2008 interview, Arlo Guthrie describes what it was like to be at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Claims knowing at the time he was in a historic moment that was “wonderful and breathtakingly exhilarating.” States he wishes he had been in a less altered state of mind since he was playing the biggest event in the history of music, but it still remains one of his fondest moments.
- “‘A Little Upstate Folk Festival’: Woodstock and the Incredible String Band.” http://www.makingtime.co.uk/beglad/woodstock.htm
Comments on the performance of the Incredible String Band at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Describes by what means the band came to play at the event and the manner of their arrival in a helicopter. Concentrates on how the band refused to go on stage due to the danger of playing electrical instruments in the heavy rain and was replaced by singer/songwriter Melanie (the band performed the next day). Notes later regrets about postponing their performance which resulted in the band not being included in the film nor on the record album. Suggests this affected negatively the group’s career. States the Incredible String Band was possibly the only act at the Woodstock not to be called back for an encore. Mentions festival film footage of them performing When You Find Out Who You Are surfaced eventually.
- McDonald, Joe. “Country Joe’s Place: Woodstock 1969–1999.” http://www.countryjoe.com/woodxxx.htm
This is a website created and maintained by Country Joe McDonald and devoted to all things “Woodstock.” Includes the complete set lists for both the Country Joe McDonald and the Country Joe & The Fish performances at the 1969 festival.
- McDonald, Joe. “County Joe’s Place: Woodstock’s 40th Anniversary.” http://www.countryjoe.com/woodstock40.htm
This is a website created and maintained by Country Joe McDonald. Engages in a discourse on the accuracy of various sources proclaiming to present the correct performance order of artists at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Includes postings from attendees offering their own versions of events.
- Silas, Susan. “I Paid for Woodstock.” http://www.corpse.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=787&Itemid=34
Provides a first-person account of attending the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Describes the poor sanitation conditions and associated odors. Talks about how easy, yet unnecessary, it was to have people paged from the stage. Recalls Tim Hardin’s apparently drug induced state and his being booed off the stage as a result. Comments on feeling urgency about attending the festival and after arriving then coming to realize the same sensation had been “felt by tens of thousands of other kids in big cities and small towns across the United States.”
- Stark, Jeff. “What a Riot: Diary of a Woodstock 99 Survivor.” http://www.salon.com/1999/07/27/woodstock/
Offers a first-person diary of Woodstock ’99. Describes the nearly hour-by-hour progression of deteriorating conditions and increasing unruliness of the crowd. Comments on many of the acts. Takes Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit to task for encouraging from the stage dangerous behavior among the audience in the pit.
- Voice of America. “Singer-Songwriter Richie Havens Remembers His Woodstock.” http://www.voanews.com/content/a-13-2009-08-15-voa7-68705132/409291.html
Focuses on the set performed by Richie Havens at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Describes the impromptu playing of Freedom/Motherless Child at the end of his three-hour performance. Havens observes although the festival was born out of the turbulence of the 1960s, the event itself was centered on “peace, love, and cheerfully dealing with the rain and mud.” Notes Havens has continued to represent the Woodstock ethos throughout his career.
- “Woodstock.” http://www.woodstock.com
Seems to be an official Woodstock website. Contains videos (many of which appear to be from the motion picture Woodstock), photographs, and a news blog, all devoted to the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Presents the entire chronological program of performers, their set lists, and brief commentaries on each act’s experience at the festival. The website also sells Woodstock products (e.g., music, apparel, books, and other merchandise, including tote bags).
- “Woodstock — Preservation archives.” http://www.woodstock
Represents the archives of the Woodstock Preservation Alliance, a group dedicated to perpetuating the spirit of the Woodstock Music and Art Fair and the preservation of the original site. Notes the group opposed the building of The Museum at Bethel Woods. Claims the original site is “a tangible reminder of the cultural, historical, and socially significant event that occurred there in 1969.”
- “Woodstock Music Festivals.” http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/w/woodstock_music_festivals/index.html
A New York Times website updated continuously and dedicated to all things Woodstock. Links to more than 100 original articles from 1969 to present, including all Woodstock festivals to date. Contains videos and interactive media as well. Includes oral history videos submitted by readers. Points to other Woodstock-related websites as selected by the editors.
Draws from what appears to be a website maintained by Wavy Gravy himself. Explains how The Hog Farm came to be at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Notes The Hog Farm was originally asked to “build fire pits and fire trails around the festival grounds” but convinced the promoters to allow them to set up a free kitchen as well. States they were later asked to serve as the festival’s security. Describes experiencing an “amazing energy that you could surrender to” at Woodstock which allowed The Hog Farm to operate at the event nonstop for the entire three days.
Transcriptions[edit | edit source]
- “The Parable of the Hot Dogs at Woodstock.” Weekend Edition Saturday (August 15, 2009). http://www.npr.org/2009/08/14/111898362/the-parable-of-the-hot-dogs-at-woodstock
- “Woodstock: We Went, We Saw, We Left.” All Things Considered (August 14, 2009). http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=111741353
Transcribes Marcus Rosenbaum’s recollections of his brief attendance at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Remarks “Woodstock was a blend of the miserable and the euphoric, the remarkable and the mundane, the sophisticated and the callow.”
- “Woodstock Memories, Mud and all.” All Things Considered (August 14, 2009). http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=111899515
Presents interviews with key participants from the 1969 Woodstock Music and Art Fair, including Artie Kornfeld, Parry Teasdale, Michael Lang, Bill Thompson, Bob Solomon, and Richie Havens. Comments on the disorganization of the event and the festival’s legacy.
- “Woodstock Museum Re-Creates ‘69 Concert.” Weekend Edition Sunday (July 27, 2008). http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=92971931
Transcribes interview of Michael Egan who is the Senior Director for The Museum at Bethel Woods, an institution located at the original site of the Woodstock Music and Art Fair and dedicated to remembering the 1960s. Discusses multimedia displays at the museum and the legacy of Woodstock. Includes snippets of commentary from persons associated with the festival. Ponders whether visitors to the museum contemplate the notion of the 1960s cultural revolution being reduced to “an exhibit, a little slice of history you can do in a couple of hours.”
Commemorates the 40th anniversary of the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Transcribes comments by Robert Goldstein (NPR music librarian and Woodstock attendee). Describes Goldstein’s personal experience of surviving the event and his three hour quest for food to feed his friends and himself.
Videos[edit | edit source]
- The Creation of the Woodstock 1969 Music Festival: Birth of a Generation. Dir. Donnelly, Patrick. Westlake Video, 1995.
- Woodstock Diary. Dir. Hegedus, Chris, Erez Laufer, and D. A. Pennebaker. Warner Bros. Pictures, 2009.
Originally produced for television in 1994. Documents the 1969 Woodstock Arts and Music Fair. Contains footage of performances not seen in the original major theatrical film Woodstock (1970). Includes more contemporary interviews (circa 1994) with the festival producers and some of the participants, such as The Hog Farm’s Wavy Gravy and Lisa Law.
Presents the Woodstock Music and Art Fair from a historical perspective using interviews, film from the event, and photographs.