Jefferson Airplane - The Woodstock Experience (US 1969)

Senin, 22 Oktober 2012

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Woodstock Music & Art Fair (informally, Woodstock or The Woodstock Festival) was a music festival, billed as "An Aquarian Exposition: 3 Days of Peace & Music", held at Max Yasgur's 600-acre (2.4 km²; 240 ha, 0.94 mi²) dairy farm near the hamlet of White Lake in the town of Bethel, New York, from August 15 to August 18, 1969. Bethel, in Sullivan County, is 43 miles (69 km) southwest of the town of Woodstock, New York, in adjoining Ulster County.

During the sometimes rainy weekend, thirty-two acts performed outdoors in front of 500,000 concert-goers. It is widely regarded as one of the greatest and most pivotal moments in popular music history and was listed among Rolling Stone's 50 Moments That Changed the History of Rock and Roll.

The event was captured in the successful 1970 documentary movie Woodstock, an accompanying soundtrack album, and Joni Mitchell's song "Woodstock" which commemorated the event and became a major hit for Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young.

Planning and preparation
Woodstock was initiated through the efforts of Michael Lang, John Roberts, Joel Rosenman, and Artie Kornfeld. It was Roberts and Rosenman who had the finances. They placed the following advertisement in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal under the name of Challenge International, Ltd.: “Young men with unlimited capital looking for interesting, legitimate investment opportunities and business propositions.”

Lang and Kornfeld noticed the ad, and the four men got together originally to discuss a retreat-like recording studio in Woodstock, but the idea evolved into an outdoor music and arts festival, although even that was initially envisioned on a smaller scale, perhaps featuring some of the big name artists who lived in the Woodstock area (such as Bob Dylan and The Band). There were differences in approach among the four: Roberts was disciplined, and knew what was needed in order for the venture to succeed, while the laid-back Lang saw Woodstock as a new, relaxed way of bringing business people together. There were further doubts over the venture, as Roberts wondered whether to consolidate his losses and pull the plug, or to continue pumping his own finances into the project.

In April 1969, newly-minted superstars Creedence Clearwater Revival were the first act to sign a contract for the event, agreeing to play for ten thousand dollars. The promoters had experienced difficulty landing big-name groups prior to the Bay Area swamp rockers committing to play. Creedence drummer Doug Clifford later commented "Once Creedence signed, everyone else jumped in line and all the other big acts came on." Given their 3 a.m. start time and non-inclusion (at Creedence frontman John Fogerty's insistence) in the Woodstock film, Creedence members have expressed bitterness over their experiences at the famed festival.

Woodstock was designed as a profit-making venture, aptly titled "Woodstock Ventures." It famously became a "free concert" only after it became obvious that the event was drawing hundreds of thousands more people than the organizers had prepared for. Tickets for the event cost US$18 in advance (equivalent to approx. US$105 in 2009 after adjusting for purchasing power, and US$75 after adjusting for inflation)[6] and $24 at the gate for all three days. Ticket sales were limited to record stores in the greater New York City area, or by mail via a post office box at the Radio City Station Post Office located in Midtown Manhattan. Around 186,000 tickets were sold beforehand and organizers anticipated approximately 200,000 festival-goers would turn up.

Woodstock Ventures made Warner Bros. an offer to make a movie about Woodstock. All Artie Kornfeld required was $100,000, on the basis that "it could have either sold millions or, if there were riots, be one of the best documentaries ever made," according to Kornfeld.

Selection of the venue

The crowd and stage in 1969.The concert was originally scheduled to take place in the 300-acre (1.2 km2) Mills Industrial Park (41°28'39?N 74°21'49?W? / ?41.477525°N 74.36358°W? / 41.477525; -74.36358? (Mills Industrial Park)) in the town of Wallkill, New York, which Woodstock Ventures had leased for $100,000 in the Spring of 1969. Town officials were assured that no more than 50,000 would attend. Town residents immediately opposed the project. In early July the Town Board passed a law requiring a permit for any gathering over 5,000 people. On July 15, 1969 the Wallkill Zoning Board of Appeals officially banned the concert on the basis that the planned portable toilets would not meet town code.[9] Reports about the ban, however, turned out to be a publicity bonanza for the festival.

Following the ban, Elliot Tiber, who owned the 80-room El Monaco Motel (41°40'27?N 74°49'42?W? / ?41.674074°N 74.828444°W? / 41.674074; -74.828444) on White Lake in Bethel, New York, offered to host the event on his 15 acres (61,000 m2). He already had a permit for a White Lake Music and Arts Festival from the Town of Bethel, which was to be a chamber music concert. According to his book Taking Woodstock, when it was clear the site was too small, Tiber introduced the promoters to dairy farmer Max Yasgur, initially on the premise that Yasgur's land would rent for $50 for a festival attracting 5,000. Lang, however, disputes Tiber's account, and says that Tiber introduced him to a real estate salesman, who drove him to Yasgur's farm without Tiber. Sam Yasgur, Max's son, agrees with Lang's account. Yasgur's land formed a natural bowl sloping down to Filippini Pond on the land's north side. The stage would be set at the bottom of the hill with Filippini Pond forming a backdrop. The pond would become a popular skinny dipping destination. According to Tiber, the event organizers stayed at Tiber's El Monaco Motel along with Canned Heat and Arlo Guthrie, and Tiber was further rewarded for saving the event by being awarded the sole concession for ticket buyers.

The organizers once again told Bethel authorities they expected no more than 50,000 people.

Despite resident opposition and signs proclaiming, "Buy No Milk. Stop Max's Hippy Music Festival," Bethel Town Attorney Frederick W. V. Schadt and building inspector Donald Clark approved the permits, but the Bethel Town Board refused to issue them formally. Clark was ordered to post Stop Work orders, but the promoters tore them down.

"Free" concert
The late change in venue did not give the festival organizers enough time to prepare. At a meeting three days before the event organizers felt they had two options. One option was to improve the fencing and security which might have resulted in violence, the other involved putting all their resources into completing the stage which would cause Woodstock Ventures to take a financial hit. The crowd which was arriving in greater numbers and earlier than anticipated made the decision for them. The fence was cut the night before the concert by UAW/MF Family prompting many more to show up.

The influx of attendees to the rural concert site in Bethel created a massive traffic jam. Fearing chaos as thousands began descending on the community, Bethel did not enforce its codes. Eventually, announcements on radio stations as far away as WNEW-FM in Manhattan and descriptions of the traffic jams on television news programs discouraged people from setting off to the festival.  Arlo Guthrie made an announcement that was included in the film saying that the New York State Thruway was closed.[16] The director of the Woodstock museum discussed below said this never occurred.  To add to the problems and difficulty in dealing with the large crowds, recent rains had caused muddy roads and fields. The facilities were not equipped to provide sanitation or first aid for the number of people attending; hundreds of thousands found themselves in a struggle against bad weather, food shortages, and poor sanitation.

On the morning of Sunday, August 17, New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller called festival organizer John Roberts and told him he was thinking of ordering 10,000 New York State National Guard troops to the festival. Roberts was successful in persuading Rockefeller not to do this. Sullivan County declared a state of emergency.

Although the festival was remarkably peaceful given the number of people and the conditions involved, there were two recorded fatalities: one from what was believed to be a heroin overdose and another caused in an accident when a tractor ran over an attendee sleeping in a nearby hayfield. There also were two births recorded at the event (one in a car caught in traffic and another in a hospital after an airlift by helicopter) and four miscarriages. Oral testimony in the film supports the overdose and run-over deaths and at least one birth, along with many logistical headaches.

Yet, in tune with the idealistic hopes of the 1960s, Woodstock satisfied most attendees. There was a sense of social harmony, the quality of music, and the overwhelming mass of people, many sporting bohemian dress, behavior, and attitudes.

After the concert, Max Yasgur, who owned the site of the event, saw it as a victory of peace and love. He spoke of how nearly half a million people filled with possibilities of disaster, riot, looting, and catastrophe spent the three days with music and peace on their minds. He states that "if we join them, we can turn those adversities that are the problems of America today into a hope for a brighter and more peaceful future...

Sound for the concert was engineered by Bill Hanley, whose innovations in the sound industry have earned him the prestigious Parnelli Award.[21] "It worked very well", he says of the event. "I built special speaker columns on the hills and had 16 loudspeaker arrays in a square platform going up to the hill on 70-foot [21 meter] towers. We set it up for 150,000 to 200,000 people. Of course, 500,000 showed up." ALTEC designed 4 - 15 marine ply cabinets that weighed in at half a ton a piece, stood 6 feet (1.8 m) straight up, almost 4 feet (1.2 m) deep, and 3 feet (0.91 m) wide. Each of these woofers carried four 15-inch (380 mm) JBL LANSING D140 loudspeakers. The tweeters consisted of 4x2-Cell & 2x10-Cell Altec Horns. Behind the stage were three transformers providing 2,000 amperes of current to power the amplification setup. For many years this system was collectively referred to as the Woodstock Bins

Declined invitations
* The Doors were considered as a potential performing band, but canceled at the last moment; according to guitarist Robby Krieger, they turned it down because they thought it would be a "second class repeat of Monterey Pop Festival", and later regretted that decision . Doors drummer John Densmore attended, however, and in the film he can be seen on the side of the stage during Joe Cocker's set. 

* Led Zeppelin were asked to perform, their manager Peter Grant stating: "We were asked to do Woodstock and Atlantic were very keen, and so was our U.S. promoter, Frank Barsalona. I said no because at Woodstock we'd have just been another band on the bill". Instead the group went on with their hugely successful summer tour, playing that weekend south of the festival at the Asbury Park Convention Hall in New Jersey. Their only time out taken was to attend Elvis Presley's show at the International Hotel in Las Vegas, on August 12.

* Jethro Tull declined to perform. Ian Anderson is reported to have later said he "didn't want to spend [his] weekend in a field of unwashed hippies". Another theory proposes that the band felt the event would be "too big a deal" and might kill their career before it started. However, other artists from the time have expressed the view that, before the festival, there was little indication of the importance the event would eventually come to assume. Although Jethro Tull did not perform, their music was played over the public address system. In the film, during the interview with the promoters (where they are discussing how much money they will be losing on the venture), the songs "Beggar's Farm" and "Serenade to a Cuckoo", from the album This Was, can be heard in the background. Jethro Tull did perform at the Isle of Wight Festival in 1970. 

* The Byrds were invited, but chose not to participate, not figuring Woodstock to be any different from all the other music festivals that summer. In addition, there were concerns about money. As bassist John York remembers: "We were flying to a gig and Roger [McGuinn] came up to us and said that a guy was putting on a festival in upstate New York. But at that point they weren't paying all of the bands. He asked us if we wanted to do it and we said, 'No'. We had no idea what it was going to be. We were burned out and tired of the festival scene. [...] So all of us said, 'No, we want a rest' and missed the best festival of all.

* Tommy James and the Shondells declined an invitation. Lead singer Tommy James stated later: "We could have just kicked ourselves. We were in Hawaii, and my secretary called and said, 'Yeah, listen, there's this pig farmer in upstate New York that wants you to play in his field.' That's how it was put to me. So we passed, and we realized what we'd missed a couple of days later." 
* Bob Dylan was in negotiations to play, but pulled out when his son became ill. He also was unhappy about the number of hippies piling up outside his house near the originally planned site. He would go on to perform at the Isle of Wight Festival two weeks later. 

* Mind Garage declined because they thought it would not be a big deal and had a higher-paying gig elsewhere.

* The Moody Blues were included on the original Wallkill poster as performers, but decided to back out after being booked in Paris the same weekend.

* Spirit also declined an invitation to play, as they already had shows planned and wanted to play those instead, not knowing how big Woodstock would be. 

* Joni Mitchell was originally slated to perform, but canceled at the urging of her manager to avoid missing a scheduled appearance on The Dick Cavett Show. 

01. "Introduction" – 0:23 
02. "The Other Side of This Life" (Fred Neil) – 8:17 
03. "Somebody to Love" (Darby Slick) – 4:31 
04. "3/5 of a Mile in 10 Seconds" (Marty Balin) – 5:30 
05. "Won't You Try / Saturday Afternoon" (Paul Kantner) – 5:06 
06. "Eskimo Blue Day" (Grace Slick, Kantner) – 6:55 
07. "Plastic Fantastic Lover" (Balin) – 4:35 
08. "Wooden Ships" (David Crosby, Kantner, Stephen Stills) – 21:25 
09. "Uncle Sam Blues" (Traditional, arranged by Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady) – 6:12 
10. "Volunteers" (Balin, Kantner) – 3:16 
11. "The Ballad of You & Me & Pooneil" (Kantner) – 15:29 
12. "Come Back Baby" (Traditional, arranged by Kaukonen) – 6:05 
13. "White Rabbit" (G. Slick) – 2:27 
14. "The House at Pooneil Corners" (Balin, Kantner) – 9:17 

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