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Woodstock: 50 years ago


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It's been 50 years since the Woodstock "Aquarian Exposition: 3 Days of Peace & Music" music festival  was held on August 15–18, 1969 at Max Yasgur's 600-acre dairy farm in Bethel, New York.   It was a defining moment of 60's youth/hippie culture, considered a success by some and, due to mis-management and rain, a natural disaster for others. 

 

The event has been transformed into mythical status, and was the defining moment for many artists who appeared.  Notable artists who performed include Richie Havens, Arlo Guthrie, Joan Baez, Santana, Canned Heat, Mountain, Grateful Dead, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Janis Joplin, Sly and the Family Stone, The Who, Jefferson Airplane, Joe Cocker, Country Joe and the Fish, Ten Years After, The Band, Johnny Winter, Blood, Sweat & Tears, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Paul Butterfield Blues Band.  Most notable of all was Jimi Hendrix, who played on the Monday morning after many of the attendees had left, with the mesmerizing version of "The Star Spangled Banner". 

 

The official movie of the festival featured split-screens, and proved a balanced perspective of the festival and attendees, and the music.  A triple-album was released of the music, then a double.  Over the decades there have been more movies, albums, books and doco's. 

 

250px-Woodstock_poster.jpg     220px-Woodstock_Original_Soundtrack_1970   220px-Woodstock2AlbumCover.jpg   220px-WoodstockFilmPoster.jpg

 

 

As a youngster, the albums were a very important window in to the (then) alternate music scene and alternative culture, an antidote to the conservative and restricted Australian culture of the time. 

 

What are your recollections and opinions of the festival, movies, soundtracks, artists and their performances, and the legacy of the festival?

Were any SNA members at the festival?

 

 

 

 

Edited by audiofeline
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l was 16 and oh how l loved seeing the split screen movie at the local Drive-In. (twice).

Highlite ? Well there were a few - the nude women, l was 16, most of the music, but the stand out for me was Mike Shrieve's drumming with SANTANA. also Joe Cocker

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I had just turned 17 and all i could think, when I heard about Woodstock on the news, is I was born in the wrong country!

Anything exciting, to this young teenager, seemed to happen overseas!

Know, as I get older, I could not care more!

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SBS had a thing on the other night.  Nice to get some different factual information.  Worth streaming from the SBS on demand site.

 

First saw the movie on TV as a young proto punk probably at the 10th  Anniversary.  'Old' hippies next door played their 'old' music the next day.  Sounded like an echo from another time.

Couldn't deny the energy and size of the thing though and went and bought the S/T. 

Now I've got a few versions. 

 

Noticed massive 38 CD limited box with great new mastering released and sold out.  Waiting for the individual acts to get a release with the new mastering.  I've got the 40th Anniversary box and a couple of the Woodstock Experience sets. (Santana & Sly Stone) and the Hendrix.

 

I have some comparitive DAC listening to do so maybe I'll use something from Woodstock.

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I was 14 and a wannabe hippy, still living in England at the time was trying to find a way to get to the 1970 Isle of Wight Festival (didn't happen)

 

Emigrated to Australia in Nov 1970

11 hours ago, audiofeline said:

an antidote to the conservative and restricted Australian culture of the time. 

I remember it well

 

Highlights from memory was Joe Cocker, 10 Years After, Canned Heat and Jefferson Airplane

1 hour ago, eman said:

SBS had a thing on the other night

Thanks eman will look it it up

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2 hours ago, eman said:

SBS had a thing on the other night.  Nice to get some different factual information.  Worth streaming from the SBS on demand site....

Here is the link to the SBS Woodstock doco (registration required):

https://www.sbs.com.au/ondemand/video/1577750083965/woodstock

 

The doco was a good overview of how the festival was created and organised, and what occurred over the 3+ days it ran for.  I thought it was good, possibly too much on the anit-war background (maybe I'm already familiar with that knowledge), but it tied into the reports given by those reflecting on their attendance and the meaning it brought into their lives.  Of course, so much happened before, during and after that it's hard to capture it all in a few hours.

 

Also of interest could be the Taking Woodstock movie, from 2009, which I found entertaining.  It's basically about the son of the Bethel motel owners, who help the festival organisers with their planning and how the motel was used as the operations centre for the organisers during the festival.  A nice recreation of the festival from a different perspective. 

 

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