By the time we got to Woodstock

one of the greatest moments in popular music history

Woodstock posterThe Woodstock Music & Art Fair took place August 15 to August 18, 1969, on a dairy farm in Bethel, New York owned by Max Yasgur. Over 30 acts performed over the sometimes rainy weekend in front of at least 400,000 concertgoers.

I didn’t get to go to “one of the greatest moments in popular music history,” though I surely wanted to. However, my friends and I saw the movie that was released in March 1970, fairly early in its run. And then we watched the three-hour movie AGAIN, back when theater owners didn’t care if you did that.

The second time, I remember looking at the purple of the light projecting onto the screen as Sly and the Family Stone was performing. And I wasn’t even TAKING anything – really!

The soundtrack to the movie was released on May 1970. I surely bought the 3-LP set before the summer was out, and played it incessantly. A second album of two LPs came out the following year, a lesser collection.

Some artists did not appear on either set, because their record label wouldn’t allow it, or because they didn’t think they sounded good enough, or because the artist wanted an album of just their music.

In 1994, Woodstock: Three Days of Peace and Music a 4-CD set with additional tracks came out. In 2009, Woodstock 40 Years On: Back To Yasgur’s Farm, a 6-CD collection was released.

I thought I’d pick some artists not represented in the first two albums. This proved to be more difficult than I thought. I found three “complete” sets of one artist that ran from 30 to 75 minutes.

Day 1

Sweetwater – Look Out or Two Worlds
Bert Sommer – Jennifer
Tim Hardin – If I Were a Carpenter; more Tim
Ravi Shankar – Evening Raga

Day 2

Quill – Waiting For You
The Keef Hartley Band – Spanish Fly/ Think it Over/ Too Much Thinking/ I Believe in You; to my knowledge, the band has never been featured on any Woodstock recording, nor were they featured in the film.
The Incredible String Band – The Letter
Grateful Dead – part 1
Creedence Clearwater Revival – Born on the Bayou/ I Put a Spell On You/ Keep on Chooglin’
Janis Joplin – Try/ Ball and Chain

Day 3

The Band – full set
Johnny Winter – full set
Blood, Sweat & Tears – full set

Oh, what the heck: two songs about Woodstock

The song – Joni Mitchell
Who’ll Stop the Rain – CCR; John Fogerty on the musical legacy of the concert

Unread books, and rock song comparison

I’ve seen so many productions of Shakespeare’s comedies that I no longer remember which ones I’ve actually read.

The blogger MDS from Pantheon Songs – check out his sites if you like music – wants to know:

1) what are some of the books that you’ve wanted to read but never got around to reading because of whatever reason or circumstance?

So many…let me limit this list to books that are actually in my possession, and specifically in the office of the house, as opposed to the living room or the attic: Continue reading “Unread books, and rock song comparison”

My bag is sinkin’ low and I do believe it’s time

Ever since I read, a couple days ago, that Levon Helm of the band The Band was near death, I got in a very reflective mood, fueled in part by others’ reaction to the news. One of my colleagues, who has seen him perform in recent years, was already in mourning. Another, who had seen The Band perform in their heyday, was walking around the office singing “The Weight;” “I pulled into Nazareth, was feelin’ about half past dead; I just need some place where I can lay my head.” I’ve known this person nearly two decades, but this was a side of him I had never seen. Continue reading “My bag is sinkin’ low and I do believe it’s time”

Summertime Blues

I seriously thought Paul Giamatti was going to be nominated for an Oscar for American Splendor.

It’s very warm on the second floor of my house. It was hot for several days last week, then it cooled off somewhat, only to have the heat return. The only place it isn’t hot is in the daughter’s room; she has a room air conditioner. The bedrooms have ceiling fans, which circulate but do not cool, the warm air.

The attic is comparable to doing the Bataan death march, after about 10 a.m.

The very good news, so far, is that we have not seen a bat in the living quarters. They seem to usually come in on the second or third day of a run of hot weather. Given the fact that we’ve had bats in 2002-2007 and 2009, I’m guessing that the insulation of the attic had an added effect.

Mowed the lawn Friday night with the reel mower, because weeds that look like miniature pine trees – what ARE those, anyway? – grow faster than the grass. BIG mistake. Even at 7:30 p.m., it was extremely humid. I did not have to worry too much about getting sunburn, but it was still so muggy, I needed to take a shower afterward.

A relative sent me one of those forwarded Very Important!!!! notices:
My car book says to roll down the windows to let out all the hot air before turning on A/C. WHY ???????????
Please do NOT turn on A/C as soon as you enter the car. Continue reading “Summertime Blues”