Aug 14, 2012

Remembering Woodstock 43 Years Later- Day One: Friday Agust 15th, 1969


It was billed as Three Days of Peace & Music, and it became the biggest concert in rock & roll history. The show starts later than expected on Friday evening. The throngs of people are still coming, hundreds of thousands are already flooding the town of Bethel and Max Yasgur's farm has become a history making seas of humanity. Far out man. Here is what the music looked like on the first day which was pretty much a bill of folk artists.



Day One (Friday August 15, 1969)

500 PM- RICHIE HAVENS- Minstrel From the Gault- High Flyin' Bird- I Cant Make It Anymore- I Had a Woman- Handsome Johnny- With A Little Help From My Friends- Strawberry Fields Forever- Hey Jude- Freedom

The traffic jams had the roads blocked and the musicians who were staying at a Holiday Inn a few miles away couldn't get to the site, until the helicopters started flying them in. Obviously there were many delays on Friday afternoon. Havens was asked to go on first because he & 2 band members got there, he was scheduled to go on fifth originally. Artie Kornfield (one of the organisers) knew Havens from Greenwich Village and kept pushing him out there to buy time. Havens played a much longer than expected set and made up his classic Freedom on the spot.




 

715 PM: Swami Sri Satchidananda- 15 minute speech & mantra.

At the time he was a famous Yoga, meditation guru. Due to the delays he was given some stage time.




730 PM: SWEETWATER- Motherless Child- Look Out- For Pete's Sake- Day Song- Whats Wrong- My Crystal Spider- Two Worlds- Why Oh Why- Hey Jude/Let The Sun Shine In/ Oh Happy Days

Sweetwater were suppose to open due to the keyboardist having military obligations the next day. They were a diverse band (white,black, latino) with an eclectic style. They played many big festivals of the time without having any hits. Sadly that winter singer Nancy Nevens was seriously injured in a car crash & the band disbanded except for a few get togethers thru the years.

830 PM: BERT SOMMER- Jenifer- Road to Travel- I Wonder Where You'd Be- Shes Gone- Things Are Going My Way- And When Its Over- Jeanette- America- A Note That Read- Smile


900 PM: TIM HARDIN- Misty Roses-If I were A Carpenter

A resident of Woodstock, NY, Hardin was an acclaimed singer songwriter, plagued with drug problems. He is seen totally out of it in the film and was pretty much a disappointment.


1000 PM: RAVI SHANKAR- Shankar was popular with his Indian music thanks to George Harrison & David Crosby. The influence of the sitar was the in thing of the mid sixties. His set was cut short after a half hour by the first rainfall of the weekend.

1100 PM: MELANIE- Beautiful People- Birthday of the Sun.

At the time Melanie was an unknown folk singer from Queens but worked in the same office buildings as the promoters. She asked to join in. It was dark just before she came on stage & one of the stage announcements told the crowd it was the largest group of people ever assembled. Light a match to see yourselves, the massive seas of light is when Melanie entered and launched her career.

Midnight: ARLO GUTHRIE- Coming Into Los Angeles-Walkin' Down The Line
Just 18 years old, Guthrie wasn't expected to go on he claims and partied a little to much that day which affected his performance. He was famous at the time for being Woody Guthrie's son & having the Thanksgiving classic Alice's Restaurant. It was a tripping Guthrie who said "I don't like how many of you can dig how many people there are man, like I was rapping to the fuzz, can you dig it? There's suppose to be a million 1/2 people here by tomorrow. The NY State Thruways closed man"...Lotta freaks!!



1 AM: JOAN BAEZ- Joe Hill-Sweet Sir Galahad- Drug Store Truck Driving Man- Swing Low Sweet Chariot- We Shall Overcome

The veteran folk singer activist was pregnant & well known at the time. She did a good deed & performed at the Free Stage area earlier during the day to those far away from the main stage.

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