On This Day in History…. Woodstock 1969 40 Years Later…

Woodstock 1969 40 Years Later…

On this day in history… August 15-18, 1969, the Woodstock Music and Art Fair was held in Bethal, New York on Max Yasgur’s Dairy Farm. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the outdoor festival, which featured 32 musical acts over three days, and was seen by an overwhelming turnout of a half a million attendees. The festival left a lasting cultural legacy in history, and its impact went well beyond to those who attended. Rolling Stone magazine hailed Woodstock as one of the “50 Moments That Changed the History of Rock and Roll”. The cultural phenomenon was immortalized by a film that won the Best Documentary Oscar in 1970. The documentary brought the Woodstock experience to those who did not make it there embedding it into the cultural landscape. According to festival organizer Joel Rosenman, “That’s what means the most to me – the connection to one another felt by all of us who worked on the festival, all those who came to it, and the millions who couldn’t be there but were touched by it.”


  • Woodstock: How Does It Sound 40 Years Later?Time, 8-24-09 Time Woodstock Videos
  • Woodstock: 40 years later: BABY BOOMERS won’t let go of the Woodstock Festival. Why should we? It’s one of the few defining events of the late 1960s that had a clear happy ending. On Aug. 15-17, 1969, hundreds of thousands of people, me among them, gathered in a lovely natural amphitheater in Bethel (not Woodstock), N.Y. We listened to some of the best rock musicians of the era, enjoyed other legal and illegal pleasures, endured rain and mud and exhaustion and hunger pangs, felt like a giant community and dispersed, all without catastrophe…. – NYT, 8-16-09
  • Woodstock Nation, Part 1: The Woodstock Music & Art Fair began 40 years ago this Friday afternoon at Max Yasgur’s dairy farm in Bethel, N.Y. I had seen an advertisement in the July 27, 1969 Sunday New York Times Arts section, and ordered tickets — $18 for all three days, Aug. 15, 16 & 17, 1969…. – Projo.com, 8-14-09
  • Woodstock Nation, Part 2: The music went for 24 hours: BY THE TIME CARLOS Santana finished playing Soul Sacrifice Saturday afternoon at Woodstock, he was a major star. “Every band changed the vibes,” recalls Dena Quilici, one of the many there from southeastern New England. And the crowd came alive for Santana. The by-now broiling sun, the hunger and thirst and mud, the Army helicopters intermittently turning fire hoses on us full-force to cool us off – “all those troubles kind of went away once you just settled down and started listening to the music,” says Ty Davis…. – Projo.com, 8-14-09
  • Woodstock Nation, Part 3: We had pulled it off: Despite two days of uncomfortable conditions, peace and music are both holding out. Sunday is the acid test. The storm bore down on us, all hard rain and whipping wind, just after Joe Cocker ended the set that opened Woodstock, Day 3. “The ground was slippery red clay, and then it really looked like Baghdad,” remembers Dottie Clark, one of the many from southeastern New England who were there. “People selling the junk of the time were packing up, my friends were crying, and I was laughing. I thought it was funny. I said, ‘Someday you’ll see that this was something.’ ” Cocker had finished his set with what may have been the best live performance ever given: With a Little Help From My Friends…. – Projo.com, 8-14-09


  • LIFE Classic: Woodstock: LIFE’s Best PhotosLife Magazine, 8-09
  • Music and Memories – NYT, 8-16-09
  • Re-’Taking Woodstock’ – the complete 1969 concert setlists and playlists, in order: The book, Taking Woodstock, by Elliot Tiber with Tom Monte, has been adapted to a film with the same name directed by Ang Lee, and the picture will be released on August 28, 2009. However, this upcoming weekend marks the actual 40th anniversary of the summer outdoor festival of “peace and music,” that changed popular culture in the United States and around the world from that moment on. The original concert took place starting Friday evening, August 15, and ran through Monday, August 18, 1969. Over 400,000 people showed up, nearly 1/2 million…. – Examiner, 8-12-09
  • Woodstock Flashback | Remembrance of Things PastNYT, 8-17-09
  • Woodstock ’94: Watchin’ puddles gather rain: Do you remember the Mud People? Not Max Yasgur’s liberated hippies of 1969, but their children: the gleeful renegades of my generation tumbling through the mud 25 years later as blue-haired Berkeley punks led them in song at Woodstock ’94…. – Chicago Sun News,
  • Woodstock’s Worst Legacy: Violence And Greed In 1999: Today marks the 40th anniversary of the final day of the original Woodstock (the music actually carried over into the wee hours of August 18), so a lot of people are re-evaluating the lasting legacy of the festival. Did it really usher in a message of peace and love, or was it simply the beginning of a brand name? Is it truly a great representation of the era’s mentality or just another slice of Boomer nostalgia?… – MTV, 8-17-09


  • Four decades after the three days of mud and music: Woodstock is 40: Woodstock is one of those points in history that defined a zeitgeist. It was peaceful, drugged-up, loaded with a new type of kid out to make changes in the world, populated by a whole group of musicians redefining the market, and it worked. Thousands of people were there, and took their stories home to those who weren’t, passed them on to their children long after the fact. And it was filmed, documented and documentaried, which further defined what it was and how it was assimilated into our culture. And this weekend, it turns 40…. – Examiner, 8-16-09
  • 40 years later, Woodstock’s spiritual vibes still resonate: “A community grew out of Woodstock,” says organizer Michael Lang in his new book The Road to Woodstock. “A sense of possibility and hope was born and spread around the globe.”
    Rock historian Pete Fornatale goes further. “I wanted to make the case that Woodstock was a spiritual experience,” says the author of Back to the Garden: The Story of Woodstock. Fornatale is no religious zealot. “I’m not a believer. I’m not a nonbeliever. I’m a wanna-believer,” he says. But he’s clearly on a crusade to explore the spiritual dimensions of the festival, which organizers moved from the town of Woodstock to a farm near Bethel, which means “House of God” in Hebrew. “Spirituality may not be the first thing people associate with Woodstock,” says Fornatale, who recently talked about his book at the Museum at Bethel Woods, situated on the site of the festival. “But young people were searching for an identity and for a meaning that they found there that weekend.” – Houston Chronicle, 8-16-09
  • Music Review | The Heroes of Woodstock Back to the Garden, Without the Shock, or All That Mud: Tie-dye and peace symbols were everywhere at the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts on Saturday, and many of the people wearing them were pointing at a grassy hillside and saying, “When I was here in 1969. …” – NYT, 8-16-09
  • 40 years later, Woodstock a thriving business: Back in 1969, Woodstock organizers billed their three-day festival as “An Aquarian Exposition.” But although the concert became free when an expected crowd of 200,000 grew “half a million strong,” it was conceived as a business proposition…. – Reuters, 8-16-09
  • Pete Fornatale: OPINION: Why is this Woodstock anniversary so different?: I’ve been doing Woodstock anniversary celebrations on the radio since the first one in 1970. Without a doubt, the 40th this weekend is the most powerful and profound for me. What has changed? The mythology hasn’t. That began not long after Woodstock was over. In his audio documentary, “The Sixties,” made in 1971, the late, great Walter Cronkite had the following to say about the fabled music festival: “Twenty-seven days after ‘Tranquility Base,’ on an un-tranquil sea of mud, there was a walk in space that 400,000 long-haired pilgrims in and out of sweatshirts called ‘the greatest weekend since the creation.’” The Garden of Eden image has long been used to sanctify Woodstock….. – Newsday, 8-16-09
  • To Be Old and in WoodstockNYT, 8-16-09


  • Woodstock at 40: Everywhere a song and a celebration: Playing an electric guitar that seemed as charged and as amped as the sold-out crowd of 15,000, 15-year-old Conrad Oberg of Florida opened the 40th anniversary Woodstock concert at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts Saturday by playing the instrumental version of The Star-Spangled Banner that Jimi Hendrix made famous in August 1969…. – USA Today, 8-15-09
  • Woodstock – A look back in booksExaminer, 8-15-09
  • The Long, Strange Trip of Woodstock Ventures: Woodstock was a business. A very poorly run business. The four organizers, John Roberts (who died in 2001), Joel Rosenman, Michael Lang, and Artie Kornfeld were all in their 20s when they formed a company called “Woodstock Ventures” with the original intention of building a recording studio and retreat in the upstate New York town where Bob Dylan lived. They were in it to make money, but it didn’t quite work out that way. It wasn’t for lack of trying, though, and two things were definitely in their favor early on: they had a great idea and they knew their audience….. – Huffington Post, 8-13-09
  • Woodstock: A Moment of Muddy Grace: BABY boomers won’t let go of the Woodstock Festival. Why should we? It’s one of the few defining events of the late 1960s that had a clear happy ending…. – NYT, 8-9-09
  • Pete Fornatale, Michael Lang with Holly George-Warren: Three Days in August BACK TO THE GARDEN The Story of Woodstock, THE ROAD TO WOODSTOCKNYT, 8-9-09
  • Pete Fornatale: BACK TO THE GARDEN The Story of Woodstock, Excerpt – NYT, 8-9-09
  • Michael Lang with Holly George-Warren: THE ROAD TO WOODSTOCK, Excerpt – NYT, 8-9-09

Woodstock Remembered

Woodstock 1969: A Retrospective

Richie Havens – Freedom – Woodstock 1969

Santana – Soul Sacrifice – Woodstock 1969

Jefferson Airplane Saturday Afternoon Woodstock 1969

The Who – My Generation – Woodstock 1969

Joe Cocker – A Little Help From My Friends – Woodstock 1969

Crosby Stills Nash A Long Time Gone Woodstock 1969

The Star-Spangled Banner – Jimi Hendrix – Woodstock 1969

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