Monday, July 27, 2009

Remembering Woodstock

The 40th Anniversary of Woodstock is upon us ... and tributes are springing up all over the country to celebrate this historical music event. (We had hoped to share some comments from Artie Kornfeld, one of the original organizers of this event, but he hasn't responded yet!)

The film "Taking Woodstock" premiers nationally on August 28th. The Ang Lee film tells the story of Elliot Tiber who gave up his "backyard" to house the festival. Complete details can be found here: Click here: Taking Woodstock - Moviefone.

Some of our Forgotten Hits Readers who live in the area have been keeping us informed over the past year with some of the filming events and the previews for the movie have been showing in theaters for weeks now. We can't wait to see this one!

Meanwhile, deluxe CD Box Sets and DVD Box Sets, including music and footage never before seen, have also flooded the market, as have a number of books on the subject. (You'll find an entire Woodstock Table Display at Barnes and Nobles! The "counter-culture" has now become SO mainstream ... and marketable ... some 40 years later!)

Dee Jay Jimmy Jay just sent us THIS report about some Boston-area celebrations:
Boston Celebrates Woodstock!
August 12 – 16, 2009 Regent Theatre, Arlington, MA
Featuring Richie Havens – Jocko (Sha Na Na) – Jimmy Jay (Rewind Show) plus more exciting events.

Wednesday, August 12 at 8 pm: An Evening with RICHIE HAVENS with Jimmy Jay host of the internationally syndicated Rewind Show will MC the show.
When Richie Havens opened the "Woodstock Music & Arts Fair" on August 15, 1969, the throngs assembled on Yasgur's Farm in upstate New York were quickly blown away by the power and energy of his performance.
(The rest -- as they say -- is history.)
40 years later, The Regent Theatre is proud to present this music icon two days before he returns to perform "Freedom" at the site of the original Woodstock stage in Bethel, NY at noon, followed by an evening performance.
Thursday, August 13 at 7:30 pm : 7:30 Panel and 9:00 Film
Reliving Woodstock - Jimmy Jay Moderator (The Rewind Show)
A Lively, Interactive Panel Discussion and Q & A with Those That were There or Wish They Were including …
Susan Reynolds -- Author of "Woodstock Revisited" -- #1 on Good Morning America's Top 8 Woodstock books;
Elijah Wald -- Author of the new book on the history of American popular music from the dawn of recording to the 1960s, "How The Beatles Destroyed Rock and Roll”;
Bill Hanley -- Father of Festival Sound -- designed, built and operated of the Woodstock sound system, & recorded the master tapes;
Jocko -- Founding member of Sha Na Na, youngest performer on the Woodstock stage;
Gary Sohmers — Known as the "King of Pop Culture," he produces and hosts, the syndicated talk radio show "Calling All Collectors" and is a very popular, flamboyant appraiser of Toys, Collectibles and Memorabilia on the hit PBS television program "The Antiques Roadshow";
Dennis Keller -- "Front Row" Fan at Woodstock -- caught Pete Townshend's guitar tossed into crowd at the end of The Who's legendary set.
Thursday, August 13 at 7:00 pm
Special Screening Event Introduced By Director, Michelle Esrick!
Saint Misbehavin': The Wavy Gravy Movie
Beginning with Woodstock ‘99, director Michelle Esrick spent 10 years documenting the life of Wavy Gravy. Saint Misbehavin’ journeys from the hills of California to the Himalayan Mountains to reveal the life of this one of a kind servant to humanity. The film blends Wavy’s own words with magical stories from an extraordinary array of fellow travelers both cultural and counter-cultural, revealing the man behind the clown’s grin and the fool’s clothing. Featuring: Wavy Gravy, Jahanara Romney, Jordon Romney, Dr. Larry Brilliant, The Grateful Dead, Phil Lesh, Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne, Ramblin' Jack Elliot, Odetta, Patch Adams, Steve Earle, Lisa Law, Buffy Sainte Marie, Denise Kaufman, Michael Franti, Tom Law, Steven Ben Israel, The Hog Farm and more!
Friday, August 14 at 8:00 pm:
WOODSTOCK: The Next Generation
Special Concert Featuring Young Musicians / Bands Playing Songs Performed at Woodstock
Hosted by Jocko from Sha Na Na and Jimmy Jay from the Rewind Radio Show
Woodstock is not just for Old Hippies and Aging Boomers. Come hear some of Boston’s most talented teen and young adult musicians sink their teeth into Woodstock classics from The Who, Hendrix, Jefferson Airplane, CCR, Sly & The Family Stone, Janis Joplin, & more! Feat. Renee Marcou, Louie Bello, Jessica Prouty Band, a special appearance by The Paul Green School of Rock.
Host Jocko will sit in on a few songs …

Saturday and Sunday, August 15 and 16:
(On The BIG Screen In Concert Sound)
Woodstock: 3 Days of Peace & Music — 4-Hr. Director’s Cut!
Sat 8/15, 7:30 pm; Sun 8/16, 2 pm (FREE if you dress in ‘60s Attire!)
The landmark Oscar®-winning documentary captures the essence of the music, the electricity of the performances, and the experience of those who lived it. Newly re-mastered, this director’s cut features legendary performances by 17 artists.
JIMI HENDRIX, Live at Woodstock
Sat 8/15, 2 pm; Sun 8/16, 7:30 pm
Hendrix’s complete, legendary festival closing performance.
Screening includes The Road To Woodstock: a documentary featuring interviews with Hendrix band members Mitch Mitchell, Billy Cox, Juma Sultan, and Larry Lee, engineer Eddie Kramer, & Woodstock promoter Michael Lang among others -- plus color film footage of never before seen Hendrix press conference held September 3, 1969 in Harlem — he answers questions about his Woodstock performance, his rendition of the "Star Spangled Banner," and the festival’s cultural impact

And we're celebrating here in Illinois, too! (WOODSTOCK, Illinois to be exact!!!) Two days of peace, love and music ... and nothing BUT peace, love and music ... will be offered on August 14th and August 15th with a total of NINE Tribute Bands scheduled to perform tributes to the Artists of Woodstock. (Bands include tributes to Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Joe Cocker, The Who, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Grateful Dead and Santana.) And, on July 31st at The Genesee Theatre in Waukegan you can catch Jefferson Starship (who are now billing themselves as "The Heroes Of Woodstock")!!!
Eons ago, we interviewed Henry Gross for Forgotten Hits. Here's what HE had to say about the whole Woodstock Experience:
Prior to his success as a solo artist, Henry Gross started his career as the original lead guitarist in the camp '50's group Sha Na Na back in the late '60's. (Performing at WOODSTOCK just HAD to be one of the career highlights for this guy!!!) So we asked him about it!
FORGOTTEN HITS: You obviously had a real appreciation for the rock music that started it all in order to have been involved with Sha Na Na from the very beginning. Can you tell us how the concept for that band came about?
HENRY GROSS: Sha Na Na started when a college glee club, "The Columbia Kingsmen", did a few oldies at a school pub called " The Lion's Den" to a tumultuous response. Seeing this, the brother of one of the members, George Leonard, had the vision and put the concept to the members. Some stayed, some quit when the new direction was taken. I was at a different college but was in a band with two of the members of that glee club. They asked me to join and I did.
FH: The band took a tongue-in-cheek look at some of the music of the '50's in their stage act but musically and vocally were right on the money ... in other words, the music never suffered. How did Sha Na Na happen to be booked at Woodstock? What was that whole experience like? There couldn't have been a less-likely audience for you to play to!!!
HG: After playing at the hottest club in New York, The "Steve Paul Scene" and playing at "The Fillmore East" to incredible reactions, we were added to the bill at "Woodstock". Woodstock was great fun. Got to drive to the stage (for about three hours) with Jerry Garcia! Great guy! I also got to spend time with Jimi Hendrix, who I'd gotten to know fairly well through a guy called Velvert Turner who sat next to me in "The Midwood High School Mixed Chorus" in Brooklyn. Velvert was very close with Jimi and I was lucky to have had the opportunity to know both of them, as they were really great and talented guys. Also met and spoke to Alvin Lee, who is a friend of mine today, although he has no recollection of our meeting then. Why would he? It was right after he came off stage and there were 300,000 other folks talking to him at approximately the same time!
There has been a WHOLE lot of "Reflecting Back on 1969" going on recently ... The Woodstock Anniversary ... The Moon Landing ... The Miracle Mets ... The End Of The '60's ... and SO much more!
What are some of YOUR favorite memories of '69? (I mean, we ALL know what Bryan Adams was doing that summer ... but what about YOU guys?!?!?)
Send us some of your reminisces and we'll feature them throughout the month of August ... along with a look back at the music that was all over the radio during The Summer of '69 ... as well as some reflections on some of the headlines that were going on around us at the time. (Manson Family, anyone?!?!?) We'll take a look back at The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (oh wait ... that was 1968!!!) and share some of YOUR favorite '69 memories. (No ... not THOSE 69 memories ... well, unless you've got pictures to share!!!)
You know what I mean ... get 'em into us as soon as you can and we'll stop and take a look back throughout the month of August. Get in on the fun and drop us a line!