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Roots of the 1969 Woodstock Festival: The Backstory to "Woodstock"

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Roots of the 1969 Woodstock Festival: The Backstory to
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  • ISBN: 9780967926858 | 0967926858
  • Cover: Paperback
  • Copyright: 7/15/2009
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This book explains definitively and for the first time why the festival was named Woodstock, and why it continues to be so closely associated with the town, even though the concert actually took place in Bethel, New York. The project began as panel discussion among townspeople knowledgeable about the music scene in the late sixties. It was held on August 9, 2008, at the Colony Cafe in Woodstock (and followed by a contemporary "Sound-Out"). Panelists included Michael Lang, a Woodstock resident and legendary 1969 Woodstock Festival promoter; Jean Young, a co-author with Lang of Woodstock Festival Remembered; Bill West, active in local government since the 1960s; Jeremy Wilber, former Town Supervisor and bartender during the sixties at the Sled Hill Cafe; and Paul McMahon, a local music icon. During the course of the wide-ranging conversation the audience learned how Lang and his partners developed the concept for the world-renowned Woodstock Music and Art Fair, and how their thinking was shaped by Woodstock's legacy of art and music festivals. A richly illustrated panel discussion transcript comprises the first part of the book. It is followed by a roots of Woodstock photo essay that highlights such Woodstock writers and performers as Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Allen Ginsberg, Pete Seeger, and Richie Havens. In addition it chronicles the Arts and Crafts origins of the town from the 1800s, and highlights the town's hallowed tradition of weekend-long musical concerts. These began in the early 1900s with Woodstock's Maverick festivals, and stretched up through the countercultural Sound-Outs of the 1960s. Bob Fass, a Woodstock Sound-Out emcee and host of WBAI's Radio Unnameable for close to fifty years has contributed a brilliant and evocative foreword to the book. Also included are a compendium of important Woodstock players, a map of historic 1960s locations in the Woodstock area, and 115 images many of them rare, vintage photos of the Woodstock music and art scenes.


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