On Friday, August 15, 1969, at about 5:07 p.m., the first day of Woodstock began, the festival that sealed the generation of flowers in 1969, the one that gave moments that became a true icon for popular culture and an unwavering soundtrack in rock.
On this occasion, we rescued from our archives a delivery by Ernesto Bustos, which will focus on strange and little-known data from these three days of peace and music, which were strictly speaking four. Be careful, much of the information that will be here may not represent anything new for those who read it or vice versa. However, it is possible to discover some rather strange and little known data until today.
1. First technical problem
The Grateful Dead set had to be cut due to the overload of electricity of the equipment on stage, despite the fact that the band managed to be on stage for 1 hour, during the early hours of Sunday, August 17.
2. Storm Man
After Joe Cocker’s electrifying show, between 3:30 p.m. and 4:10 p.m. on Sunday, August 17, a deluge broke out that lasted several hours and forced the organization to suspend performances until 8:00 p.m. At that time Country Joe and the Fish took the stage.
3.- With Jimi at dawn
At 08:30 on Monday, August 18, the guitarist took the stage, who after being introduced to the audience as the Jimi Hendrix Experience, clarified that the real name of the band was Gypsy Sun and Rainbows. His performance lasted until 10 am
4. With Jimi at dawn (2)
The performance of “The Star Spangled Banner” was described by a New York Post rock critic as “the great moment of the ’60s.” However, it was witnessed by a small part of the public that had attended the festival, since most had already left.
5. Because of a helicopter?
More than 33 artists were scheduled to perform, but the newly formed Iron Butterfly ran out of helicopter and couldn’t make it to the Bethel ranch. But there is another version that speaks of a previous fight of its members before embarking.
6. Lennon stuck in Canada
The Beatle contacted the organizers of Woodstock to inform them that he was in Canada and that, unfortunately, the US government would not allow him to enter the country. At that point, the Liverpool quartet was tacitly dissolved, although John had asked as a condition to perform, that Yoko Ono’s Plastic Band would also do so.
7. All Happening
The festival started an hour late because it was difficult to find any of the artists able to go on stage. Tim Hardin was too high to play and his repertoire was limited to two songs (he later died of a heroin overdose). Richie Havens, who opened the performances on the first day, had to extend his repertoire with “Freedom”, which eventually became an anthem.
8. “Crazy John”
The performance of John Sebastian, American singer-songwriter, was a surprise. He was backstage and unexpectedly they invited him to go on stage. He had used marijuana and LSD for which he did not stop shouting and thanking the organization for the gesture.
9. Near miss
A side part of the stage was broken. Grace Slick (voice of Jefferson Airplane) and Janis Joplin were in that place, but they came out unharmed.
10. Official statement
Governor Nelson Rockefeller declared the Bethel Farm area a “disaster.” The health department documented 5,162 medical cases, including 797 for drug abuse. However, Time magazine defined the festival as the “greatest peaceful event in history.”
11. Unprofitable business
Woodstock organizers took a decade to recover the money they owed. 3.1 million dollars were spent and only 1.8 entered.
12. Bob Dylan, the first to reject Woodstock
Bob Dylan was one of the first artists to be invited, but he was also the first to decline due to a son’s illness.
13. The Doors didn’t want to go to a “second class Monterey Pop”
They were contacted, but when they were told that the festival was on a farm near Woodstock and not in New York’s Central Park, Ray Manzarek and his crew refused. They said it would be a “second class Monterey Pop Festival”.
14. Led Zeppelin also rejected Woodstock
Led Zeppelin turned down the offer because Peter Grant, their historic and imposing manager, felt Woodstock was too small a festival.
15. The Byrds, sorry for rejecting it
The Byrds didn’t accept the invitation because someone tipped them off that only some bands were paid to perform. Later, the band would say “we missed the best festival ever”.
16. The Moody Blues with work elsewhere
The Moody Blues were scrapped from the original poster, although they did not lack work. That weekend they offered some unforgettable shows in Paris.
17. Spirit and Joni Mitchell, other commitments
Both Spirit and Joni Mitchell declined to participate due to previous commitments.
18. Not even Jimi Hendrix’s invitation added King Crimson
King Crimson He also declined to participate, at the invitation of Jimi Hendrix, due to commitments in the United Kingdom. It is also said that they were rejected for being too new a band.