Woodstock: 40 Years On

Saturday, August 15, 2009 marks the 40th anniversary of the Woodstock Music & Arts Fair. The following are a few highlights, memories, images and videos from one of the momentous events in the history of America’s popular culture.

Wavy Gravy, from WavyGravy.net:

“When still known as Hugh Romney, he stood on the stage of the original Woodstock concert and announced…’What we have in mind is breakfast in bed for 400,000′.”

Eddie Kramer, from KramerArchives.com:

“[Eddie] Kramer was recruited to record the Woodstock festival for both the album and the movie. ‘I arrived at dawn and was struck by the sight of the sun rising over what appeared to be the stage. The show was scheduled to start by lunchtime. That panic pretty much set the tone for the entire concert. All of us in the crew had Vitamin B shots, so that we would be able to stay up for three days. The whole thing was recorded under the most primitive of conditions, but we got it done,’ says Kramer. ‘Woodstock was 3 days of hell and drugs’.”

Duke Devlin, from a 2008 BBC America story:

From the BBC, an image of Joe Cocker’s band setting up:


From About.com, a photo of Country Joe McDonald (photo by Jim Marshall):

Richie Havens performed the very first set at Woodstock. Here is the song “Freedom,” from August 15, 1969:

The stage at Woodstock (AP Photo):


One thought on “Woodstock: 40 Years On

  1. Did you know that Ritchie Havens’ “Freedom” was improvised? Yep. He made it up on the spot when promoters asked him to stall.

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