Monday – Aug. 18, 1969,
On this day in 1969, the grooviest event in music history–
the Woodstock Music Festival –
draws to a close after three days of
peace, love and rock ‘n’ roll in upstate New York.
Woodstock was a product of a partnership between
They held the festival on a 600-acre dairy farm in
Bethel, New York–owned by Max Yasgur –
some 50 miles from Woodstock
By the time the weekend of the festival arrived, the group had sold a total of 186,000 tickets and expected no more than 200,000 people to show up.
By Friday night, – the promoters made the decision to open the concert to everyone, free of charge. Close to half a million people attended Woodstock,
Soaked by rain and wallowing in the muddy mess of Yasgur’s fields, young fans best described as “hippies” euphorically took in the performances of acts like
Creedence Clearwater Revival,
The Grateful Dead,
Sly and the Family Stone and
Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.
And numerous others …
It was perhaps the most epic music festival in history.
It is cited as one of Rolling Stone‘s “50 Moments That Changed the History of Rock and Roll,”
and, as the “definitive nexus for the larger counterculture generation.”
The most memorable moment of the concert for ME & many fans was the closing performance by
When they took to the stage – Monday at 9 a.m., the crowd, which once numbered 500,000, had dwindled to perhaps considerably fewer than 100,000—maybe 30,000 ??? .
Legendary guitarist Jimi Hendrix embarked upon an amazing and uninterrupted set lasting nearly two hours—
one of the longest performances of his career.
It concluded with a long medley that included a rambling, rocking solo performance of the Star Spangled Banner –
That was part of a medley lasting over half an hour, one of the longest such medleys.
The medley also included hits like Voodoo Child (slight return) and Purple Haze,
and an unaccompanied improvisation lasting nearly five minutes.
Hendrix performed the national anthem as a solo in the midst of this medley
– this would become emblematic not only of Woodstock, but of the 1960s themselves.
Hendrix had assembled a group he called Gypsy Suns and Rainbows, which included two musicians he had played with at the start of his career on the Chitlin’ Circuit in Nashville:
bassist Billy Cox and
guitarist Larry Lee.
Larry Lee played some lead on Jam Back at the House,
contributed several lead choruses to the 12-bar blues Red House.
played some lead on both Voodoo Child (slight return) and Spanish Castle Magic
sang lead on two numbers.
no recordings, audio or visual, have ever been officially released of Lee’s two featured numbers:
Mastermind and a medley of Gypsy Woman and Aware of Love.
written or co-written by Curtis Mayfield, with whom Hendrix had performed with in the early 1960s.
It was the only Hendrix concert that included these songs.
Lee’s solo guitar work accounts for much of the footage of the Hendrix Woodstock set that has never been made public.
Drummer Mitch Mitchell, who was part of the Experience, and
two percussionists rounded out the band, one of the largest Hendrix ever appeared with.
The group performed just twice more before disbanding.
There were surprisingly few episodes of violence, –
one teenager was accidentally run over and killed by a tractor and another died from a drug overdose.
The term “Woodstock Nation” would be used to describe the youth counterculture of the 1960s.
– Peace – Love – Music –
– from – 1 of our people –
Michael Dorsey, July 22, 2009