New 'Woodstock' Memoir Shows Both Sides Of The Festival
Out now is perhaps the best new book published in time for the golden anniversary of 1969's Woodstock festival -- Woodstock 50th Anniversary: Back To Yasgur's Farm by author Mike Greenblatt. The 224-page book features a foreword by Country Joe McDonald, along with interviews with such iconic performers as Graham Nash, Carlos Santana, Joe Cocker, Richie Havens, Country Joe McDonald, Edgar Winter, members of Jefferson Airplane, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Sly & The Family Stone, Canned Heat, Sha Na Na, co-host Chip Monck, assorted attendees, and many, many more. All 32 performances of the thre three-day festival are covered in detail.
Mike Greenblatt, who was 18 when he attended Woodstock, is able to blend his encyclopedic knowledge of rock with his first-hand experiences at the event to paint a full-scale portrait of what Woodstock was all about: "Thursday, Friday, and Saturday were idyllic. Sure, it rained all three days off and on -- but it was a light, misty rain, and it was warm, and there was no problem. You learned to take as much space as possible; if you didn't people would start crowdin' in on you from the left and right. But, they were friendly, people. They shared their wine, they shared their sandwiches, and water, and pot. We had left everything back at the car! We didn't even know where the car was! We had nothing, except shorts and a t-shirt."
Greenblatt explained that as a die-hard music fan himself, Woodstock 50th Anniversary: Back To Yasgur's Farm, covers all the bases: "This is the ultimate Woodstock book. It has that section in the middle of all 32 acts -- when they went on, every song they played, the personnel, what they were paid. And then I added a fun thing 'cause I'm a baseball fan and I love stats; I added that 'Five Top Albums' for every single band."