Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Woodstock revisited, revisited

If you are planning to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Woodstock Music and Art Fair, An Aquarian Exposition (yes, that's what they called it), you are lucky.

* You could go see Woodstock festival opening act Richie Havens at the original site of the 1969 festival in Bethel (if you have tickets, because it's sold out).

* Not sold out is the Heroes of Woodstock concert, also at Bethel Woods, featuring the Levon Helm Band, Jefferson Starship, Ten Years After, Canned Heat, Big Brother and the Holding Company, Mountain, Tom Constanten and Country Joe McDonald.

* Closer to home, you can attend the "Roots of Woodstock" concert featuring The Blues Magoos, Hubert Sumlin, Ellen McIlwaine and Marc Black at the Bearsville Theater. The Freeman's Bonnie Langston provided some context recently:

Weston Blelock, producer, along with his sister Julia Blelock, of the Roots of Woodstock Festival, believes Woodstock’s history of festivals — including those at the Maverick arts community founded in 1904 by writer Hervey White and later gatherings in the 1960s at Pan Copeland’s West Saugerties farm — provided fertile ground to nurture the embryo of the 1969 festival.

The events at Copeland’s, called Sound-Outs, Weston Blelock said, were “critical.” Some of those performers will return for the “roots” concert, including the Blues Magoos, who opened in 1967 for The Who, a band that played the Woodstock Festival two years later along with a long list of notables including Jimi Hendrix, Richie Havens, Jefferson Airplane, the Grateful Dead, Credence Clearwater Revival, the Band, Janis Joplin, Joan Baez, Ravi Shankar and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.

* Woodstock perpetrator and Mount Tremper resident Michael Lang will make a pit stop at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Barns & Noble, 1177 Ulster Avenue in the town of Ulster to promote his book, "The Road to Woodstock," which he co-wrote with Holly George-Warren of Phoenicia.

More Woodstock stuff:

* Woodstock '94 and Woodstock Film Festival promoter Ilene Marder was quoted in an Associated Press story about the festival, which she had the unfortunate side effect of revealing her age. But I don't know how to count, so her secret is safe.

* Ang Lee's comedy "Taking Woodstock" opens later this month.

The Associated Press compiled these goodies:

* Woodstock: 3 Days Of Peace And Music (Director's Cut 40th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition): This remastered version of the Woodstock documentary weighs in at more than three hours.

* Music from the Original Soundtrack and More: Woodstock: The 1970 best-selling album remastered.

* "The Woodstock Experience." This 10-CD box set includes performances by Santana, Janis Joplin, Sly & The Family Stone, Johnny Winter and Jefferson Airplane, complemented by studio albums.

* Woodstock - 40 Years on: Back to Yasgur's Farm: A six-CDs box set touted by Rhino as "the most comprehensive collection of Woodstock performances ever."

* "Back to the Garden: The Story of Woodstock," a book where Disc jockey Pete Fornatale's book includes interviews with Roger Daltrey, Joan Baez and other artists.

* "Woodstock - Peace, Music & Memories." Brad Littleproud and Joanne Hague of the Woodstock Preservation Society gather pictures, interviews and look at Woodstock memorabilia.

Did I miss anything? Your comments are welcome.

Editor's note: Bong parties are illegal and not Woodstock-releated events.