Sunday, August 09, 2009
Hitting the 40th anniversary of Woodstock, allow me to marvel at the lineup of bands that came together those three days. Of course, I think it is safe to say that some of those bands weren't exactly well-known when they appeared in upstate New York. And some of them had peaked already and were either on their way down, or desperately holding steady.
Jefferson Airplane is a good example of a band that had peaked. Their appearance at Woodstock kept them going for a little longer, but the days of "White Rabbit" were well behind them. On the other hand, bands like Santana, Joe Cocker, and Crosby, Stills, and Nash found their path upward made easier thanks to their appearances.
One of the things that strikes me about the artists who performed was how many of them were never associated with Woodstock, probably because their performances weren't captured on film. Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, CCR, The Band, and several others performed and were solid. And even some who were caught on film weren't done justice. Hendrix? Sly and the Family Stone? Ten Years After?
There is no way any one film could have truly captured the sets of these artists, and that's fine, that's part of the romance and the wonder of the phenomena. All we can do is look at the film, look at the list of performers, and appreciate what we missed, for our imagination can never match the reality. That might be a good thing.
Below...here is a list of the performers at Woodstock. And, by the way, check out this site: http://www.woodstockstory.com/bandsperformerssetsplaylists1969.html
Richie Havens, Sweet Water, Tim Harden, Melanie, Arlo Guthrie, Joan Biaz, Country Joe and The Fish, Canned Heat, Grateful Dead, Leslie West and Mountain, Santana, Sha Na Na, Jimi Hendrix, Blood Sweat and Tears, Ten Years After, Crosby Stills and Nash, Paul Butterfield Blues Band, The Who, Joe Cocker, Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin, The Band, John Sebastian
Posted by Stewart Sternberg at 2:34 PM