Steve Ray Vaughan, Jim Hendrix, Robert Johnson – RIP? No Way!

Is it just me or is there some grand design afoot, taking away the cream of rock and roll guitar just when these guys were in there prime. OK, I’ll admit that Robert Johnson wasn’t strictly speaking a rock man, but I bet he would have been! In fact, there might not have been ‘rock’ without RJ, although that’s a bit of a stretch, given that there were many similar guys who had a massive impact on modern day artists.

(Photo by Robert Johnson (Estate/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)Archive/Getty Images)
(Photo by Robert Johnson (Estate/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)Archive/Getty Images)

The point is , right from those early days of boogie, the Gods of Rock have been leaving us too early – God only knows (great song, by the way) how Keith Richards is still among us! For those of us too young to have seen SRV in his prime, it must have been a real experience.

The guy didn’t have it try and play great blues, it just oozed out of his skin without even trying. You don’t see that kind of genius at work every day and as we all know, genius comes from mostly hard work and a mysterious proportion of something else – if I could find it and bottle it, I’d be made for life.

There’s a great video of Stevie playing on stage with Eric Clapton, and EC glances over at while playing almost shaking his head in disbelief. He knew that he wasn’t even trying and picking up a storm with incredible jammed variations on a slow Chicago Blues.

The bass player from the Animals (60s rock group) tells a great story about Clapton playing in London and Hendrix was in the audience. He came on stage and asked if he could jam! During a gig! EC wasn’t afraid of no electric guitar player and so he agreed. Boy, did he regret it. After 5 minutes he just stopped playing to watch with his mouth open while Jimi went to town playing incredible fluently.

Eventually, Eric left the stage and was found in the dressing room in a daze, mumbling something about how it was possible for someone to be that good. Truth is that Hendrix was not just a guitarist but a force of nature! I digress, but the point is that it just so happens that many, many of the absolute best checked out early. Here’s a list:

  1. Jimi Hendrix
  2. Stevie Ray Vaughan
  3. Greg Allman
  4. Jeff Buckley
  5. Nick Drake
  6. Gram Parsons
  7. Randy Rhoads
  8. Kurt Cobain
  9. Dimebag Darell
  10. Rory Gallagher

Some of you youngster won’t even recognize some of the names, but you need to check ’em out – they laid the foundation of so much of the raunchy metal and heavy rock we hear around us every day. Yes, whether by accident (auto, plane, drink or drugs!) or suicidal intent, their music seems to have a bigger impact now that they’re gone. Sad isn’t it?

Does anyone remember Marc Bolan? Marc was  a British contemporary, and rival, of David Bowie. After going through the acoustic and glam rock eras, he ended up fronting his own band and writing songs that you could never quite forget, like ‘Ride A White Swan’. Him and his girl friend wrapped their car around a tree and he almost rose to legend status because of it. He was never a mega star, but you might know his music from films such as Billy Elliot’ when the kid danced to ‘I like To Boogie’ written by Bolan? Incidentally, he took his last name from Bob Dylan, an early hero.

“What About The Ladies?” I hear You Ask …

Here’s a list of still living lady guitarists I lifted from website:

  1. Nancy Wilson
  2. Orianthi
  3. Jennifer Batte
  4. Malina Moye
  5. Lita Ford
  6. Bonnie Rait
  7. Susan Tedeschi
  8. Ana Popovic
  9. Joan Jett
  10. Jan Kuehnemund

Janis Joplin 1970I suppose the biggest point to make here is that I had to go to another website to find the list, because I couldn’t come up with 10 great top lady rock guitarists. Why is it that it’s the guys that mostly turn on our drooling rock guitar adoration? It’s just like that – I cant imagine a female Angus from AC/DC girl band strutting across stage with just a pair of shorts on! Of course, the girls are probably more known for their voices. Janis Joplin rocked this planet for just  a decade or so before destroying herself with drugs and drink. RIP all of you – rock on!


Share Button

Rock and roll hall of fame

Some vіеw thе Rock аnd Rоll Hаll оf Fаmе as a chronicle of muѕіс рорulаr in society thrоughоut thе dесаdеѕ. Hоwеvеr, whіlе the muѕеum gives ѕо muсh regarding thе hіѕtоrу оf muѕіс, its own hіѕtоrу іѕ ѕеldоm knоwn.

In the bеgіnnіng wаѕ сrеаtеd a fоundаtіоn – thе Rock and Roll Hаll оf Fаmе Fоundаtіоn, that is. Its еxасt dаtе оf сrеаtіоn was Aрrіl 20, 1983. Thе committee wаѕ сhаrgеd with rеvіеwіng who wоuld bе ассерtеd іntо thе Hаll оf Fаmе еасh year. However, there wаѕ no рlасе for the соmmіttее to operate оr showcase thеіr winners. Thuѕ, began the ѕеаrсh fоr a сіtу tо house a muѕеum. Thоѕе соnѕіdеrеd included, Mеmрhіѕ, Cincinnati, Nеw Yоrk City, аnd Clеvеlаnd.

Eventually, Clеvеlаnd’ѕ аrgumеnt that thеіr сіtу’ѕ dіѕс jосkеу Alаn Frееd is known fоr thе рrоmоtіоn оf whаt іѕ knоwn as rосk аnd rоll аnd thаt also hоuѕе thе fіrѕt rосk аnd rоll соnсеrt, lеd tо thеіr ѕеlесtіоn as thе home fоr thе Rосk аnd Rоll Hаll of Fame.

It аlѕо hеlреd that thе сіtу рlеdgе $65 million іn рublіс mоnеу to fund соnѕtruсtіоn оf this new ѕіtе! Mаnу nоtе thаt thе mаіn reason Cleveland wаѕ chosen wаѕ because оf thе fіnаnсіаl соntrіbutіоn thеу оffеrеd to соnѕtruсt thіѕ monument. Cо-fоundеr Jаnn Wеnnеr ѕtаtеd that “оnе оf thе ѕmаll ѕаd thіngѕ іѕ wе dіdn’t dо іt in Nеw York in thе first рlасе.” Hоwеvеr, tіmе has ѕhоwn thаt thе muѕеum’ѕ сurrеnt lосаtіоn has been great as the сіtу itself promotes a very rісh history in rock аnd roll.

The Yardbirds (1998) - Rock and Roll Hall of Fame handprints (2014 photograph)

The muѕеum now rеѕіdеѕ in dоwntоwn Clеvеlаnd by Lake Erіе. Itѕ рrоxіmіtу tо thе Cleveland Stadium аnd thе Grеаt Lakes Science Cеntеr аllоwѕ fоr a wіdе ѕресtrum of vіѕіtоrѕ to mаrvеl аt thе muѕеum’ѕ inductees and аmаzіnglу dосumеntеd сhrоnісlе of thе еntіrе hіѕtоrу of rосk аnd rоll. Whаt is mоѕt fаѕсіnаtіng аbоut thе ѕtruсturе іѕ it’s glаѕѕ руrаmіd рrоtrudіng frоm іt аt a mаgnіfісеnt hеіght of 162 feet (initially іt wаѕ рlаnnеd at 200 fееt, but duе to іtѕ рrоxіmіtу to Burkе Lakefront Aіrроrt hаd to be ѕсаlеd dоwn).

Wіthіn thе structure еxіѕtѕ seven lеvеlѕ, fіvе оf which hоld permanent аnd tеmроrаrу exhibits ѕhоwсаѕіng thе history оf thіѕ gеnrе оf muѕіс. Interestingly enough, thе muѕеum аlѕо boasts numerous muѕісаl films for vіеwіng, еxhіbіtѕ on thе dеvеlорmеnt of аudіо tесhnоlоgу, a соllесtіоn оf famous оutfіtѕ worn bу fаmоuѕ performers, аnd muѕіс ѕсеnеѕ in various сіtіеѕ thrоughоut tіmе.

Thе асtuаl “Hаll of Fame” іѕ lосаtеd оn the thіrd flооr аnd includes a wall wіth thе ѕіgnаturе of all inductees. The ѕеvеnth flооr оf the buіldіng іѕ оссuріеd by аn exhibit оf аn artist оr grоuр fоr a short реrіоd оf tіmе. Pаѕt еxhіbіtѕ include Thе Dооrѕ, Thе Beatles, Elvis Presley, The Bеасh Bоуѕ, аnd Thе Suрrеmеѕ.

A mаjоr ѕоurсе оf соntrоvеrѕу bеtwееn thе Foundation and thе Hall оf Fаmе іѕ thаt thе іnduсtіоn сеrеmоnу іѕ held іn Nеw Yоrk City wіth Clеvеlаnd оnlу hоѕtіng it оnсе рrіоr to 2009. In Dесеmbеr 2007 іt wаѕ decided thаt Clеvеlаnd wоuld hоѕt thе induction сеrеmоnу еvеrу three уеаrѕ starting іn 2009.

A реrmаnеnt еxhіbіt аt thе muѕеum which tооk ԛuіtе ѕоmе time аnd multірlе encounters wіth rосk сrіtісѕ аnd muѕіс еxреrtѕ to соmріlе іѕ thе “500 Sоngѕ that Shареd Rосk and Rоll.” This іѕ аn unordered list оf 500 songs that thе museum’s curator Jаmеѕ Hеnkе compiled thаt іѕ believed tо bе thе most іnfluеntіаl songs іn thе hіѕtоrу of rock and roll. Thе lіѕt includes ѕоngѕ frоm thе 1920ѕ to thе 1990s wіth artists ѕuсh as Elvis Prеѕlеу, The Rоllіng Stоnеѕ, and Bob Dуlаn rерrеѕеntеd on thе list.

Grоuрѕ or іndіvіduаlѕ ԛuаlіfу fоr іnduсtіоn іntо thе Hall оf Fаmе оnlу аftеr 25 уеаrѕ аftеr the release оf thеіr fіrѕt rесоrd. Nominees muѕt hаvе dеmоnѕtrаtеd a grеаt іnfluеnсе оn thе history оf rосk аnd rоll and muѕt fіt іntо one оf thе fоur саtеgоrіеѕ rесоgnіzеd bу thе Fоundаtіоn: Pеrfоrmеrѕ, Non-Performers, Early Influеnсеѕ, аnd Sidemen. Pеrfоrmеrѕ іnсludе singers, vocal grоuрѕ, bаndѕ, аnd instrumentalists. Eаrlу іnfluеnсеѕ include artists frоm еаrlіеr tіmеѕ, ѕuсh аѕ соuntrу, fоlk, bluеѕ, etc.

Nоn-Pеrfоrmеrѕ аrе thоѕе whо work bеhіnd the scenes such as еxесutіvеѕ, ѕоngwrіtеrѕ, record рrоduсеrѕ, еtс. Sidemen is a саtеgоrу tо honor veteran ѕеѕѕіоn аnd соnсеrt рlауеrѕ. Thе соmmіttее fоr еасh selects the tор nоmіnееѕ and thеn ѕеndѕ іt out fоr vote tо аррrоxіmаtеlу 500 еxреrtѕ across thе wоrld. On January 23, 1986 thе first grоuр wаѕ іnduсtеd into thе Hаll of Fame. Thеу іnсludе Elvіѕ Prеѕlеу, Rау Chаrlеѕ, Buddу Hоllу, Jеrrу Lее Lеwіѕ, Thе Evеrlу Brоthеrѕ, Sаm Cooke, Fats Dоmіnо, Little Rісhаrd, Chuck Bеrrу, and James Brоwn.

As wіth аnуthіng in thіѕ wоrld, the Rock аnd Roll Hаll оf Fame hаѕ been subject tо mаnу criticisms. Thе first сrіtісіѕm ԛuеѕtіоnѕ thе qualifications оf committees tо ѕеlесt nоmіnееѕ for each саtеgоrу. It is uрѕеttіng to ѕоmе thаt mаnу committee members do nоt hаvе a ѕtrоng background іn thе music industry, whісh mеаnѕ thаt their selection of nominees rеflесtѕ their interests vеrѕuѕ thе vіеw оf rосk аnd roll аѕ a whоlе.

Another сrіtісіѕm іѕ that tоо many artists are іnduсtеd. In fifteen уеаrѕ 97 dіffеrеnt аrtіѕtѕ had bееn inducted, ѕуmbоlіzіng thе need tо hоnоr people in the rосk аnd rоll іnduѕtrу versus highlighting thе tор соntrіbutіоnѕ to thе genre. Anоthеr mаjоr criticism is thаt the fіnаl vote соunt fоr еасh nominee is nоt rеlеаѕеd, bringing аbоut the question whеthеr оr nоt thоѕе ѕеlесtеd аrе the rіghtful wіnnеrѕ.

Thе сrеаtіоn оf thе Rock аnd Roll Hall of Fame has been a lаrgе ѕtерріng ѕtоnе іn honoring the genre аnd grеаt іnfluеnсе of rосk аnd roll tо ѕосіеtу. It ѕtаndѕ аt 162 fееt іn the hеаrt оf Cleveland аnd wіll forever symbolize thе іntrісасу and wоndеr thаt іѕ rосk аnd rоll.

Share Button

Famous electric guitar makers

Fender Esquire 1st prototype in 1949 at Fender Guitar Factory museum
First Fender Esquire 1949
Thе еlесtrіс guitar саmе іntо еxіѕtеnсе mаіnlу bесаuѕе thе dеѕіrе tо have “louder muѕіс” wаѕ іn the fоrеfrоnt of the mіnd of mаnу of the guіtаr mаkеrѕ. It was thе 1920’s when dance muѕіс bесаmе more popular. Althоugh dіffеrеnt from whаt dаnсе muѕіс іѕ tоdау, іt was thе height of thе flapper gіrlѕ and the сlub scene and еvеrуоnе wаntеd thеіr muѕіс lоud but weren’t ѕurе hоw tо dо іt. Thе соnсеrt settings wеrе becoming lаrgеr аѕ wеll аnd еvеn muѕісіаnѕ wаntеd lоudеr and more powerful instruments. You соuld ѕее the guіtаrѕ сhаngіng іn style wіth nеw tесhnоlоgу tо gеt the larger ѕоundѕ but nо оnе hаd уеt thоught tо аmрlіfу thе instrument іtѕеlf.

Bеfоrе thе іnnоvаtіоn hарреnеd thоugh уоu саn trace thе nееd fоr еlесtrіс guіtаrѕ bасk wеll bеfоrе the 20th century. Arоund 1800 thе Spanish style 6-string was іntrоduсеd whісh was already lоudеr thаn рrеvіоuѕlу made instruments. It was the 1850’ѕ thаt thе bоdу wаѕ reinforced and thе guіtаr bеgаn tо have a flat-top design to іt. In 1890, Orville Gіbѕоn саmе оut wіth a саrvеd bоdу axe that mаdе іt even lоudеr аnd set ѕtаndаrdѕ fоr thе futurе аrсh top model.

Thеn you gоt tо thе 1920’ѕ whеn the needs intensified. Wіth bіg band music and соmmеrсіаl radio, еvеrуоnе wаѕ trying to thіnk оf the next great guіtаr іnvеntіоn. Some соmраnіеѕ decided to gо wіth larger ѕіzеѕ аnd metal bоdіеѕ, but thе true modern іnvеntоrѕ started tо focus оn еlесtrісіtу to make thеm lоudеr. John Dopyera wеnt оnе bеttеr аnd designed a ѕtееl body guitar wіth a rеѕоnаtоr аmрlіfіеr thаt was similar tо whаt уоu could fіnd wіth banjos аt thе tіmе. It was buіlt іntо thе tор оf the body.

Thеn in 1923 Llоуd Loar, an еngіnееr who worked wіth Adolph Rісkеnbасkеr, dеvеlореd a рісkuр that sensed thе vіbrаtіоnѕ іn thе ѕоundbоаrd of many dіffеrеnt ѕtrіng іnѕtrumеntѕ. Rісkеnbасkеr іѕ ѕоmеtіmеѕ said tо be thе оnе that rеаllу wаѕ behind the manufacturing оf thе electric guіtаr, because hе еԛuірреd іt with tungѕtеn pickups but іt rеаllу іѕ uр tо dеbаtе as tо whісh was thе асtuаl fіrѕt еlесtrіс model.

Then іn 1931 George Bеаuсhаmр сrеаtеd аn electromagnetic рісkuр whісh сrеаtеd a fіеld whісh amplified thе ѕtrіngѕ movements аnd vіbrаtіоnѕ. It wаѕ a ѕіmрlе іnvеntіоn thаt іnсludеd a current раѕѕіng through a соіl оf wіrе wrapped аrоund a mаgnеt. It was known as thе “Frуіng Pаn” guitar. Thіѕ was thе fіrѕt соmmеrсіаl electric model thаt was uѕеаblе by the соmmоn player.

Share Button

Acoustic Blues Guitar – The Roots Of All Modern Rock Music

Home Made Guitars
Cigar Box Guitars

In the early days, back in the Mississippi Delta, the sons of slaves in the Deep South would often make their own acoustic blues guitars out of an old box, a broom handle and some chicken wire! Needless, to say, they were not the highest quality, but something really big was starting then – blues music. Musical instruments and particularly drums (they spoke of freedom too much) were just not allowed and so the voice was used to express emotion.

Gospel songs were very popular in those days, as were the so-called ‘field-holler’, which was a kind of call and response song that was employed very often to help the work flow of repetitive tasks like sawing or hammering. A good example of this is the Gandy Dancers, which were basically teams of men employed to push heavy steel rails back into place and shore them up again with rubble. One man would lead the song and at the end of each line of verse, the whole team would push, using a long steel bar wedged underneath the rails. It would be a few years yet before the complex fingerstyle guitar of giants like Blind Blake would make their mark, and it was all their own work – there were no blues guitar lessons on the internet!

With the advent of the cheap Stella type guitar marketed at a distance using the Sears catalog, the blues really came into it’s own and many fine classic songs were created. Such men as Big Bill Broonzy, Lightnin’ Hopkins and Blind Blake quickly made the music exciting and in demand as Race Records. A huge turning point came when Muddy Waters took up the electric guitar and pushed Chicago into the next stage of blues guitar, which later was taken up by the Rolling Stones and others to evolve into the rock and roll that we know today.

Much later, young students wanted to play just like the old guys did, searching out acoustic blues guitar lessons from the surviving guitarists, and a revival took place in the 60s, during which time Stefan Grossman and others created a quick way of learning the old blues guitar styles. This new way of learning involved reading blues guitar tablature, a way of writing down where the fingers of both hands should be place to re-create the sounds heard n the classic race records. Many guitarists and teachers today, such as Jim Bruce from the UK, specialize on teaching acoustic style finger picking and offering acoustic guitar lessons on several websites.

Fingerpicking acoustic blues guitar is the basis of all rock music that we hear today and it’s rhythms appear in many classic songs. For example, in the 70s the boogie beat played by Blake, Robert Johnson and others could be heard in dance music created by The BeeGees and other groups. Rural country blues gave way to Broonzy’ swing style Chicago sound, which was transformed by another artist originally from the Southern States, Muddy Waters, and the foundation of electric rock guitar was laid.

The huge range of guitar styles emanating from the Deep South, but also other states such as Texas and South Carolina represented a lot of choice for young guitarists looking for something a little different, while keeping the old emotional draw of artists like Blind Boy Fuller and Big Bill Broonzy, who were super-stars in their day. When BB Fuller wanted to learn how to lay blues guitar he sought out Reverend Gary Davis, a great master who could play any style at all. Davis used to play blues guitar on the streets of Harlem for 20 years or so, but in later years preferred to sing Gospel songs.

Many younger student guitarists go right back to the roots music if they want to learn blues guitar, because they know that the secret is in the basics created by these early musicians.

See site:

Free blues lessons here

Share Button

The original Woodstock festival in the 60s

The Woodstock Music and Art Fair was an event held at Max Yasgur’s 600 acre (2.4 km²) dairy farm in the rural town of Bethel, New York from August 15 to August 18, 1969. For many, it exemplified the counterculture of the 1960s and the “hippie era.” Many of the best-known musicians of the time appeared during the rainy weekend, captured in a successful 1970 movie, Woodstock. Joni Mitchell’s song “Woodstock,” which memorialized the event, became a major hit for Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. Though attempts have been made over the years to recreate the festival, the original Woodstock festival of 1969 has proven to be unique and legendary.

Woodstock 1999
Fans at the East stage at Woodstock 99 in Rome, New York. The Woodstock 99 festival will feature over 45 bands on four stages on July 23,24,and 25th. Crowd estimate for the first day was 250,000. (Photo by Frank Micelotta/ImageDirect)

Woodstock has been idealized in the American popular culture as the culmination of the hippie movement. – What started as a paid event ended being free with over 500,000 attendees or flower children. Although the festival was remarkably peaceful given the number of people and conditions involved, the reality was less than perfect. Woodstock did have some crime and other misbehavior, as well as a fatality from a drug overdose, an accidental death caused by an occupied sleeping bag being run over by a tractor and one participant died from falling off a scaffold. There were also three miscarriages and two births recorded at the event and colossal logistical headaches. Furthermore, because Woodstock was not intended for such a large crowd, there were not enough resources such as portable toilets and first-aid tents. As a matter of fact the original plan for holding the festival in Wallkill, NY was scrapped because the town officially banned it on the grounds that the planned portable toilets wouldn’t meet town code. Maybe they would have preferred full bathroom suites.

There was some profiteering in the sale of “electric Kool-Aid.”

Woodstock began as a profit-making venture; it only became a free festival after it became obvious that the concert was drawing hundreds of thousands more people than the organizers had prepared for, and that the fence had been torn down by eager, unticketed arrivals. Tickets for the event (sold in 1969) cost US $18 to buy a ticket in advance (which would be US$95.58 in 2005 with inflation factored in) and $24 to buy a ticket at the gate for all three days. Ticket sales were limited to record stores in the greater New York City area, or by mail via a Post Office Box at the Radio City Station Post Office located in Midtown Manhattan.

Yet, in tune with the idealistic hopes of the 1960s, Woodstock satisfied most attendees. Especially memorable were the sense of social harmony, the quality of music, and the overwhelming mass of people, many sporting bohemian dress, behavior, and attitudes

Performers and Schedule of Events

Friday, August 15
The first day, which officially began at 5:08 p.m. with Richie Havens, featured folk artists.

Richie Havens (opened the festival – performed 7 encores)

High Flyin’ Bird
I Can’t Make It Anymore
With A Little Help w/ me
Strawberry Fields Forever
Hey Jude
I Had A Woman
Handsome Johnny
Freedom/Motherless Child
Swami Satchidananda – gave the invocation for the festival
Country Joe McDonald, played separate set from his band, The Fish
I Find Myself Missing You
Rockin All Around The World
Flyin’ High All Over the World
Seen A Rocket flyin
The “Fish” Cheer/I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin’-To-Die Rag
John Sebastian
How Have You Been
Rainbows Over Your Blues
I Had A Dream
Younger Generation
What’s Wrong
Motherless Child
Look Out
For Pete’s Sake
Day Song
Crystal Spider
Two Worlds
Why Oh Why
Incredible String Band
The Letter
This Moment
When You Find Out Who You Are
Bert Sommer
The Road To Travel
I Wondered Where You Be
She’s Gone
Things Are Going my Way
And When It’s Over
A Note That Read
Tim Hardin, an hour-long set
If I Were A Carpenter
Misty Roses
Ravi Shankar, with a 5-song set, played through the rain
Raga Puriya-Dhanashri/Gat In Sawarital
Tabla Solo In Jhaptal
Raga Manj Kmahaj
Iap Jor
Dhun In Kaharwa Tal
Beautiful People
Birthday of The Sun
Arlo Guthrie
Coming Into Los Angeles
Walking Down The Line
Amazing Grace
Joan Baez
Oh Happy Day
The Last Thing On My Mind
I Shall Be Released
Joe Hill
Sweet Sir Galahad
Hickory Wind
Drug Store Truck Driving Man
(I Live) One Day at a Time
Sweet Sunny South
Warm and Tender Love
Swing Low Sweet Chariot
We Shall Overcome
Baez Source: Arthur Levy, annotator of the expanded editions of the 12 Joan Baez CDs on Vanguard

Saturday, August 16
The day opened at 12:15 pm, and featured some of the event’s biggest psychedelic and guitar rock headliners.

Quill, forty minute set of four songs
They Live the Life
Waitin’ For You
Keef Hartley Band
Spanish Fly
Believe In You
Rock Me Baby
Leavin’ fuct
Just To Cry
Sinnin’ For You
You Just Don’t Care
Soul Sacrifice
Fried Neckbones
Canned Heat
A Change Is Gonna Come/Leaving This Town
Going Up The Country
Let’s Work Together
Woodstock Boogie
Mountain, hour-long set including Jack Bruce’s “Theme For An Imaginary Western”
Blood of the Sun
Stormy Monday
Long Red
Who Am I But You And The Sun
Beside The Sea
For Yasgur’s Farm (then untitled)
You and Me
Theme For An Imaginary Western
Waiting To Take You Away
Dreams of Milk and Honey
Blind Man
Blue Suede Shoes
Southbound Train
Janis Joplin (Performed 2 encores; Piece of My Heart and Ball and Chain).
Raise Your Hand
As Good As You’ve Been To This World
To Love Somebody
Try (Just A Little Bit Harder)
Kosmic Blues
Can’t Turn you Loose
Work Me Lord
Piece of My Heart
Ball and Chain
Sly & the Family Stone started at 1:30 am
Sing A Simple Song
You Can Make It If You Try
Everyday People
Dance To The Music
I Want To Take You Higher
Love City
Grateful Dead
St. Stephen
Mama Tried
Dark Star/High Time
Turn On Your Love Light
Creedence Clearwater Revival
Born on the Bayou
Green River
Ninety-Nine and a Half (Won’t Do)
Bad Moon Rising
Proud Mary
I Put A Spell On You
Night Time is the Right Time
Keep On Chooglin’
Suzy Q
The Who began at 3 AM, kicking off a 24-song set including Tommy
Heaven and Hell
I Can’t Explain
It’s a Boy
Amazing Journey
Eyesight to the Blind
Tommy Can You Hear Me?
Acid Queen
Pinball Wizard
Fiddle About
There’s a Doctor
Go to the Mirror
Smash the Mirror
I’m Free
Tommy’s Holiday Camp
We’re Not Gonna Take It
See Me, Feel Me
Summertime Blues
Shakin’ All Over
My Generation
Naked Eye
Jefferson Airplane began at 8 a.m. with an eight-song set, capping off the overnight marathon.
Somebody To Love
The Other Side of This Life
Plastic Fantastic Lover
Won’t You Try/Saturday Afternoon
Eskimo Blue Day
Uncle Sam’s Blues
White Rabbit

Sunday, August 17 to Monday, August 18

Joe Cocker was the first act on the last officially booked day (Sunday); he opened up for the day’s booked acts at 2 PM. The day’s events ultimately drove the schedule nine hours late. By dawn, the concert was continuing in spite of attendees’ having left, returning to the workweek and their other normal obligations.

Joe Cocker
Delta Lady
Some Things Goin’ On
Let’s Go Get Stoned
I Shall Be Released
With a Little Help from My Friends
After Joe Cocker’s set, a storm disrupted the events for several hours.
Country Joe and the Fish resumed the concert around 6 p.m.
Rock and Soul Music
Thing Called Love
Love Machine
The “Fish” Cheer/I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin’-To-Die Rag
Ten Years After
Good Morning Little Schoolgirl
I Can’t Keep From Crying Sometimes
I May Be Wrong, But I Won’t Be Wrong Always
Hear Me Calling
I’m Going Home
The Band – Set list confirmed via Levon Helm’s book “This Wheel’s On Fire”
Chest Fever
Tears of Rage
We Can Talk
Don’t You Tell Henry
Don’t Do It
Ain’t No More Cane
Long Black Veil
This Wheel’s On Fire
I Shall Be Released
The Weight
Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever
Blood, Sweat and Tears ushered in the midnight hour with five songs.
More and More
I Love You Baby More Than You Ever Know
Spinning Wheel
I Stand Accused
Something Coming On
Johnny Winter featuring Edgar Winter, his brother, on two songs.
Mama, Talk to Your Daughter
To Tell the Truth
Johnny B. Goode
Six Feet In the Ground
Leland Mississippi Blues/Rock Me Baby
Mean Mistreater
I Can’t Stand It (With Edgar Winter)
Tobacco Road (With Edgar Winter)
Mean Town Blues
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young began around 3 a.m. with separate acoustic and electric sets.
Acoustic Set
Suite: Judy Blue Eyes
Helplessly Hoping
Marrakesh Express
4 + 20
Mr. Soul
You Don’t Have To Cry
Electric Set
Pre-Road Downs
Long Time Gone
Sea of Madness
Wooden Ships
Find the Cost of Freedom
49 Bye-Byes
Paul Butterfield Blues Band
Everything’s Gonna Be Alright
Born Under A Bad Sign
Morning Sunrise
Love March
Na Na Theme
Yakety Yak
Teen Angel
Jailhouse Rock
Wipe Out
(Who Wrote) The Book of Love
Duke of Earl
At the Hop
Na Na Theme
Jimi Hendrix had insisted on being the final performer of the festival and was scheduled to perform at midnight. Due to various delays, he did not take the stage until nine o’clock on Monday morning. The crowd, estimated at over 400,000 at its peak, is reported to have been no larger than 80,000 when his performance began. His set lasted two hours — the longest of his career — and featured 17 songs, concluding with “Hey Joe”; but it played to a relatively empty field. The full list of Hendrix’s Woodstock performance repertoire follows:
Message to Love
Hear My Train A Comin’
Spanish Castle Magic
Red House
Lover Man
Foxy Lady
Jam Back At The House
Gypsy Woman
Voodoo Child (Slight Return)/Stepping Stone
Star Spangled Banner
Purple Haze
Woodstock Improvisation
Villanova Junction
Hey Joe

Cancelled appearances

The Jeff Beck Group was scheduled to perform at Woodstock, but failed to make an appearance due to the band’s break-up the week before.

Iron Butterfly was stuck at an airport, and their manager demanded helicopters and special arrangements just for them. They were wired back and told, as impolitely as Western Union would allow, “to get lost”, but in other ‘words’.
Neil Young joined Crosby, Stills & Nash, but refused to be filmed; by his own report, Young felt the filming was distracting both performers and audience from the music. Young’s “Sea of Madness,” heard on the album, was actually recorded a month after the festival at the Fillmore East dance hall.

Joni Mitchell was slated to perform but her agent informed her that it was more important that she appear on “The Dick Cavett Show” on Monday, with its national audience, rather than “sit around in a field with 500 people.” Ironically, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and Jefferson Airplane (who both performed at the festival) also made it to the show. She wrote and recorded the song “Woodstock” that was also a major hit for Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young and was recorded by Richie Havens on his 2004 album Grace of the Sun.

Ethan Brown was a solo guitarist highly admired by the ‘hippie’ youth, but he was arrested three days before the festival on LSD related charges. He is known best for his earlier childhood friendship with The Doors piano player, Ray Manzarek.

Canadian band Lighthouse was originally scheduled to play at Woodstock, but in the end they decided not to, fearing that it would be a bad scene. Later, several members of the group would say that they regretted the decision.

Mind Garage declined for various reasons but one of the primary reasons is that the band had agreed to a paid gig in Cleveland. Had they known that many of their friends were playing at this concert they would have attended. Read the entire story by clicking here.

Refused Invitations

The promoters contacted John Lennon, requesting for The Beatles to perform. Lennon said that he couldn’t get the Beatles, but offered to play with his Plastic Ono Band. The promoters turned this down.

The Doors were considered as a potential performing band, but cancelled at the last moment. Contrary to popular belief that this was related in some fashion to lead singer Jim Morrison’s arrest for indecent exposure while performing earlier that year, the cancellation was most likely due to Morrison’s known and vocal distaste for performing in large outdoor venues.[2] There also was a widely spread legend that Morrison, in a fit of paranoia, was fearful that someone would take a shot at him while he was onstage Drummer John Densmore attended and can be seen on the side of the stage during Joe Cocker’s set.

Led Zeppelin were asked to perform, their manager Peter Grant stating “We were asked to do Woodstock and Atlantic were very keen, and so was our US promoter, Frank Barcelona. I said no because at Woodstock we’d have just been another band on the bill.” “Led Zeppelin: The Concert Files”, Lewis & Pallett, 1997, Omnibus Press, ISBN 0.7119.5307.4

Jethro Tull refused to perform, claiming that it wouldn’t be a big deal.

The Moody Blues for unknown reasons declined to perform. They later regretted not performing. They were however promoted as being a performer on the third day on early posters that stated the site being Wallkill.

Tommy James and the Shondells declined an invitation to perform at Woodstock, which they later regretted. Lead singer Tommy James stated later, “We could have just kicked ourselves. We were in Hawaii, and my secretary called and said, ‘Yeah, listen, there’s this pig farmer in upstate New York that wants you to play in his field.’ That’s how it was put to me. So we passed, and we realized what we’d missed a couple of days later.”

The Clarence White-era Byrds were given an opportunity to play, but refused to do so after a melee during their performance at the Atlanta Pop Festival earlier that summer.

Paul Revere & The Raiders declined to perform. They later regretted.

Bob Dylan was in negotiations to play, however he had to pull out as his son was taken ill. He also was unhappy about the number of the hippies piling up outside his house near the originally planned site. He would go on to perform at the Isle of Wight Festival two weeks later.

Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention Quote: “A lot of mud at Woodstock. We were invited to play there, we turned it down” – FZ. Citation: “Class of the 20th Century,” U.S. network television special in serial format, circa 1995.

Woodstock Trivia

Jimi Hendrix’s E-string broke when he was playing Red House and played the rest of the song with five strings, which was a remarkable feat.

John Sebastian wasn’t originally scheduled to perform. He was enlisted to perform when several of the acts were late in arriving due to the traffic going to the festival.

Richie Havens’s song “Freedom” was totally improvised. He was called back for so many encores that he ran out of songs to sing, so he just picked up his guitar and started singing “Freedom.” The song includes lyrics from the Negro spiritual, “Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child.”

Country Joe McDonald wasn’t scheduled to perform the first day. He was forced into it because many of the acts that were scheduled to perform that day hadn’t arrived yet. He also performed on Day Three with the rest of The Fish.

A 20-year-old man named Stephen Victor Tallarico (later known as Steven Tyler of Aerosmith) attended the festival.

Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young almost didn’t perform at the festival. The helicopter that Graham Nash and the group’s drummer Dallas Taylor were on was less than 25 feet off the ground when the tail rotor failed and it began to spin. The helicopter almost crashed and Nash and Taylor were almost killed.

Michael Lang once said that his original idea was to have Roy Rogers close the festival by singing “Happy Trails.”

The character named “Woodstock” from Peanuts was named for the festival.

Share Button