WOODSTOCK: 3 DAYS OF PEACE & MUSIC
BY SARA DARLING
It might be fifty years since Woodstock, but its reputation for free love in '69 has stood the test of time, and been captured in a no holds barred, 288 page, coffee table photographic book authored by music producer and artistic manager, Michael Lang, and photographs by names of the day including Ralph Ackerman, Dan Garson, Barry Z. Levine, Elliott Landy, Lee Marshall, Ken Regan, who witnessed everything, mud and all.
On August 15, 1969, half a million people waited on a dairy farm in Bethel, New York, for the three-day music festival to start. Billed as “An Aquarian Experience: 3 Days of Peace and Music,” however, this soon got re-christened 'Woodstock'.
However, 1969 was a time of unrest in America, when the country was involved in the controversial Vietnam War, and the civil rights movement, which led to insecurity and protest.
Woodstock was an opportunity for young and old to escape into music and spread a message of unity and peace. More than 500,000 revellers partied non stop, and the fact the heavens opened, gave even more reason for solidarity and loving thy neighbour (and plenty of sex drugs and rock n roll.)
The first Woodstock left a legacy as it closed with Hendrix whipping the audience into a frenzy, and an era of hippies, stoners, prep kids, hells angels and norm-core kids were bonded, even if just for one night.
Whether it was cheap drugs or flower power, the decade ended on a high.
Author Michael Lang went on to produce Woodstock ‘94 and ’99, and enjoyed a successful career in the music biz, working with artists such as Outkast, Missy Elliott, Madonna, Bruce Springsteen and many more.
August 2019 is set to see a fiftieth anniversary of Woodstock (Woodstock 50TM) in New York – featuring performers from the original festival alongside contemporary artists, cultural social issues that affect all ages of urbanites especially environmental activism and global warming. It's about time for another summer of love.
Pre-order your copy from Reel Art Press here