Summer of 69'

Summer of Love

It was the year 1969 - Sesame Street debuted on PBS, the Boeing 747 made it's first public flight, Celtics beat the Lakers in the NBA championship, 3,000 lbs. of bombs were dropped in Vietnam in the month of April, NY Mets win the World Series, James Earl Ray is convicted of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Senator Ted Kennedy involved in Chappaquiddick, Edwin Adrin and Neal Armstrong land on the moon, top movies were Easy Rider, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and Midnight Cowboy, Richard Burton buys wife Elizabeth Taylor a 69 carat bauble, and Charles Manson family kills several in Tate/LaBianca murder spree.
I on the other hand was all about my second-hand baby blue Schwinn purchased from the Avon lady. I hadn't quite gotten cool enough for a 10-speed; that didn't come until High School. I would ride that Schwinn to the local radio/television store to purchase the latest 45's. I thought the Beatles and the Stones were too old. This was the music that was playing on my stereo;
"Crimson & Clover" - Tommy James & The Shondells; "Dizzy" - Tommy Roe" "Aquarius/Let the Sun Shine In" - The 5th Dimension "Love Theme from Romeo & Juliette" - Henry Mancini "Sugar, Sugar" - The Archies

That was the summer before I entered the 7th grade - focused on my fears of remembering my Jr. high locker combo and the nightmare of changing class rooms without being late at the bell. "Should I have a mirror in my locker; will I get a ride to the local fair to see the cute boys of the FFA (Future Farmers of America) showing their prized cow?" - these were the things that weighed heavy on my mind. Little did I know how cool the summer of 69' would be ~

What was the theme of the festival?
3 Days of Peace and Music. The festival was also called "An Aquarian Exposition".

"Good morning, what we have in mind is breakfast in bed for 40,000"

Beatniks, hippies, flower children and rock legends gathered together not in
Woodstock, but in the little town of Bethel, rural New York State.

Any decent flower child worth their name was there to protest against the
Vietnam war abroad and racial tension at home.

The organizers played down the numbers they anticipated, telling the authorities they expected 50,000, while selling 186,000 tickets in advance (costing six dollars for each day) and planning for 200,000. In the end 500,000 attended. Another million had to turn back because of traffic. It was originally advertised as 'A Weekend in the Country.'Hearing there was a shortage of food, a Jewish community centre made sandwiches with 200 loaves of bread, 40 pounds of meat cuts and two gallons of pickles, which were distributed by nuns.

Which band didn't perform at Woodstock, because they were stuck at the airport?
Iron Butterfly -stuck at the airport, their manager demanded helicopters and special
arrangements just for them. But they didn't get the helicopters.

While most acts reveled in having appeared there, sitar player Ravi Shankar
found it a 'terrifying experience' and said the crowd in the mud reminded
him of the water buffaloes at home in India.

During the downpour there were fears some artists would get electrocuted.
Alvin Lee, of Ten Years After, was warned of the risk as it was still raining when
his turn came to go on. 'Oh come on, if I get electrocuted at Woodstock
we'll sell lots of records,' he said.

No incidents of violence occurred at the Woodstock festival.

Jimi Hendrix. Hendrix played the National Anthem during
his set, and went into "Purple Haze".

The Jeff Beck Group, featuring Rod Stewart & Ronnie Wood, were booked to play, but they
split acrimoniously on the eve of their Woodstock appearance

As an unknown and unproven business concern, the organizers, Woodstock Ventures, had to pay inflated sums to get the top rockers to sign up. Jefferson Airplane were the first, paid $10,000, double their usual fee. Even hippie band The Grateful Dead demanded cash in hand before they would play, as did Janis Joplin and The Who.

Melanie Safka (remember 'I've got a brand new pair of roller skates'?) failed to
get a performer's pass and had to sing her song, Beautiful People,
to the security guards to get backstage.

The Washington Post made some interesting observations about the huge traffic jam that kept many away from the festival. In the August 16 edition of the paper, reporter B.J. Phillips notes that, “it was the most patient traffic jam” that the Catskills had ever seen. Phillips also states in his article that,“there was nothing to do about it, except perhaps park and walk, so they broke out guitars and drums and tambourines, sat on the hoods, trunks, and roofs of cars and tried to make the best of it.”

John Lennon told organizers he had wanted to be a part of Woodstock, but he was in
Canada and the U.S. government had refused him an entry visa.

What performer became instantly famous after encouraging the crowd
to recite the following line, "Gimme an F"?

Country Joe McDonald. Country Joe's bawdy cheer is legendary. His song,
"Feel Like I'm Fixin' To Die Rag" became an anthem for the anti-war movement.

The British artist who really made his mark was Joe Cocker, whose soulful rendition of
The Beatles song With A Little Help From My Friends was one of the greatest performances.

Woodstock had 5,162 medical cases, according to a state Health Department report released October 4, 1969. The report listed 797 documented instances of drug abuse. No births were recorded in the festival medical tent, but Dr. Abruzzi told the Health Department there were eight miscarriages. The report lists two deaths by drug overdose and the death of Raymond Mizak run over while sleeping accidentally by a tractor picking up garbage.

Joni Mitchell wrote the festival's eponymous song, with the lyrics 'We are stardust we are golden', from what she heard of the event from then-boyfriend Graham Nash, ex-Hollies and one quarter of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. But she never made it to Woodstock. Taking the advice of her manager, she chose to guest on the Dick Cavett Show and then watched the festival unfold on TV, tears streaming down her face.

Organizers at Woodstock Ventures were at least $1.3m in debt afterward. It took
more than a decade for backers to recoup money, through audio and recording rights.

Actor and country singer Roy Rogers - billed as King of the Cowboys for his western movies - was asked to close the show, singing his trademark song, Happy Trails To You. But Rogers' manager vetoed it, and years later Rogers admitted: 'I would have been booed off stage by all those god dam hippies.

- Band's on board -
Joan Baez
The Band Blood, Sweat and Tears
Paul Butterfield Blues Band
Canned Heat
Joe Cocker
Country Joe and the Fish
Creedence Clearwater Revival
Crosby, Stills and Nash and Young
Grateful Dead
Arlo Guthrie
Tim Hardin
Richie Havens
Jimi Hendrix
Incredible String Band
Jefferson Airplane
Janis Joplin
Keef Hartley Band
John Sebastian
Sly and the Family Stone
Bert Sommer
Ten Years After
The Who
Johnny Winter


Fees paid to bands that played the Woodstock Music & Art Fair in 1969, from organizer Michael Lang's book The Road to Woodstock:

Jimi Hendrix: $32,000
The Band: $15,000
Janis Joplin: $15,000
Canned Heat: $12,500
Joan Baez: $10,000
Creedence Clearwater Revival: $10,000
Crosby, Stills & Nash: $10,000
Jefferson Airplane: $10,000
Grateful Dead $7,500
Richie Havens: $6,000
Arlo Guthrie: $5,000
Incredible String Band: $4,500
Ravi Shankar: $4,500
Tim Hardin: $2,000
Santana: $1,500

Where were you, in the summer of 1969? Not even the Scottish husband was born yet...UGH

{go forth & live responsibly}
with a little help from your friends


Meg said...

Well done! Or shall I say "groovy"? But really, what a great post. Loved it and definitely appreciate the effort you put into it. I plan on seeing the movie for sure.
(oh and great nudey shots!)
First time by your site but I will def be back!

LenoreNeverM♡re said...

This will never happen again...what a history!
I learn new things everyday...Such great thoughtful post my dear! The movie is coming out soon, I must watch.
Wonderful weekend~


Julie@beingRUBY said...

Well.. Once again the aussies are kept in the dark. What I wouldn't know if it weren't for you Deb!!! [Of couse I know about Woodstock, but not about the movie]

Where was I??? Seven years old and definitely unaware of what was happening. Funny how you think you grew up on this stuff, when really you grew up on the memories!!!

Great post again Deb.. Momentous moment in history! Must be time for me to let my hair down a little!!

PEACE!! hehe Julie

Pretty Neat Designs said...

Great post. I like the stats. My friend keeps her woodstock ticket stub in a frame in her office. She says it has always been a good luck charm.

SpryOnTheWall said...

Well, my parents got married around this time and I followed 4 years later (my husband was almost 5 though). I've always found Woodstock fascinating, but I am a total square and would not have attended or enjoyed (but to see some of those musicians would have been incredible!) As usual, great post!!!

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Such an amazing year!
Some went to the moon, some went to Woodstock!

But gee, all that mud!!!

debi lynn mattingly said...

Let's see....I was living in Germany---and loving every minute of the hippy era! And yes, even in Europe we were protesting and such a young age. I will always remember these hard times in our history (the protests, the violence, the drugs, the sex) but most of the MUSIC!!!! :)

Kids now a days---have no idea of our life styles back then...except our clothes. :) Maybe that's a good thing? hehehe

Life was good and we definitely bucked the "establishment"...but, then we became that "establishment". :)

Great post!!!! xo...deb

debra@dustjacket said...

Oh my gosh, thanks for the crash course in Woodstock. It's amazing anyone made it out alive!!

Have a great weekend,

Toad said...

A buddy of mine was Cocker's drummer at Woodstock. He remembers nothing about it. I wonder why.

Jacqueline @ HOME said...

Well Deb, you know that this was my era...but over in England....I can remember ( well, actually, no-one at that time remembers anything!!) all of the bands that you mentioned and saw a lot of them play live...not so much some of the American ones....but I saw The Beatles live twice, Jimi Hendrix, Th Who,Graham Nash and many more....and the mud? It's just the same now at Glastonbury....nothing much changes....Great post as this was my teenage life.
Peace and Love, man, Peace and Love !!!!!!!!

Haute World said...

I wasn't born yet either, but if I could go back in time and witness this , I definitely would. It must have been an amazing time... I think any attempts at recreating Woodstock can never come close. It was all about the way people felt at the time and doing it for a real reason, as opposed to trying to relive something. Awesome post - thanks for sharing all this information and the terrific images.

Kitty said...

a marvelous post with fantastic pictures. born in 72, i worship many of those artists, and loved the photos of janis and jimi. i've always thought my husband (73) must have concluded his last lifetime there. he has always felt a profound sense of loss and longing whenever he has seen coverage of the festival. i would have been exhausted if i were you after the Eunice Kennedy Shriver post, but you've pulled it off again! groovy! peace and love, kitty!

Alicia said...

I was 3 & blissfully a toddler playing only a couple of hundred miles away.
I do have to laugh at your locker combo nightmare. Every now & then I have this dream where Im back in school & not only can I not rmemeber the combo to get it open but I didnt do my math homework again.....God only knows why...

Keith said...

Great photos. I've always been fascinated by Woodstock. I wasn't even born when it happened. I'd love to take a time machine back to it.

annechovie said...

LOL. I guess I was -3. have a terrific week, Deb! Love your kid pictures! XO

The Blushing Hostess said...

Oh, this is some impressive post.

I was too young, for this but I love the Joe Cocker song and the Bryan Adams song :)

Anyway, dunny, odd thing I was reminded of in reading this post: I worked my way through law school (I don't practice) working on a paramedic unit. Because we were in NY state, when ever we went through mass casualty training, Woodstock was always, always reenacted. And then they held that reunion and we all had to stand there to have a real reenactment - and it was not pretty when they got old and high... nope.

Marked my youth too... :)

Duchess of Tea said...

Fascinating post!! Darling I hope you had a lovely weekend. I just stopped by to wish you a sunny day!!

♥ hugs ♥


custardbydesign said...

what a fun fun post...for $6 too...!!!

Jen Beaudet said...

Hi! I found your blog from Beingruby and am glad I did! Wow, what a informative article. I was born in 1970 so I missed all that and never really new what it was all about. I'm not into any of that music either but find the whole thing kind of fascinting. Sha Na Na was there! Thanks for sharing!

Couture Carrie said...

Really fun post!
Fabulous pics, especially that last bus!


Unknown said...

What an awesome picture collection of a very special event. Great post!

Averill said...

Both Dave and I hit the scene in the spring of 1981, but our parents graduated college between the years 1969 and 1972 so they were prime for Woodstock, Vietnam and all the rest of it. For my mom's part, she (along with her sorority sisters) marched on Washington to protest the war in '69. These are some of my favorite pictures of her, with her Cher hair and her bright orange minidress.

My dad, on the other hand, skipped out on his college graduation because of a planned war protest that he didn't want his parents to see -- two of his cousins were currently in 'Nam, one of whom was so badly injured he spent most of 1970 in a hospital, and he didn't want his folks to see any protesting/violence.

High-Heeled Foot in the door said...

Great post. Everyone this weekend has been talking to me about woodstock so this was perfect timing.

I loved reading what the artists got paid along with everything else.

Fab post!

Magdalena said...

Very interesting post. although I was only 3 during this time I feel like I was a part of it since it is such a celebrated part of our history.
I'm looking forward to the movie

Unknown said...

cute post, and i think i learned more about woodstock from you then i ever knew- i always had a "whatever- what next, are we gonna talk about the charleston?" attitude about it. i was 6 when it happened, so of course had no cultural awareness of it until much later, and by then it was ancient history to me. plus, hippies were *dirty* (look at those photos in the mud and tell me i'm wrong)! ;-)

good stuff- thanks again.

Kellie Collis said...

Not born but looks fabulous and fun! x

Mademoiselle ♥♥ said...

Awesome post!! And the pictures are just amazing! I wasn't born yet, but oh I wish I was!! Thanks for the lovely comment btw


Brabourne Farm said...

I so enjoyed reading this fabulous post - for 5 minutes I was there! Brilliant - thank you. Leigh

BonBon Rose Girls Kristin said...

What amazing pictures. I can't believe those payouts!

DesignTies said...

Whenever I read or hear "summer of '69", the first thing that pops into my head iS BRYAN ADAMS!!! But I was only 1-1/2 years old in 1969, so too young to remember anything about Woodstock...

Somehow, I can't picture Roy Rogers singing Happy Trails to close out the show!!


Marsi @ The Cottage Cheese said...

Best post ever! And I'm not just saying that to be all "peace and love" or anything I wasn't yet alive in '69). There is so much I never knew about Woodstock. And the photos are amazing! Thanks for giving us a glimpse into your life in 1969. It sounds like a lovely summer!