The definitive oral history of the seminal rock concert, Woodstock—three days of peace and music and one of the most defining moments of the 1960s—with original interviews with Roger Daltrey, Joan Baez, David Crosby, Richie Havens, Joe Cocker, and dozens of headliners, organizers, and fans.
On Friday, August 15, 1969, a crowd of 400,000—an unprecedented and unexpected number at the time—gathered on Max Yasgur’s farm in upstate New York for a weekend of rock ‘n’ roll, the new form of American music that had emerged only a decade earlier. For America’s counterculture youth, Woodstock became a symbol of more than just sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll—it was about peace, love, and a new way of living. It was a seminal event that epitomized the ways that the culture, the country, and the core values of an entire generation were shifting. On one glorious weekend, this generation found its voice through one outlet: music.
Back to the Garden celebrates the music and the spirit of Woodstock through the words of some of the era’s biggest musical stars, as well as those who participated in the festival. From Richie Havens’s legendary opening act to the Who’s violent performance, from the Grateful Dead’s jam to Jefferson Airplane’s wake-up call, culminating in Jimi Hendrix’s career-defining moment, Fornatale brings new stories to light and sets the record straight on some common misperceptions. Illustrated with black-and-white photographs, authoritative, and highly entertaining, Back to the Garden is the soon-to-be classic telling of three days of peace and music.
Introducing his engaging oral history, Fornatale, an author and longtime New York radio personality, admits that his attempt to parse fact from fiction regarding an endlessly mythologized pop culture milestone, the Woodstock Music & Art Fair, isn't always easy. It has been four decades, after all, and most of Fornatale's 110 sources spent that rainy August weekend in a hallucinogenic haze. But Fornatale does bring new stories to light, revisits old stories and dispels some common misperceptions. Among others, festival production manager John Morris reveals how close the festival came to being shut down by the National Guard; filmmaker Michael Wadleigh explains the choices behind his groundbreaking documentary Woodstock; original Sha Na Na guitarist Henry Gross tells drinking stories featuring Jimi Hendrix; and attendee Jim Marion reflects on leaving the festival early and disappointed. Fornatale lets his subjects carry the story, providing cogent artist histories and conversational segues in this vivid portrait.
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The Woodstock Biography
This book brings alive all the performers at Woodstock-the story of how they got there and the behind-the-scenes coverage. It also let's the reader in on all the acts who didn't make it into the movie as well as the story behind why some acts never made it there.