Category Archives: Woodstock Music and Art Fair

Father Steve Muruga Booker

Father Steve Muruga Booker

Muruga jamming on his invention, the Nada drum at Sage St. Studio (2015)

Father Steve Muruga Booker

Father Steve Muruga Booker was the drummer who backed Tim Hardin at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair, but at that time he was simply Steve Booker. He  was about to leave the Paul Winter Consort which had also included Woodstock band mates Ralph Towner and Richard Bock.

In any case, the way Steve relates his Woodstock connection, (from a Detroit Metro Times piece). "One day while in New York City, I went to see Jim and Jean. They were going to a jam at the Café au Go Go on Bleecker Street in the Village, which was the happening hippie place at that time. ...Tim Hardin was also [there].  ...I approached him... while walking down Bleecker Street. He said if I’m ever in need of a gig to call him, and he gave me his Woodstock home phone number.

Booker showed up a week later with friend Richard Bock. Hardin offered them both a spot in his then-organizing band.  They agreed and Hardin left them to practice without him for two days. Luckily, the group was used to improvisation and did well until Hardin returned.

Unfortunately, Hardin's performance, despite the stellar back up band, was not one to remember. Being intimate on a drizzly evening in front of 400,000 people was not what a Hardin performance was made for.
Father Steve Muruga Booker
For Booker, for then Steve Booker, the event was literally life-changing. He met Swami Satchidananda whose spirituality immediately impressed Booker. Booker studied with the Swami for several years and it was Satchidananda who gave the name "Muruga" to Booker.

Booker continued to be a musician and eventually was ordained an Orthodox priest. Today he operates his own chapel, St. Gregory Palamas, in Ann Arbor, Michigan. His spirituality led him to invent the nada drum, a variation on the talking drum.

The list of people Booker has played with is a who's who of musicians. A very partial list includes: Peter Babriel, George Clinton, Merle Sanders, Jerry Garcia, Mickey Hart, John Lee Hooker, Al Kooper, Ted Nugent, and Dave Brubeck. (a more complete list

Booker's own words best sum up his life now:  You could say that the spirit of Woodstock continues for many of us through the spirit and heart that’s still in the music we love to play.
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Richard Bock Woodstock Cellist

Richard Bock Woodstock Cellist

Richard Bock Woodstock Cellist

A 2016 Phoenix New Times article about Richard Bock begins this way: Not every neighborhood Italian restaurant can claim a world-class musician as its owner — but Giuseppe's on 28th in Central Phoenix can. For nine years, owner Richard Bock was the principal cellist for the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Orchestra in Italy. And if that's not impressive enough, he played with the Phoenix Symphony for 24 seasons, toured throughout the United States and South Africa as a part of Frank Sinatra's orchestra, and played in both Carnegie Hall and The Forum in Los Angeles.  

And????

For those of us who are Woodstock Music and Art Fair alum or those who are not alum but big fans nonetheless, the omission of Bock's participation with Tim Hardin at that famed event is glaring. I suppose we must step back for a moment and accept the reality that that festival was not and is not the be all end all of everyone who performed there.

And looking at that "partial" list above from the New Times, one can understand why. 30 minutes with Tim Hardin doesn't quite measure up to 24 seasons with the Phoenix Symphony.

Richard Bock Woodstock Cellist

Bock's path to the festival was, as with many things in life, a matter of circumstance. In 1969, Bock was in the  Paul Winter Consort. So was Steve Booker.

One night Steve had been to the Cafe Au Go Go in NYC's Village. Tim Hardin had been part of  a jam there. Tim told Steve if he ever needed a gig to let him know.  Tim was living in Woodstock.

Steve and Richard had coincidentally just decided to leave the Paul Winter Concert and so decided to visit Woodstock and Tim.  Tim Hardin was putting together a band for the upcoming festival and asked Steve to join. Steve recommended Richard. Tim said sure. Thus...
Richard Bock Woodstock Cellist
According to Richard Bock's restaurant's site,  Bock "grew up in New York.  ...[and while] playing in a club on East 84th St in the city with Dave Brubeck's son, Darius...a customer in the club, who lived in Florence, filled Richard's thoughts with images of Italy, the culture, the music, the people and the food. He extended Richard an invitation to come to Italy, and 2 weeks later, Richard was on his way!

Soon after his arrival, he was walking the streets of Florence when he bumped into an old college friend, a pianist, who was involved in the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Orchestra, the most famous theater in Italy. Soon after this chance meeting, this friend got Richard an audition for conductor, Riccardo Muti. Muti happened to be looking for a Principal Cellist for the orchestra, so Richard decided to perform and was offered the position. He thought he would stay a year, but stayed almost 9! It is here where his love for the culture blossomed.
Richard Bock Woodstock Restaurateur

Richard Bock Woodstock Cellist

In 2002 became the owner and operator of Giuseppe's on 28th in Phoenix, AZ.  He is both the restaurant's chef and cellist. I will assume that there are few restaurants anywhere that can make that claim.

Nor can any claim that their musician chef was, "a part of Frank Sinatra's orchestra for 5 years, touring throughout the United States and South America. [And that] He performed in concerts with Tony Bennet in Boston and also performed in Carnegie Hall and the LA Forum.

Nicely done Richard Bock Woodstock cellist!


Richard Bock Woodstock Cellist

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Glen Moore Bass

Glen Moore Bass

Belated birthday wishes
October 28, 1941
“Oxeye” by Glen Moore
The opening day at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair was planned as a folk-oriented one. Folk musicians often play solo, but only the unscheduled Melanie did that on Friday. And other than Sweetwater--not exactly a folk band--each performance carried the name of their leader.

Richie Havens, Bert Sommer, and Joan Baez each had two others accompanying them. Arlo Guthrie had three others, and surprisingly (to me at least) Tim Hardin had the most,  five others. I say surprisingly because of all the performers, Hardin was the one to my mind that would have, could have performed solo.

Glen Moore Bass

Glen Moore Bass

Glen Moore played bass in Hardin's band that day. He was 27 years old and had been for 14 years already. He continues to play bass today and like my lifetime musicians, his credit list is a long one (Allmusic.com list). Using that list as a guide, it seems that Moore is only associated with Hardin on one album, Bird on a Wire, and that two years after Woodstock.

Oregon and beyond

Glen Moore is best known for his part in the band Oregon. He had helped form the band with Ralph Towner (who also played at Woodstock with Hardin) in 1970. Towner and Moore had met in 1960 as students at the University of Oregon and like so many musicians before and since, found themselves in New York City by 1969.

There they worked with Hardin, but also more importantly began working with the Paul Winter Consort whose style of music let to the formation of Oregon. It was while Moore was playing with the Paul Winter Consort that that band recorded the song "Icarus" the well-known  instrumental, particularly to fans of the late Pete Fornatale, one of the first DJs for New York's famous WNEW-FM. Fornatale used "Icarus" as his theme song and its melody transport his fans back to those days.

Moore remained with Oregon until 2015 and by then the band had released 28 albums, but he has played with  Larry Coryell, Misty River, Susan McKeown, String Alchemy,  Afrique,  Rabih Abou-Khalil,and many more. Also, he has been credited as a composer on dozens of albums.

Here is an amazing performance in a collaboration with David Friesen:

He has also released of ten of his own albums:

In other words, although my personal "discovery" of Moore may have sprung from his sitting beside the "star" Tim Hardin at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair, Moore's lifetime oeuvre  far surpasses that 30 minute performance however famed it may have been.

 

Glen Moore Bass

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