Category Archives: Woodstock Music and Art Fair

April Music et al

April Music et al

Ray Charles

In April 1962: Ray Charles successfully combined country music with soul and crosses into the pop realm with the album “Modern Sounds In Country & Western Music” – the #1 album of 1962.


April Music et al

LSD

April Music et al


In April, 1966: Sandoz Pharmaceutical recalled the LSD it had previously distributed and withdrew its sponsorship for work with LSD. (see September 1966)

April Music et al

Future Woodstock Performers

In April 1967: Country Joe (age 25 ) and the Fish released first album, Electric Music for the Mind and Body. (see May 12)



April Music et al

Ken Kesey

April Music et al


In April 1967: Ken Kesey re-tried. Hung jury. Pled guilty to a lesser charge. Given 6 months on work farm.  (2015 San Francisco Chronical article) (see June 1967)

April Music et al
The Road to Bethel

In April 1969: Allan Mann met with Elliiot Tiber who offered a barn for a theater from free if Mann would rent a nearby 6-room Victorian for the summer for $800. Paul Johnson, a friend of Mann, agreed to put the down payment of $200 for the house in exchange for a room there for the summer. [keep in mind, this agreement was made before Wallkill evicted the festival.

From  the Woodstock Preservation site: By this time it was April and I was broke and was looking through the Village Voice for a job when I saw Elliot Tiber’s ad for a summer barn theater for free. If I was going to develop a world class theater company on the level of The Open Theater, The Living Theater and The Polish Mime Theater it certainly would be beneficial to get the performers out of the city to a place where we could work intensively together with minimum distractions and form a communal theater company that eventually would be the basis for an entire tribal arts complex.  So I called Elliot to make an appointment to go up to White Lake and got my friend Paul Johnson to drive me and Jane up there.

The agreement would result in the Earthlight Theatre Troupe who would be in the right place at the right time when Wallkill evicted Woodstock Ventures and Ventures relocated to Bethel. (see Apr 1)


 

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Woodstock Music Art Fair Pictures

Woodstock Music Art Fair Pictures

 


My Woodstock story is a straightforward one. High school friend Tony and I left NJ and got close to the site on Friday night, walked in on Saturday morning, and hitch-hiked back to the car on Sunday afternoon.


I had borrowed my girlfriend’s father’s 35mm camera and his binoculars. I bought one roll of Kodachrome slide film and loaded it into the camera.


As Tony and I walked toward Bethel and the site on Saturday morning I took a few pictures. On Saturday I took several more. Once during the night I took a picture. I finished the roll on Sunday before we left. A few times I experimented and put the binoculars up to the camera’s lens and improvised a telephoto lens.


Tony and I hardly moved the time we were there. We staked out our 8-foot square and only left a few times in an unsuccessful search for food and to use the porta-johns.


Here are those pictures. Click on the picture to “open” it up and see a larger size.


Woodstock Music Art Fair Pictures
It was a foggy misty Sullivan County, NY morning. It is interesting today when I show these Rt 17B pictures to friends and guest at the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts Museum, what they see. Many love looking at the cars and tell me how they had that model or how their neighbor had one like it.


Woodstock Music Art Fair Pictures
More parked cars. Traffic was literally at a standstill. The time was approximately 7 AM


My Woodstock Story
We would ask people, “How much farther?” and their answer always was, “Just up ahead.”


Woodstock Music Art Fair Pictures
We do not have one picture of ourselves that weekend other than this picture which includes the back of Tony (blue shirt carrying a sleeping bag). We were getting closer, but we didn’t realize it.


Woodstock Music Art Fair Pictures
While most locals were unhappy with the traffic and idea of a rock festival, these enterprising people set up a hot dog and soda stand. $1 a dog; $1 a soda. We decided to wait than pay such a high price.


Woodstock Music Art Fair Pictures
We found a spot a hundred yards + from the stage toward the left, spread out our sleeping bags, and sat down. This guy was in front of us. His hat and umbrella were unusual to me, so I took his picture. The umbrella was a parasol for the sunny afternoon. Saturday was a beautiful day.


Woodstock Music Art Fair Pictures
Most of my pictures, as you’ll see, were simply of the crowd.


Woodstock Music Art Fair Pictures
Two lighting towers and the still unfinished artists tent in the background.


Woodstock Music Art Fair Pictures
Quill. Saturday’s opening act. This is one of the shots through my binoculars.


Woodstock Music Art Fair Pictures
When you get tired of group shots, you take a picture of a balloon. In the distance you can see one of the large tent areas that another farmers rented space for.


Woodstock Music Art Fair Pictures
I often ask people to “look for the hippies” in these pictures. You won’t see many.


Woodstock Music Art Fair Pictures
After Santana finished “Soul Sacrifice” 500,000 people stood to cheer, applaud, stomp, shout, and whistle. It was a physical event. I stood and took two pictures. This one and the next.


Woodstock Music Art Fair Pictures


 


Woodstock Music Art Fair Pictures
Not a crowd shot, but simple a peace pillow on top of the typical sleeping bag many of us brought.



Woodstock Music Art Fair Pictures
Another crowd shot. Perhaps there was a reason why, but it’s lost in my memory.


Woodstock Music Art Fair Pictures
When I try to explain who was at the festival, I sometimes half-jokingly say, “White kids getting sunburned.”


Woodstock Music Art Fair Pictures
Everyone was high? Not quite, but these friendly people offered a hit to Tony and me. We politely declined.


Woodstock Music Art Fair Pictures
This lucky guy scored a can of soda. Now he has to find his way back.


Woodstock Music Art Fair Pictures
Yet another crowd shot.


Woodstock Music Art Fair Pictures
Evening. Hungry. We meandered to the Food for Love tents. Empty. Neither food nor love.


Woodstock Music Art Fair Pictures
The one night shot. Pretty sure it’s Mountain playing. Note the lighting on the left along the wooden walkway built for staff and musicians to get from the other side of the road to the staging area.


Woodstock Music Art Fair Pictures
The Who had finished, the misty Sunday sunrise appeared, and the Jefferson Airplane would close Saturdays 18-hour marathon of music.


Woodstock Music Art Fair Pictures
Some Sunday risers while some still sleep in their blow-up tents.


Woodstock Music Art Fair Pictures
More Sunday morning risers with an abandoned tee-pee framework.


Woodstock Music Art Fair Pictures
Waiting for Sunday’s music to begin.


Woodstock Music Art Fair Pictures
Click for sure to enlarge and read the sign of this guy who walked around with his banner–“Love Your Animal Friends, Don’t Eat Them.”


Woodstock Music Art Fair Pictures
Sunday music began with Joe Cocker. One of those binocular shots.


Woodstock Music Art Fair Pictures
My last shot. This woman had the largest afro I’d ever seen and it was bleached white besides. Note the kid (headband) sitting on his Jeep seat.


Woodstock Music Art Fair Pictures

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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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