Quill at Woodstock

Quill at Woodstock

Quill at Woodstock

The Unknown Band of Woodstock

On my docent tours at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts I relate my small piece of the very large Woodstock Music and Art Fair tale.  

Musically, my own story begins on Saturday 16 August around noon. I tell guests that the opening band that day was Quill and wait. Not surprisingly and sadly, the guests' faces express ignorance of Quill.

That 2017 lack of recognition was true, too, in 1969. The same could have been said for Santana, but we all know what their Woodstock appearance did for them.

Quill did not make it to either the film or the soundtrack, but they did make it onto my one roll of Kodachrome film. I experimented and held my binoculars to the lens of my 35 mm camera and  jury-rigged a zoom lens. When I eventually saw the slide I was disappointed in its lack of focus and black ring. Today, guests talk about how "cool" the picture looks. Thank you!

Woodstock Ventures

Woodstock Ventures had hired Quill not just to play at the festival itself, but as a good will gesture to play for free in the Bethel area before the festival. According to a Wikipedia entryThe basic line up included Roger North on drums, Norman Rogers on guitar and Phil Thayer on keyboard, sax and flute, with  brothers Jon Cole on bass and Dan Cole doing the bulk of the lead vocals. Out of this combination, and with the Cole brothers' focus on original songwriting came 'Quill', which was then signed as a group to Amphion Management. The band spent 1967, 1968 and 1969 regularly playing rock venues in Boston, Providence, and New York, as well as many other smaller markets around the Northeast. 

Quill at Woodstock 

Here's a Youtube link to their performance at Woodstock. There is a long intro with many different stage announcements.  Stage Announcements: 0:01 > They Live The Life: 7:11 > That's How I Eat: 16:06 > Waiting For You: 22:03 > Jam: 23:07

More of what others say

According to the AllMusic site Most of the songwriting was handled by Jon and Dan Cole, who were highly literate and tended to deliver fairly complex pieces that lent themselves to elaborate performances, sometimes involving some heavy audience participation as well -- in 1967 and 1968, amid the psychedelic haze of the era, it all seemed very much of a piece with the times and quite effective, at least based on the accounts of those who were there.

Their reputation was sufficient to get them opening act spots for artists such as Jeff Beck, Deep Purple, Buddy Guy, and Janis Joplin, and their appearance at Steve Paul's Scene in New York City earned them a booking at Woodstock, but they never made the cut for the movie, owing to a technical flaw in their footage. They did get signed to Cotillion Records, but the resulting debut album languished in stores without the help of exposure from the Woodstock movie. Jon Cole left not too long after to pursue his own musical horizons, and the remaining members found their effort at a second album rejected by Cotillion. Quill had broken up by 1971 -- ironically, they received perhaps the greatest international exposure of their history 38 years later with the release of Woodstock 40 Years On: Back to Yasgur's Farm, a six-CD set that contained two of the four songs they did at the festival. Roger North is probably the most well-recognized ex-member of Quill, with a lengthy performing career that followed over the next couple of decades (including a stint with the Holy Modal Rounders) as well as his renown, in percussionist circles, as the inventor of North Drums, an unusual and highly specialized design of kit, which he played from the late '60s onward.

Roger North

Roger North went on to build drums, called North Drums. Here is an interview about that:

Amanda Cole

Amanda Cole is the daughter of Jon Cole.  She has plans to put together a film about Quill. If anyone has any first-hand account of seeing the band or some other Quill-related information, you can contact Amanda via her Facebook page.

Quill at Woodstock, Quill at Woodstock, Quill at Woodstock

September 1 Peace Love Activism

September 1 Peace Love Activism

Immigration History

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September 1, 1884: Joseph and Mary Tape, immigrants from China who had lived in the United States for over a decade, attempted to enroll their eight-year-old, American-born daughter, Mamie Tape, in San Francisco’s Spring Valley School. Principal Jennie Hurley denied the Tapes’ request on the basis of their race, and State Education Superintendent William Welcher supported that decision. Welcher justified the denial in part by noting that even the California Constitution described Chinese-Americans as “dangerous to the well-being of the state.” In response to the school’s refusal to admit their daughter, Mr. and Mrs. Tape sued.  (see January 9, 1885)


Separate Car Act
September 1, 1891: in response to the Separate Car Act and increasing violence against people of color in the South, a group made up mostly of "Creoles of color" convened at the offices of The Crusader, a black weekly in New Orleans. The paper's chief editorial contributor, Rodolphe Desdunes, contended that the "law is unconstitutional. It is like a slap in the face of every member of the black race." The group, called the Citizens Committee, devised a test case to prove the unconstitutionality of the law. (see March 9, 1892)
Arizona school segregation
September 1, 1926: Arizona opened separate high schools for African-American students, separating black and white students. (see March 7, 1927)
September 1, 1926: Ku Klux Klan members in Virginia kidnapped a Catholic priest, because he had been teaching African-American children in Princess Anne County. (see November 25, 1930)
Josh White
September 1, 1950: Josh White was a noted African-American blues and folk singer who was also outspoken on civil rights and other social issues. On June 22, 1950, he had been named in the notorious report Red Channels as a Communist sympathizer. As a result, he was called before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) to testify on this day. White did not back down from his political commitments, and in fact turned the tables on HUAC by affirming his support for civil rights and reading the entire lyrics of the famous Billie Holiday song, Strange Fruit, into the Congressional Record. (see Dec 10)
Sarah Keys v. Carolina Coach Company
September 1, 1953: in Sarah Keys v. Carolina Coach Company, Keys became the first African American to challenge "separate but equal" in bus segregation before the Interstate Commerce Commission. The initial reviewing commissioner declined to hear her case, but Keys prevailed in front of the full commission. (see May 17, 1954)
Emmett Till
September 1, 1955:  Mississippi Governor Hugh White ordered  local officials to "fully prosecute" Milam and Bryant in the Till case.

September 1, 1994: Roy Bryant Sr., 63, died at the Baptist Hospital in Jackson, Mississippi of cancer. (BH, see March 16; see Emmett Till)
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
September 1, 1955: a CBS television production of Mark Twain’s classic American novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, omitted the character Nigger Jim, who is central to the novel, and also any mention of slavery.(see Sept 2)
Clinton 12

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September 1, 1956: Clinton, Tennessee’s Clinton High School began to desegregate in the fall of 1956. The integration of Clinton High School was among the first Tennessee public schools to do so. Anti-integration campaigners from inside and outside Clinton protested the decision to integrate the high school. They were inspired by New Jersey white supremacist John Kasper and Asa Carter both of whom spoke publicly in Clinton on September 1 against the decision to integrate the high school. After violence was narrowly averted on the lawn of the Anderson County Courthouse on September 1, National Guard troops were called into the city for two months to keep order.

The twelve black students who attended Clinton High School that fall became known as the "Clinton 12". On the morning of each school day they walked together down Broad Street from Foley Hill to Clinton High. (BH, see Sept 29; SD, see Dec 4)
Harlem Riot
September 1, 1964: a grand jury report cleared Lieutenant Gilligan of any wrongdoing in the shooting death of James Powell. (BH, Sept 9; Harlem Riot, see December 20)
Orangeburg Massacre
September 1, 1973: a NYT article reported that “Cleveland L. Sellers Jr., a black activist, declared upon his release from prison this week that he would seek a new investigation into what he termed the "Orangeburg massacre." “ (BH, see Sept 27)

US Labor History

Labor Day
September 1, 1894: Congress declares Labor Day a national holiday. (see Dec 15)
Keating-Owen Child Labor Act
September 1, 1916, US Labor History: the Keating-Owen Child Labor Act, banning articles produced by child labor from being sold in interstate commerce, became law. (Labor, see Sept 3; Child Labor Act, see June 3, 1918)
César E. Chávez
September 1, 1979:  Chavez announced settlement of 8-month lettuce strike against Sun Harvest Inc as a “victory for both the union and the company.” The union continued its strike against five other growers in the Salinas valley. (see Sept 21, 1983)

Fair Housing

Housing Act of 1937

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September 1, 1937: the Housing Act of 1937, sometimes called the Wagner-Steagall Act, provided for subsidies to be paid from the U.S. government to local public housing agencies (LHAs) to improve living conditions for low-income families. The act created the United States Housing Authority within the United States Department of the Interior. The act built on the National Housing Act of 1934, which created the Federal Housing Administration.
Mutual Ownership Defense Housing Division
From 1940 – 1942: the Mutual Ownership Defense Housing Division of the Federal Works Agency part of the United States government, operating under the leadership of Colonel Lawrence Westbrook, was an attempt by the federal government to respond to the housing needs facing defense workers and develop housing projects for middle-income families utilizing the cooperative/mutual housing ownership concept. Under pressure by entrenched real estate interests and intense and competing resource needs caused by World War II, the Division lasted for only two years. As stated in the Second Annual Report of the Federal Works Agency: "As a group, defense workers were also poor candidates for individual home ownership because the duration of their employment was uncertain, and because few of them had savings adequate to finance the downpayment on new homes. Recognizing these characteristics, attention was given early to some special form of housing to meet squarely the economic problem of the defense worker and one which, at the same time, might lead to an ultimate solution of the housing problems of millions of other American families of similar economic status." (see November 1, 1943)

Japanese Internment Camps

September 1, 1942: in the first specific ruling on the constitutionality of actions by President Roosevelt, by Congress, and by Lieut. Gen. John L. DeWitt in connection with evacuation of Japanese on the Pacific Coast, federal Judge Martin I Welsh of District Court of Northern California held that the Army was within its rights in evacuating, and in keeping in protective custody, all American-born Japanese as well as Japanese nationals. (see June 21, 1943)

Cold War


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September 1, 1951:   Australia, New Zealand, and the United States signed ANZUS, a mutual defense accord similar to NATO in Europe. The alliance between the U.S. and New Zealand, however, has been suspended since 1985, after the institution of New Zealand's nuclear-free zone prohibited U.S. nuclear warships from entering New Zealand's ports. (see Oct 30)
Soviet Union renews A bomb testing
September 1, 1961: the Soviet Union ended a moratorium on atomic bomb testing with an above-ground nuclear explosion in central Asia. The USSR had ended speculation the day before in a TASS broadcast that announced it had resumed atomic testing, and by 5 Sep, had conducted three nuclear weapons tests. President Kennedy ordered the resumption of U.S. underground weapons testing. (CW & Nuclear, see Sept 15; testing, see August 5, 1963)


September 1, 1967: the repeal of Tennessee’s Butler Act forbidding the teaching of evolution went into effect. (see May 4, 1970)

September 1 Music et al

Jimi Hendrix
September 1, 1957, Jimi Hendrix, 14, attended an Elvis Presley concert at Sicks Stadium in Seattle. (Elvis, see Dec 20; JH, see May 31, 1961)
Tommy Roe
September 1 – 14, 1962: “Sheila” by Tommy Roe #1 Billboard Hot 100.
Magical Mystery Tour
September 1, 1967: the Beatles held a meeting at Paul McCartney's house in London to decide upon their next course of action following the death of manager Brian Epstein. They decided to postpone their planned trip to India and to begin the already-delayed production of the Magical Mystery Tour movie. They have two songs already recorded for the movie, ‘Magical Mystery Tour’ and ‘Your Mother Should Know’. (see Sept 11)
Roots of Rock

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September 1, 1995: in Cleveland, OH, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum ribbon cutting ceremony took place. The museum officially opened the next day. (see March 18, 2017)
September 1 Peace Love Activism

Stop and Frisk

September 1, 1971:  Criminal Procedure Law 140.50 went into effect, which governs Terry-stops, or stop and frisks. (see June 15, 1976)

Consumer Protection

September 1, 1998: the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 went into effect. The law required that all cars and light trucks sold in the United States have air bags on both sides of the front seat. (see March 30, 1999)

Jack Kevorkian

September 1, 1998:  Michigan's second law outlawing physician-assisted suicide goes into effect. (see Sept 17)

Hurricane Katrina

September 1, 2005: President Bush appeared on Good Morning America, and said that he understood the frustration of Katrina victims, many of whom are still waiting for food, water, and other aid. "I fully understand people wanting things to have happened yesterday," Bush said. "I understand the anxiety of people on the ground. … So there is frustration. But I want people to know there's a lot of help coming." (see Sept 2)

Women’s Health

September 1, 2014: U.S. District Judge John deGravelles temporarily blocked Louisiana from enforcing its restrictive new abortion law, but lawyers and advocates appeared to disagree about whether the judge's order affects doctors at all five abortion clinics in the state or only those at three clinics whose lawsuit challenges the measure.

Judge deGravelles wrote that authorities could enforce the law until he held a hearing on whether an order to block it is needed while the case remained in court.

The law required doctors who performed abortions to have admitting privileges to a hospital within 30 miles of their clinics. The lawsuit claimed doctors haven't had enough time to obtain the privileges and the law likely would close all five clinics. (see Oct 2)


September 1, 2015: Rowan County (Kentucky) Clerk Kim Davis denied licenses to gay couples saying she was acting “under God’s authority,” just hours after the Supreme Court refused to support her position.

In a raucous scene in this little town, two same-sex couples walked into the Rowan County Courthouse, trailed by television cameras and chanting protesters on both sides of the issue, only to be turned away by the county clerk, Kim Davis.

As one couple, David Ermold and David Moore, tried to engage her in an argument, Ms. Davis said several times that her office would not issue any marriage licenses. “Under whose authority?” Mr. Ermold asked.

 “Under God’s authority,” she replied. (see Sept 3)

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