Category Archives: Music et al

Arthur Lawrence Artie Kornfeld

 Arthur Lawrence Artie Kornfeld

Artie Kornfeld

Artie woodstock

born September 9, 1942

On the move

Arthur Lawrence Kornfeld, or simply Artie Kornfeld, was born in Brooklyn to Irving Kornfeld, a New York City policeman, and his wife, Shirley. 

They also lived in Levittown, but moved other times, too. According to Kornfeld's site, he attended six different schools including high school in North Carolina in the mid-50s.

Back in New York after high school, Kornfeld started to play guitar and work in the Brill Building, the famous songwriting site where hundreds of hit songs came from.

Pied Piper

In 1965 he and Steve Duboff recorded the song "Follow Me, I'm the Pied Piper." It reached #87 on the Billboard charts. With that song and others, Artie and Steve, billed as The Changin' Times, opened for Sonny & Cher on their first nationwide tour.

In 1966, British singer Crispian St Peters covered the song. He had much luck with it that summer as it reached #1 in Canada, #4 in the US, and #5 in the UK.

Meets Michael Lang

In 1967, Capital Records hired Kornfeld as the Vice President and Director of Rock Music. As the story goes, it was while Kornfeld was in that position that he met Michael Lang. A kid from the old Brooklyn neighborhood.

That friendship developed the idea for a recording studio. The recording studio idea developed into the idea of a music festival to raise the needed capital. 

Woodstock Ventures

Though Lang by 1969 was living in Woodstock, NY, the site he and Kornfeld thought would be perfect for a recording studio, he often slept at Kornfeld's NYC apartment. From there they began their search for backers who turned out to be Joel Rosenman and John Roberts. The four formed Woodstock Ventures, which went into fabulous debt while producing the most famous music festival of all time.

Arthur Lawrence Artie Kornfeld

Arthur Lawrence Artie Kornfeld

Kornfeld is no longer a part of Woodstock Ventures. Roberts and Rosenman bought him out shortly after the event ended. He continues to be active in the music field. 
Arthur Lawrence Artie Kornfeld
New York Times, September 9, 1969

 

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Phillip Wilson

Phillip Wilson

September 8, 1941 – March 25, 1992

Phillip Wilson

From the start…

It is interesting how we "discover" a musician only to find that they were far larger and wider than we ever suspected. Think Columbus and his "discovery" of the Americas.

I first saw his name when I started listening to the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, but Phillips was well-established already when he joined Butterfield in 1967.

Wilson had made his recording debut in 1962 on with Sam Lazar on Playback. In the mid-'60s, Wilson became a member of the Art Ensemble of Chicago, an avant-garde jazz group. He cut albums with it as well as the band's co-founder Roscoe Mitchell.

Paul Butterfield Blues Band

Joining Paul Butterfield and Gene Dinwiddie in 1967, Wilson soon found himself playing at the first most famous rock festival: the Monterey International Pop Festival.  Though the audience and resulting movie gave Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and the Who the stellar ovations, Paul Butterfield Blues Band garnered recognition as well.

Phillip Wilson was also with the band when it played early that august sunny Sunday morning in Bethel, NY just before Sha Na Na and Jimi Hendrix. One of the songs featured was Wilson's "Love March." 

Post Woodstock…

Phillip Wilson

Wilson remained with the Butterfield until the early '70s. From there he always remained active as a player, a producer, a composer, and occasional vocalist with:
  • Anthony Braxton
  • Full Moon
  • Julius Hemphill
  • Lightin’ rod
  • Roscoe Mitchell
  • David Murry
  • Hamiet Bluiett
  • INTERface
  • Martha and Fontella Bass
  • Lester Bowie
  • Peter Khuh
  • James Newton
  • Elliot Sharp
  • Bill Lasell
  • The Last Poets
  • Deadline
  • Soren Anders
  • Frank Lowe
  • Blues Brass Connection
  • The Rance Allen Group
  • Art Ensemble of Chicago
  • Paul Zauner’s Blue Brass
He also released a few of his own albums including The Phillip Wilson Project.

Phillip Wilson Untimely death

I had originally posted that "In 1992, Wilson was murdered  while walking near Central Park in New York City. Though a common belief, it is false.

"Anonymous" recently made the following comment: As a matter of fact, Phillip Wilson was murdered by Marvin Slater on March 25, 1992, at 440 East 9 Street in Manhattan. During the trial in 1997, the motive was not disclosed. Slater is serving time in upstate prison for the premeditated murder of Phillip. The accomplice “T” was released by the police the day before the trial. Phillip was not anywhere near Central Park when he was assassinated. There are various false descriptions published on the internet.


Always appreciate reader input. Thank you.

Update…

It's always interesting to write a few words about a musician and a few days after discover a new article about them.  The Chicago art gallery Corbett vs. Dempsey recently released Phillip Wilson's previously out-of-print album Esoteric from the Hat Hut catalog. Here is some of what the article had to say:


 ...Phillip Wilson—a Saint Louis native who moved to Chicago and became an early member of the AACM (he was the original drummer in the Art Ensemble of Chicago) as well as a key figure on the local blues scene (he played in the Paul Butterfield Blues Band). Wilson made Esoteric in Paris during two sessions—one in November 1977 and another in May of the following year—and it mixes solo percussion pieces with expansive duos featuring brilliant trumpeter Olu Dara (better known to some as the father of rapper Nas). In 1978 Wilson would record the more widely known Duet with AEC trumpeter Lester Bowie, but it was on Esoteric that he first worked out some of those ideas (the opening three-part suite on Esotericis called "Lester B").

It's a stark album, even when Dara—one of the most lyrical trumpeters to emerge from the 70s avant-garde—joins in. In fact, as you can hear below on a piece titled "Caul Call: The Eso," Dara experiments with all kinds of smears and textural effects, using half-valving and tonguing techniques to vary his brash, malleable tone from bright and clarion-clear to blubbery and rumbling—his extended techniques helped set the table for current brass radicals such as Peter Evans, Nate Wooley, and Axel Dörner. Wilson is the focal point, though, moving from tough beats to abstract explorations of sound that rely on different parts of his kit—it's all of a piece for Wilson, as melody, groove, and pure color merge and pull apart. Few records convey such an unadulterated adoration for the sound of the drums, not simply on a micro level but also in how all a trap set's components work together. (Article link)

 

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Jimi Hendrix Swan Song

Jimi Hendrix Swan Song

September 6, 1970
Hendrix’s last live concert song

Jimi Hendrix Swan Song

Open Air Love and Peace

Isle of Fehmarn, Germany

4, 5, & 6 September 1970

Jimi Hendrix Swan Song

 

Isle of Wight

Just as Woodstock had inspired other young entrepreneurs to try their hand at organizing their own festivals, the Isle of Wight's festivals, particularly 1970's, inspired Helmut Ferdinand, Christian Berthold, and Tim Sievers to do the same. 

And just as the Isle of Wight was an island concert (duh), these three young men chose the Isle of Fehmarn, between West Germany and Denmark. The idea was a sensible one: book the artists appearing at the Isle of Wight after that event on August 28, 29, and 30.  Such Woodstock names as Melanie, The Who, Sly and the Family Stone, John Sebastian, Joan Baez, Richie Havens, and most importantly of all, Jimi Hendrix.

Interesting financing

Like any young men with an idea, they needed money to back it. Beate Uhse put up 200,000 German Marks in advance and offered the use of her 20 German sex shops as additional ticket sale offices. She was a stunt pilot and opened the first sex shop in the world. [Beate died in 2001. Her company,  Beate Uhse AG is listed on the Frankfort Stock Exchange.]

German Max Yasgur

Ferdinand, Berthold, and Sievers selected an area called Flueggerstrand and rented a field belonging to a farmed named Störtenbecker. They converted a nearby school into a temporary hospital.

With unpleasant echos of Woodstock in the air, they...

 

  • had to ask local breweries and dairies to provide beverages as the company they hoped to contract refused. 
  • asked the German Red Cross to provide a mobile kitchen for the warm meals.
  • built two fences around the festival area
  • installed a few telephone boxes.
  • rented a gigantic sound system from England
  • Joan Baez and John Mayall cancelled because they feared non-payment after learning of poor ticket sales.

Jimi Hendrix Swan Song

Bad Weather Bonus

As if the pre-festival similarities to Woodstock weren't enough, the day the festival started, so did the rain.  Unlike Woodstock, a German biker group called the "Bloody Devils" arrived and supplanted the planned security. 

Jimi Hendrix Swan Song

The Jimi Hendrix Experience (Hendrix, Billy Cox on bass, and Mitch Mitchell on drums) were on Saturday's schedule. Rain cancelled that appearance, but Hendrix, already paid, played the next day.  Bootleg copies of that performance existed for year, but on December 13, 2005 Dagger Records released the best-sounding recording.

Jimi Hendrix Swan Song

It was his last concert. Hendrix died in London on September 18. The monument pictured below now commemorates that performance on the Isle of Fehmarn. 

Jimi Hendrix Swan Song

see Club 27 for more

It was a difficult month for rock fans, particularly those who had attended Woodstock. On September 3 Canned Heat's Alan Wilson died. Hendrix on the 18th. And Janis Joplin on October 4. 

All were 27 years old.
Classic rock story link

Jimi Hendrix Swan Song, Jimi Hendrix Swan Song, Jimi Hendrix Swan Song, Jimi Hendrix Swan Song, Jimi Hendrix Swan Song, Jimi Hendrix Swan Song, 

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