Category Archives: Woodstock Music and Art Fair

Palm Beach Music & Art Festival

Palm Beach Music & Art Festival

From the “Palm Beach Pop Festival” short
Palm Beach Music & Art Festival
poster for Palm Beach Music & Art Festival. Note how the festival used “music and art” in their title (the earlier Woodstock was the only one to do that) and note the “bird/peace symbol”…too similar to Woodstock’s to be a coincidence

Palm Beach Music & Art Festival

For many people, the only festivals in 1969 were the famous Woodstock Music and Art Fair and the infamous Altamont Speedway Free Festival. There were many more: none larger than Woodstock, all more peaceful than Altamont. The Palm Beach Music & Art Festival was one of the last that year.

It ran on Thanksgiving weekend, November 28 – 30, 1969.  Like most of those many other 1969 festivals, little can be found about them. Organizers didn't record nor film them. Occasionally someone's hand held movie or recording pops up.

But over all, the Palm Beach Music & Art Festival remains unknown. There are some still pictures and a group is trying to collect anything anyone has to create a documentary:

There is a 2009 Palm Beach Post article: Then-Palm Beach County Sheriff Bill Heidtman vowed to make life miserable for the free-loving, pot-smoking, anti-establishment youngsters who were coming to the Palm Beach Pop Festival. He threatened to herd alligators toward the crowd, gathered on a grassy field at the Palm Beach International Raceway. And he promised to dig out fire ant colonies and relocate them at the venue.
Palm Beach Music & Art Festival
Palm Beach Music & Art Festival

Palm Beach Music & Art Festival

The Festival was at a drag strip outside of West Palm Beach. Among others, Grand Funk played three nights also. The show featured Iron Butterfly, King Crimson (Robin Fripp and Greg Lake), Jefferson Airplane, Rotary Connection (Minnie Ripperton), PG&E, Rolling Stones, Vanilla Fudge, Janis Joplin and Her Full Tilt Boogie Band, Johnny Winters, and others.

On the third night, Winters played, then Vanilla Fudge, followed by Janis Joplin. Afterwards, the announcer said, Johnny wants it, Janis wants it, and the Fudge wants one. All three bands came out on stage and jammed. Winters jammed with the guitar players and scatted with Janis.

Wavy Gravy was there in his WW2 pilot helmet or whatever it was, guiding a car backwards trying to help them and backed them into the pond. We'd like to think he knew it was the police in an unmarked car and put them in the pond on purpose since we know he didn’t do drugs.

2014 Palm Beach Post retrospective article 

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Incredible Robin Williamson

Incredible Robin Williamson

November 24

Happy birthday to you!

Who is Robin Williamson? He is best known being in the Incredible String Band. The band enjoyed international popularity mainly in the mid-60s. That popularity was sufficiently strong to merit an invitation to the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. The apocryphal tale is that though scheduled to play on Friday with other folk-type artists, they refused to play in that night’s rain and their performance was pushed to Saturday between the much louder electric blues of the Keef Hartley Band and Canned Heat. Not the best spot for a group of tranquil and introspective musicians using acoustic instruments.

They also did not make it into the movie or the album the following year.

Incredible Robin Williamson
Robin Williamson, Incredible String Band, far right

Listening to their set today [rather than looking at a crowd of 400,000 young people some of whom were wondering, perhaps, “Who were these people?”], dedicated fans hear the songs that made the band popular, but not famous. The crowd gave them warm applause following the set.

An interesting thing is that ISB reflected the hippie zeitgeist as loved by those whose ears wiggled a bit when someone said, “Hobbit” or “Lord of the Rings.” The sense of a simpler past, yet still with the shadow of evil not far away. Even Bilbo Baggins didn’t start out with a sense of adventure.

From Robin Williams’s site today: founder in the 1960’s of the Incredible String Band and of the Merry Band in the 70’s Robin has been at the forefront of the storytelling revival in Britain and America since the 1980’s.

He was the first to focus on the restoration of Celtic Harp to it’s ancient role as spontaneous accompaniment to spoken word.

He continues to tour internationally solo and as a duo with his wife ,singer multi -instrumentalist , Bina Williamson.

A most prolific and diverse songwriter ,Robin has made numerous records over his 50 year career ,most recently for ECM and Quadrant as well as on his own label Pigs Whisker Music.Twice nominated for a Grammy he is cited as an influence by Paul McCartney, Led Zeppelin and many contemporary acoustic and new folk artists.

Robin Williamson today

Incredible Robin Williamson
Robin and Bina Williamson

Robin Williamson and his wife Bina continue to perform regularly through out the United Kingdom. A recent news piece describing them for an upcoming concert stated:

They will perform a programme of original and traditional, magical and mystical songs, stories and music, garnered over Robin’s varied 50-year musical career.

In that time he has gained a worldwide reputation, while Bina is a gifted singer-songwriter,and multi-instrumentalist in her own right.

Their music has been described by Robert Plant as “pure beauty through simplicity” and features east-west harmonies with harp, bowed psaltery and various other instruments. (click for site: Robin and Bina Williamson article)

And if you have a little time, perhaps you’d like to roll up and listen to Robin tell “A Tale of the Deeds of the Tuatha Dé Danann.” It is “a bardic account of the two battles of Moytura, the sacred megalithic complex in Sligo. From the magical lore of ancient Ireland, this tale recounts conflicts of the ancestors at the dawn of the world. Stark, strange, beautiful, violent and hinting always at hidden truths, this of all ancient Celtic stories presents an insight into Druidic allegorical teachings.” Delightful.

Robin Williamson painter

He had his first international exhibition in 2013 in the Catalonian town of Olot, renowned for its key role in early 20th century art.

Images: © Copyright Robin Williamson, Pigs Whisker Music. All rights reserved .

  • Landscape for the Mabinogi

If you have an enquiry please ring 
Pigs Whisker Music 0044(0)2920231739
Or write  to 
Pigs Whisker Music
P O box 309
Cardiff CF11 9HH
South Wales UK

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Fred Lipsius

Fred Lipsius

Born November 19, 1943
Woodstock Music & Art Fair alum
Many happy returns

Fred Lipsius

Fred Lipsius

From a 2014 interview:
I’m the only musician in my family. I’m the middle child of three kids. One of my mother’s brothers played piano, but not professionally, and one of my Dad’s brothers played too, but he just read piano sheet music. So I sort of felt like the ‘ugly duckling’ (the ‘different’ one, who chose to be a ‘musician’) out of everyone in my family. I was always deeply moved by music as far as I can remember. It’s always been a very pure thing for me. When I was about seven I saw Louis Armstrong and his band on TV. I didn’t really know what jazz was at that time but I told my mom that I want to do that.

In public school, all of the 4th graders took a music test to see which of us had talent in that area. I passed the test and was put into a special music class in my 5th and 6th grades. I played clarinet and was basically the worst clarinetist of about 20 kids. I only practiced 20 minutes a day (this included putting the clarinet together with cork grease and taking it apart and swabbing it)! Back then, I was more interested in playing basketball. But in the 6th grade, for some reason, I improved and became first or second in my class. I bought a few Benny Goodman records and was able to copy just a few of his licks by ear, although I really didn’t have much of an ear back then. My ear did develop into my teens, from listening to and transcribing solos of my favorite jazz players (mostly saxophone and piano). My favorite alto players were Bird, Sonny Stitt and CannonbalI. I also listened to Rollins and Coltrane on tenor. I still have a copy of all the solos and licks I transcribed. They’re now in a big loose leaf book, neatly re-copied. I show this book to my private students at Berklee to encourage them to do some work like I did.
From his site and his label's sites: 

Born in the Bronx, New York City on November 19,1943, Fred began playing the clarinet at age 9, alto and tenor saxophones in Junior High School, and piano at Music and Art High School in Manhattan. He continued his studies at Berklee School of Music (1961-62), and then went on the road. 

Fred Lipsius was the original saxophonist, arranger and conductor with Blood, Sweat & Tears (1967-71). He also doubled on keyboards. While with the band, he won nine Gold Records plus a Grammy Award for his arrangement of "Spinning Wheel" and a Grammy for 'Album of the Year' as a BS&T band member. Fred also arranged and co-arranged, respectively, the hit singles "Hi-De-Ho" and "You've Made Me So Very Happy." He brought the "jazz" element to the band and the public with his arrangements and solos on sax and piano. In both the Downbeat and Playboy jazz polls he placed in the top ten of the alto sax category. Rock and Roll history books credit him as the first saxophonist to mix jazz and rock styles in his solos.

Fred has composed, arranged and produced radio and TV commercials, including 2 CBS TV logos & themes introducing the season's upcoming shows. In the spring of 1982, he toured with Simon and Garfunkel in Japan and Europe, and was a featured soloist. Fred has authored seven books/CDs on jazz improvisation and jazz reading, published throughout the world. Other published works of his include small combo and big band jazz/fusion arrangements.

He has performed with jazz greats Cannonball Adderley, Thelonious Monk, Zoot Sims, Eddie Gomez, Al Foster, George Mraz, Larry Willis, Randy Brecker, Rodney Jones, plus a number of prominent Berklee College of Music faculty such as Herb Pomeroy, Alan Dawson, Ray Santisi, and Donald Brown. He has written music for and performed on over 30 CDs as both a leader and sideman.

Fred is currently an Associate Professor at Berklee College of Music, where he's been teaching full-time since 1984.
If you've ever visited the Museum at the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, then "Spinning Wheel"  will sound familiar.

Click for more including about his digital art >>> his site

Fred Lipsius, 

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