Category Archives: Woodstock Music and Art Fair

Christina Licorice McKechnie

Christina Licorice McKechnie

Incredible String Band

Woodstock Music and Art Fair
Born October 2, 1945

Christina Licorice McKechnie

Christina Licorice McKechnie

Limelight

Being in the limelight is not necessarily something one wants for their whole life. Despite the curiosity that fans may continue to have, the limelighted person may prefer to let the glare go away.

Such is seemingly the case with Christina Licorice McKechnie. A member of the Incredible String Band and with them when they performed at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair, little if anything is known about her currently with any certainty.

Christina Licorice McKechnie

Edinburgh

McKechnie was born in Edinburgh, Scotland on October 2, 1945. In the early 1960s she met Robin Williamson, one of the founding members of the Incredible String Band. She left home with the intention of marrying Bert Jansch, another British folk musician who became a revered leader of the British folk scene.

The wedding never took place.

McKechnkie rejoined Wiliamson and in 1966 she traveled to Morocco him. She became a member of the Incredible String Band performing mainly as a backing vocalist and percussionist.

We can hear her especially on the song “Painting Box.”

She left the band in 1972 when she and Robin Williamson parted ways.

Christina Licorice McKechnie

Woodstock

I wish I could say more about their Woodstock performance. They were scheduled to play on Friday with the other folk-based performers, but the disrupted scene forced the festival’s organizers to postpone ISR’s performance to the far more loudly electric Saturday.

It was late that afternoon and friend Tony and I were getting hungry, not having eaten anything since Friday dinner. ISB’s performance slot seemed like a good time to search for some sustenance at the Food for Love concessions. No food and little love. And no Licorice.

Christina Licorice McKechnie

Mystery

Her current status is a mystery. Some say they saw her hitchhiking in California decades ago. She is assumed dead by many who say they should have heard from her but haven’t. Others say that they have heard from her and she prefers anonymity.

Here is a link to a page that appears to be a fan site.

The Incredible String Band occupies an interesting piece of the 60s I was familiar with their music thanks to FM radio, Many find their music inaccessible, but with a bit of time and attention, I find most of the Band’s compositions wonderful.              

From their Woodstock appearance:
Christina Licorice McKechnie
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Jerry Martini

Jerry Martini

Happy birthday

Born October 1, 1942

Thank you for taking us higher and higher.

Jerry Martini

Jerry Martini was born in born in Shamrock Mine, Colorado in 1942. When he was two, his family moved to San Francisco so his father could join the Navy.

 His first counter-cultural experience was visiting  North Beach in the 50s. There he saw beatniks and Beat poets reciting poems, playing bongos, or a flute.

Sly and the Family Stone

Martini met Sly Stone when they were teenagers. Of an age (Stone was 5 months younger), Stone surprised Martini because Sly was so into Bob Dylan. A black guy into Dylan was not the norm, but Martini says that Stone was never the norm.

Organizing a band with blacks and white, men and women, and different ethnic groups was Sly Stone's conscious goal. It didn't just happen and later people realized what happened.

That band's mix was deliberate did not mean that others accepted that mix. Venues were still racially divided as well as politically. Black Panthers told Stone that the band should be all black. Stone counter-argued and won.

Woodstock

Although the band was good enough to make it on its own, their recorded and filmed performance at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair supercharged their fame. Jerry Martini's memory of the event was that, "It was a mess. A total mess. We had to wait six hours to go on. It was three in the morning before we got out there. After every act, they’d have to tear down and set up. Took forever. By the time we got out on-stage, people were in sleeping bags. But we got ‘em up. Something happened between us and that audience. Half a million people or however many it was, they were just totally into what we were doing. That’s a feeling you couldn’t scrape off you. It was Love City."

Post Woodstock and Sly

After the band broke up in 1975, Jerry Martini continued playing. He performed on Sly Stone's solo album, High On You and later performed on the bassist of Family Stone, Larry Graham's Now Do U Santa Dance album

He also worked with Prince, who was a big fan of Sly and the Family Stone. After the 2006 tour with Prince, Martini helped reorganize the band with Greg Errico,  Alex Davis, and Phunne Stone who’s the daughter of Sly and Cynthia Robinson. 

Cynthia Robinson was also part of that reband, though she died in 2015. 

Included in his credits, Martini has also played with Mike Bloomfield, Carlos Santana, Rolling Stone Bill Wyman, Robert Cray, Willie Lomax, and Van Morrison. 

Related link >>> http://flowerpowercruise.com/news/jerry-martini-of-the-family-stone-talks-to-the-bell-bottom-bulletin

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Bill Hanley Soundman Extraordinaire

Bill Hanley Soundman Extraordinaire

Who is this guy?

Early Bill

Bill Hanley was born in March 4, 1937.  Happy birthday, Bill!

He was born in Medford, MA when radio still ruled the airwaves. Like some other young people of his time, listening to the radio evolved into looking inside and discovering the world of electronics.

During the early 60s, a childhood friend of mine showed me how easily we could hook up an extra speaker or two to my simple record player to enhance the sound. Such “simple” reconstruction can lead to the love of sound.

Such was the case with Bill Hanley and his brother Terry.

Keep in mind that for most outdoor sound at this time, the phrase was PA, as in “public address.” That is, the group or individual that needed outdoor sound concentrated on sending the speaker’s voice out into the audience.

The Hanley brothers loved good sound and their love coincided with a time of increased outdoor music events and musicians needed more than simply sending the singer’s voice, musicians needed their instruments to be heard as well.

Bill Hanley Soundman Extraordinaire

Hanley Sound

Bill Hanley Soundman Extraordinaire

In 1957 Bill Hanley began a relationship with the Newport Jazz Festival and its organizer, George Wein.  Remembering that difference between what a PA can do versus what a good “sound system” can do, think about how important quality sound production would be to jazz musicians.

Shortly after that Bill and Terry Hanley began Hanley Sound Inc, at 430 Salem St. in Medford, MA.

Bill Hanley Soundman Extraordinaire

Good timing

In 1964 Baby Boomers experienced Beatlemania and the British Invasion. Like all stories, being in the right place or knowing to be in the right place at the right time can make all the difference.

In 1966 Hanley Sound was working with the Boston band, The Remains (“the greatest band you never heard of”) and while the Remains were not a household name outside of Boston, they were good enough to land quite a gig: the 1966 Beatle tour.

Bill Hanley Soundman Extraordinaire

Epstein meets Hanley 

On that tour Brian Epstein recognized the quality that Hanley Sound could produce and used them.  Next came the Beach Boys. And by the end of the 60s, Hanley sound was doing outdoor concert after outdoor concert.

The most famous one was the Woodstock Music and Art Fair.

Bill Hanley Soundman Extraordinaire

Last Seat In the House

Bill Hanley continued his golden touch on sound. One person in particular who has tried to get the recognition for Bill Hanley that he so deserves is a John Kane.  John has been working on a film about Hanley called “Last Seat In the House.” 

The title reflects the goal that Hanley Sound always aimed at: that the people in the last row could hear the music as well as anyone seated anywhere else.

Bill Hanley Soundman Extraordinaire
Here are some words from John Kane:

I am a post grad doctoral student and for the past three years I have been researching the life/career of pioneer sound engineer Bill Hanley. Since the beginning of this research, until now my discoveries have been overwhelming.

Collectively, sound reinforcement is an area of technology that is often overlooked. It is my hope that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame acknowledges, considers, and/or inducts Bill Hanley and his pioneering sound company into their institution. If the RRHF leadership were to peel away the layers of popular music as we know it today, they would surely realize that the area of “sound” owes much to Hanley’s pioneering work. An acknowledgment like this would bring light and significance to an era innovation where quality sound in popular music mattered most…the 1960s and 1970s.

In my view (and others) Hanley was a primary force in bringing quality sound to the forefront of the evolving music and political arenas. When primitive public address technology was the “norm” for various events, the influence of Bill Hanley elevated the quality of sound via his innovative methods and application.

Lastly, if you choose to sign this petition would you kindly forward this email to your network of friends and colleagues? This will allow us to reach our rather ambitious goal.

Bill Hanley Soundman Extraordinaire

So…

Help Induct Bill Hanley of Hanley Sound into the
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame!
Click here and please sign petition

Bill Hanley Soundman Extraordinaire
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