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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Family Stone Saxophonist Jerry Martini

Family Stone Saxophonist Jerry Martini

Happy birthday

Born October 1, 1942

Thank you for taking us higher and higher.

Family Stone Saxophonist Jerry Martini

Jerry Martini

Jerry Martini was born in born in Shamrock Mine, Colorado. 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.

Family Stone Saxophonist Jerry Martini

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.

Family Stone Saxophonist Jerry Martini

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.

Family Stone Saxophonist Jerry Martini

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 >>> Flower Power interview

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Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart

Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart

Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart

born September 11, 1943

Synopsis

The opening description of Mickey Hart from his site reads that he “is a pivotal innovator, chronicler, and influencer in percussion and rhythm. Best known as a drummer in the renowned expedition into the soul and spirit of rock and roll, The Grateful Dead, the multi-Grammy award winner is also an energetic painter, accomplished writer, restless explorer, and an acclaimed expert on the history and mythology of drums. A true original armed with an inventor’s audacious curiosity, Hart boldly seeks to break the rhythm code of the universe and investigate its deepest vibrations.”

Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart

To the beats…

Michael Steven Hartman was born in Brooklyn. Leah, his mother, raised Mickey. Leonard, his father, had left Leah before Mickey was born. Mickey and mom moved to Long Island (NY) soon after his birth. Later he attended Lawrence High School there,  but dropped out as a senior. He went to Europe and later joined the Air Force.

Hart was in the Air Force’s drum and bugle corps.  After the Air Force, Hart became a session drummer in NYC. While there, he received a letter from his father inviting him to work at his music store in San Carlos, California. Mickey went and it was a good thing for him, a great thing for us.

Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart

Rhythm Devils

Of the Grateful Dead members, Mickey first met Bill Kreutzmann who invited Hart to sit in with the band. On September 29, 1967 he did just that for the band’s second set.

Having two drummers was a rarity, but he and Kreutzmann became known as the Rhythm Devils because of their unique interplay.

Leonard Hart became the band’s money manager, but  in March, 1970, he and an estimated $70,000 to $150,000 of band money disappeared. A detective eventually located him and a jury found him guilty of embezzlement. Hart served a six month sentence; he and his son never saw each other again.

Lenny Hart died of natural causes on February 2, 1975. According to Dennis McNally “Mickey went to the funeral home, cleared the room, took out the snakewood sticks that had been his inheritance, played a traditional rudimental drum piece, “The Downfall of Paris,” on Lenny’s coffin, and split. 

Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart

Hart leaves; returns

Because of his father’s actions, Hart left the band in February 1971 and in 1972 released Rolling Thunder. Not bitter about Lenny Hart’s crime, Jerry GarciaPhil Lesh, and Bob Weir all played on the album.

Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart

Hart returned to the Dead in October 1974 at Winterland for the band’s final shows on its tour. The Dead cut back touring in 1975 doing only four shows: one each in March, June, September, and October. Mickey did contribute to their 1975 studio album, Blues for Allah. In 1976 Hart was in again and continued to be in the band.

Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart

Mickey Hart

Outside on his own both during and after the Dead’s last show with its Jerry Garcia line-up, Hart remained and remains active.

You can check out his live appearance schedule here.

Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart

Discography

  • 1976, Diga Rhythm band
  • 1979, music from the movie Apocolypse Now, much of which he contributed.
  • 1989, Music to Be Born By, an album based on the heartbeat of his son in the womb,
  • 1990 his first book, Drumming at the Edge of Magic
  • 1990, At the Edge album
  • 1991, both book and disc, Planet Drum,
  • 1998 Supralingua album
  • 2000, Spirit into Sound album
  • 2007 Global Drum Project, with Hart,  Zakir Hussain, Sikiru Adepoju, and Giovanni Hidalgo. It won the Grammy award for Best Contemporary World Music Album.
  • 2012 the same group on Hart’s Mysterium Tremendum,
  • 2013, Superorganism, with long-time Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter.
  • 2017, RAMU

Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart
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