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Eddie Kramer

Eddie Kramer

Happy birthday and thank you!

Born in  born in Cape Town, South Africa on 19 April 1942

Why is Woodstock so famous when there were so many other similar festivals in 1969?

The answer has several parts, but the two of the major pieces are: the movie, the recording.

The idea of a movie was at first thought one too difficult, but Michael Wadleigh and his crew did an amazing job capturing the sights and sounds of the iconic event.

The idea of recording the event was also a fortunate one. So many people saw the film and purchased the music that even the staggering number of 500,000 actual attendees expanded into the millions.

Bill Hanley did the live sound at Woodstock. The father of  outdoor concert sound, his expertise enabled those at the concert to hear it no matter where they sat.

While obviously related, the person sending the sound out to a crowd and the person recording the sound have two different jobs. Eddie Kramer recorded Woodstock.

Pye > KPS > Olympic Studios

Eddie Kramer was born in South  Africa and studied classical piano, cello, and violin as a child, eventually attending the South African College of Music.

He moved to England when he was 19. There he  recorded local jazz groups in a home-based studio, plus installed hi-fi equipment as a hobby.

In 1964 he joined Pye Studios, and recorded a variety of artists including Sammy Davis Jr., Petula Clark and The Kinks

In 1965 Kramer established the sophisticated KPS Studios, which, despite its rudimentary 2-track recording capability, gained such a reputation that in less than a year they were bought out by Regent Sound. They enlisted Kramer to oversee construction of their new four-track studio. [studioexpresso article]

The story is that in early 1967 he was working at London’s famed Olympic Studios. The site had already become a favorite of Britain’s famous young groups like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. The person in charge of assigning projects apparently thought the new trio there to record was a bit too odd and gave the assignment to a young Eddie Kramer.

The trio was the Jimi Hendrix Experience and the collaboration was historic.

And that was barely the beginning.

In addition to his recording Woodstock, the Beatles [1Yellow Submarine Songtrack, Magical Mystery Touras well as their singles “All You Need Is Love” and “Baby You’re a Rich Man”] Led Zeppelin [Led Zeppelin II, Immigrant Song, Led Zeppelin III, Physical Graffiti, and 14 more!], Kiss [AliveRock and Roll Over, Alive II, Love Gun, and twenty-seven more!] lead an incredibly long list of credits.

Electric Lady

Jimi Hendrix hired Kramer to help design Electric Lady in NYC, a dream recording studio that Hendrix himself barely knew, but became a hugely popular studio [Stevie Wonder, Lou Reed, Rolling Stones, Blondie, John Lennon & David Bowie, Patti Smith,  AC/DC, Clash, Billy Idol, the Cars, Weezer, Santans, and many more.] Kramer served as its Director of Engineering from 1970 – 1974.

The studio continues to today.

Woodstock

About Woodstock, the same studioexpresso article quotes Kramer: “I arrived at dawn and was struck by the sight of the sun rising over what appeared to be the stage. The show was scheduled to start by lunchtime. That panic pretty much set the tone for the entire concert. All of us in the crew had Vitamin B shots, so that we would be able to stay up for three days. The whole thing was recorded under the most primitive of conditions, but we got it done,” says Kramer. “Woodstock was 3 days of hell and drugs”.

Heavy Metal

Besides Kiss, Kramer worked with other metal bands such as Fastway, Anthrax, Alcatrazz, Raven, Loudness, Triumph, Whitesnake, Ace Frehley’s post-Kiss solo outfit, Frehley’s Comet, and others.

All Along the Watchtower

Recorded between January – June 1968,  Jimi Hendrix’s cover of Bob Dylan’s All Along the Watchtower, Kramer helped create one of the most iconic rock songs of all time.

In the video below, Kramer describes recording the song whose personnel included Dave Mason and Brian Jones.  Be ready for some heavy tech talk.

Lately

The most recent highlight in Kramer’s career was an Emmy award for best sound in The American Masters Hendrix documentary “Hear My Train A Comin’.

Kramer is currently working on his memoir, From the Other Side of the Glass.

Meteor17.com

This brief post only scratches the surface of Kramer’s contributions and accomplishments. The site meteor17.com has an excelled timeline about Kramer’s career. The piece puts Kramer’s work into an historic perspective.

Canned Heat Woodstock

Canned Heat Woodstock

Canned Heat Woodstock

Canned Heat is on the Monument. Canned Heat is in the original movie release. Canned Heat is on the original soundtrack. They certainly deserved the triple.

It was around 7:30 PM when Chip Monck introduced Canned Heat. The sunset at 8 to end a sunny warm day.  The band would leave the stage about an hour and fifteen minutes later to cheers and applause.

Personnel:

Setlist:

  • I’m Her Man
  • Going Up the Country
  • A Change Is Gonna Come / Leaving This Town
  • Too Many Drivers at the Wheel
  • I Know My Baby
  • Woodstock Boogie
  • On the Road Again
Canned Heat Woodstock

I’m Her Man

Canned Heat Woodstock
Canned Heat Hallelujah album cover

I’m Her Man  had appeared on their recently released Hallelujah album. Bob Hite wrote the song.

I found love sure is good to me
I found love sure is good to me
You know a man needs a woman though to keep him company
It feels good not to be alone
Oh so good not to be alone
I’m gonna make sure not to lose my happy home
Love can come and go
Why i sure don’t know
Never gonna let her go
You know love, is hard to understand
I said love is hard to understand
But it sure feels good to know that I’m her man
Love can come and go
Why i sure don’t know
Never gonna let her go
Canned Heat Woodstock

Going Up the Country

Canned Heat Woodstock
Living the Blues album cover. Release November 1, 1968

Going Up the Country was on their Living the Blues album, their third and a double alum. Alan Wilson wrote the song.

Before starting it, Bob Hite, as many other performers had, commented on the whole scene, mentioned a personal issue, and introduced a new band member.

You know, this is the most outrageous spectacle I’ve ever witnessed, ever. There’s only one thing I wish: I sure gotta’ pee. And there ain’t nowhere to go. We’re gonna get one out here on the guitar and do a little Going Up the Country and I’d also like to take this  time to introduce you to our newest member. So now being official that Henry Vestine has left Canned Heat to form a group called Sun, we now have playing lead guitar Harvey Mandell…so everything’s together.”

I’m goin’ up the country, baby don’t you want to go?
I’m goin’ up the country, baby don’t you want to go?
I’m goin’ to some place, I’ve never been before
I’m goin’ I’m goin’ where the water tastes like wine
I’m goin’ where the water tastes like wine
We can jump in the water, stay drunk all the time
I’m gonna leave this city, got to get away
I’m gonna leave this city, got to get away
All this fussin’ and fightin’ man, you know I sure can’t stay
So baby pack your leavin’ trunk
You know we’ve got to leave today
Just exactly where we’re goin’ I cannot say
But we might even leave the U.S.A.
It’s a brand new game, that I want to play
No use in your runnin’, or screamin’ and cryin’
‘Cause you got a home as long as I’ve got mine
Canned Heat Woodstock

A Change Is Gonna Come/Leaving This Town

There is no studio recording of “A Change Is Gonna Come.”

Bob Hite comments before, “Nothing like suckin’ on an orange. Kinda’ something neat about it. Reminds me of something…I do believe it’s a lovely evening for a boogie.”

During the song  a young man from the audience climbs on stage but instead Hite allows him to stay. The kid grabs the pack of Marlboro cigarettes from Hite’s tee-shirt while they hug each other. They share a cigarette. It was a perfect Woodstock moment.

I said I believe…
Yeah ’bout a change is gonna come

I said I believe…
Yeah people the change… will surely come

We all have good peace of mind
Lord, I free they will surely surely come

Yeah, I believe in the morning
I believe I go ah back home

Well, I’ll tell I believe I’m gonna get up in the morning
Yeah, people ah people, I’m gonna go back home

Well, now I gotta find my little mama
You know I gotta have some gratitude beyond

Well…I’m standing sown at he crossroads, 

My friend began to shout

Well, ah it’s all I’ve got my self a friend
Dolla I try… ah surely done

Well, when you’ve got yourself a good friend
You are the luckiest man on earth

I say you got yourself a good friend
Yeah now do know you’re the luckiest man on earth

‘Couse you’ve got love in your heart
Lord God’s good… all is winin’ call

Oh you gotta cool down

Well, I got to go an’ to when
When your troubles through to down mile

I said what you’re gonna do babe
Yeah time when your troubles show you to the line mile

Well, now you take youself a mouth full of sugar
You drink yourself a put of bottle turpentine

Well I believe in the morning yeah
‘Tou for it moun too tough

I said I believe in the big time
Lord roar the moan too tough

Well, I gotta find my little ride’
You know this time I’m goin’ back home

Well, I believe in this time on
Lord I wont be back for long

Well, I believe in this time …
Lord people I wont be back… go home

Well, now I got myself a grand of nothing
Child don’t you know it’s shocking I’ve been told

Canned Heat Woodstock

Rollin’ Blues

From the Woodstock Fandom site“Rollin’ Blues”, originally written by John Lee Hooker, is a version of the Blues traditional Rollin’ and Tumblin.'” Canned Heat recorded their version of “Rollin’ and Tumblin'” (which has hardly any similarities to “Rollin’ Blues”) on their first self-titled album. They also recorded and performed with Hooker, so it is not unusual that they played one of “his” songs at the festival.

Canned Heat Woodstock

Woodstock Boogie

Bob Hite again says the guitarists need some time to tune and that Sharon’s dad is looking for her backstage.

Alan Wilson says that new member Harvey continues the Canned Heat tradition of extensive re-tuning.

Again from the Woodstock Fandom site: The song “Woodstock Boogie” is basically an almost 30-minute jam, including a drum solo. On their album Boogie With Canned Heat  the song is called “Fried Hockey Boogie.

Canned Heat Woodstock

On the Road Again

Before their encore, Hite explains how difficult the previous two weeks had been, that they even thought that the band might end.

Chip Monck has pretty much lost his patience with the tower climbers. He asked Hite if he could interrupt to tell them, “Get the fuck down!

On the Road Again” first appeared on their second album, Boogie with Canned Heat, in January 1968; when an edited version was released as a single in April 1968, “On the Road Again” became Canned Heat’s first record chart hit and one of their best-known songs.

Well, I’m so tired of crying
But I’m out on the road again
I’m on the road again
Well, I’m so tired of crying
But I’m out on the road again
I’m on the road again
I ain’t got no woman
Just to call my special friend
You know the first time I traveled
Out in the rain and snow
In the rain and snow
You know the first time I traveled
Out in the rain and snow
In the rain and snow
I didn’t have no payroll
Not even no place to go
And my dear mother left me
When I was quite young
When I was quite young
And my dear mother left me
When I was quite young
When I was quite young
She said, [“Lord, have mercy on my wicked son.”]
Take a hint from me, mama
Please don’t you cry no more
Don’t you cry no more
Take a hint from me, mama
Please don’t you cry no more
Don’t you cry no more
‘Cause it’s soon one morning
Down the road I’m going
But I ain’t going down
That long old lonesome road
All by myself
But I ain’t going down
That long old lonesome road
All by myself
I can’t carry you, baby
Gonna carry somebody else
Canned Heat Woodstock

Charlotte Brown Refused

Charlotte Brown Refused

…on April 17, 1863

Associating bus travel and luxury is not the case, unless one is a star musician.  And for those stars, one of their roadies once told me, “Travelling down a highway in a steel tube at 75 mph is not luxurious.”

In other words, the huge majority of people taking bus transportation are doing so for its necessary convenience not its Lucullan comfort.

We know the name Rosa Parks and her refusal in 1955.  We are less likely to know the name Irene Morgan and her refusal in 1944.  Nor Sarah Keys‘s refusal in 1954 nor Claudette Colvin‘s  or Aurelia Browder‘s in 1955.

Before there were busses, there were street cars.

Charlotte Brown Refused

Charlotte Brown

Charlotte Brown was born in Maryland in  1839.  James E Brown, her father, had been a slave. Her mother, Charlotte, was a free seamstress who had purchased James’s freedom.

With California having just made slavery illegal in 1949, the Brown family moved to San Francisco during its Gold Rush. James, an ardent abolitionist,  ran a livery stable and was a partner in Mirror of the Times, a black newspaper.

Charlotte Brown Refused

Refusal

On the evening of April 17, 1863, Charlotte had a doctor’s appointment and boarded a Omnibus Railroad and Cable Company streetcar.  The conductor, collecting tickets, came to Charlotte, refused to take her ticket, told her to get off the car, and when Charlotte refused, forcibly removed her saying Blacks were not allowed on the cars.

From a Wherever There’s a Fight article Brown recalled, “He took hold of me, by the left arm, somewhere. I made no resistance as he had taken me by the arm. I knew it was of no use to resist, and therefore I went out, and he kept hold of me until I was out of the car, holding on to me until I struck the walk.”

James Brown filed suit.

Charlotte Brown Refused

$25 Success/5 cent reality

From KQED Rebel Girls:  [filing suit was a brave reaction] ...given that it had only been a matter of months since African Americans in California had gained the right to testify against white people in court. During the case, Omnibus defended its racist policies, arguing that people of color should not be permitted to ride streetcars in case they made white women and children feel “fearful or repulsed.”

While Charlotte ultimately won the case and was awarded $25 and costs, appeals by Omnibus kept her tied up in court for months. The end result saw her award sum reduced to just five cents, the cost of Charlotte’s original ticket. What’s more, the case did not change Omnibus policy.

Just days after the first case was finally over, Charlotte was removed from another Omnibus streetcar.

Charlotte Brown Refused

Judge Orville C. Pratt

Judge Orville C. Pratt

Charlotte and her father went straight back to court, this time finding themselves arguing in front of a very sympathetic judge. Judge Orville C. Pratt of the 12th District Court deemed segregation “barbaric” and awarded Charlotte $500.

in his opinion: “It has been already quite too long tolerated by the dominant race to see with indifference the Negro or mulatto treated as a brute, insulted, wronged, enslaved, made to wear a yoke, to tremble before white men, to serve him as a tool, to hold property and life at his will, to surrender to him his intellect and conscience, and to seal his lips and belie his thought through dread of the white man’s power.” [from a Black Then article]

Charlotte Brown Refused

Mary Ellen Pleasant

Though Pratt’s ruling would suggest that San Francisco’s Black residents could now ride the streetcars, that was not the reality. Refusals continued.

In 1866  a conductor on the North Beach Municipal Railroad refused to pick up Mary Ellen Pleasant.

She sued, and a jury awarded Pleasant five hundred dollars in punitive damages. The streetcar company appealed the decision to the California Supreme Court. The high court ruled streetcar exclusion based on race was unlawful, but it also rescinded the damage payment to Pleasant, since there was no proof “to show willful injury,” or any proof that the streetcar company had a policy of excluding blacks. 

The lawsuits succeeded in changing the racist practice: no more stories about streetcar exclusion appeared in the local black press, which had reported all such incidents vigilantly. In 1893 the legislature enacted a statewide prohibition on streetcar segregation and exclusion. [also from Wherever There’s a Fight site]

Charlotte Brown Refused