Tag Archives: Woodstock Music and Art Fair

Grateful Dead Woodstock

Grateful Dead Woodstock

It was 10:30 and a bit drizzly when the Dead came on. Their actual playing time was about an hour and ten minutes, but only five minutes after they finally were able to begin there were additional technical difficulties that delayed a restart for about 15 minutes.

The common impression of the Dead’s Woodstock set, repeated by many, is that it was not up to their or their fans’ high expectations That may be true, but in reality, the set itself was not so different than what the Dead typically did when they shared a bill with other bands at a festival.  Set times at a festival were usually shorter than a set when the band was the main act.

At Woodstock, the Dead were:

Their setlist was:

  • St Stephen
  • Mama Tried
  • Dark Star
  • High Time
  • Turn on Your Lovelight
Grateful Dead Woodstock

St Stephen

Grateful Dead Woodstock

If you asked lyricist Robert Hunter whether the Stephen referred to in one of the Dead’s most popular songs is the actual St Stephen, first Christian martyr, or another Stephen, you didn’t get a straight answer. Like any writer, poetic license is always a part of what they write.

The Deadlists Project has the song’s first performance as being on May 24, 1968, at the National Guard Armory in St. Louis, Missouri. According to Dead.net, there were 289 known live performances of the song.

Saint Stephen with a rose
In and out of the garden he goes
Country garden in the wind and the rain
Wherever he goes the people all complain
Stephen prospered in his time
Well, he may and he may decline
Did it matter, does it now?
Stephen would answer if he only knew how
Wishing well with a golden bell
Bucket hangin’ clear to Hell
Hell halfway twixt now and then
Stephen fill it up and lower down and lower down again
Lady finger, dipped in moonlight
Writing, “What for?”, across the morning sky
Sunlight splatters, dawn with answer
Darkness shrugs and bids the day goodbye
Speeding arrow, sharp and narrow
What a lot of fleeting matters you have spurned
Several seasons with their treasons
Wrap the babe in scarlet colors, call it your own
Did he doubt or did he try?
Answers aplenty in the bye and bye
Talk about your plenty and talk about your ills
One man gathers what another man spills
Saint Stephen will remain
All he lost he shall regain
Seashore washed by the suds and foam
Been here so long, he’s got to callin’ it home
Fortune comes a crawlin’, calliope woman
Spinnin’ that curious sense of your own
Can you answer? Yes, I can
What would be the answer to the answer man?
High green chilly winds and windy
Vines and loops around the twining
Shafts of lavender, they’re crawling to the sun
Wonder who will water all the children of the garden
When they sigh about the barren lack of rain and troop so hungry ‘neath the sky, ay
Underfoot the ground is patched
With climbing arms of ivy wrapped around
The Manzanita, dark and shiny in the breeze
William Tell has stretched the bow
Till it won’t stretch no furthermore
And all that they require in change
That hasn’t gone before
Grateful Dead Woodstock

Mama Tried

Grateful Dead Woodstock

The Dead were well-known for covering songs and Mama Tried became on of their better known covers. Merle Haggard wrote it.

First thing I remember knowin’
Was a lonesome whistle blowin’
And a youngun’s dream of growin’ up to ride
On a freight train leavin’ town,
Not knowin’ where I’s bound
No one could change my mind but mama tried
One and only rebel child
In a family meek and mild,
Mama seemed to know what lay in store
In spite of all my Sunday learnin’,
For the bad I kept on turnin’
Mama couldn’t hold me anymore
And I turned twenty one in prison
Doin’ life without parole
No one could steer me right
But mama tried, mama tried,
Mama tried to raise me better
But her pleadin’ I denied,
That leaves only me to blame ’cause mama tried
Dear old daddy, rest his soul,
Left my mom a heavy load
She tried so very hard to fill his shoes
Workin’ hours without rest,
Wanted me to have the best,
She tried to raise me right but I refused
And I turned twenty one in prison
Doin’ life without parole
No one could steer me right
But mama tried, mama tried,
Mama tried to raise me better
But her pleadin’ I denied,
That leaves only me to blame ’cause mama tried
Grateful Dead Woodstock

Patter Break

While the tech issues are resolved a few people talk to take up the time.

Merry Prankster Ken Babbs rambles on and around quite a while before Country Joe arrives. He tells the crowd how he’s from San Francisco and how familiar with LSD he and others from San Francisco are. He then advises those who have taken “bad” acid to simply stop taking it and they’ll be fine.

Also, there have been questions as to whether Bear Owsley was at Woodstock. The recording of this break seems to answer that question affirmatively. Not only is he referred to (at the 8:40 mark of the break’s Rhino recording), but we also hear him.

Click to listen:

For an far more extensive and more positive view of their set, see this article written by Scott Parker, author of Woodstock Documented.

Grateful Dead Woodstock

Dark Star

Dark Star was one of the first songs that Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter wrote, although the whole band is typically credited.  They played the song 249 times.

Dark star crashes, pouring its light into ashes
Reason tatters, the forces tear loose from the axis
Searchlight casting for faults in the clouds of delusion
Shall we go, you and I while we can
Through the transitive nightfall of diamonds?
Mirror shatters in formless reflections of matter
Glass hand dissolving in ice, petal flowers revolving
Lady in velvet recedes in the nights of good-bye
Shall we go, you and I while we can
Through the transitive nightfall of diamonds?
Grateful Dead Woodstock

High Time

Grateful Dead Woodstock
Jerry Garcia

The Dead had not yet released this song on an album. Most bands release an album and then tour to promote it. The contrarian Dead were doing the opposite. They were perfecting their next album’s songs on the road before going into the studio. High Time appeared on their Workingman’s Dead album released in June, 1970.

Robert Hunter wrote the lyrics, Jerry Garcia the tune.  High Time was performed about 60 times by the Grateful Dead between June 1969 and July 1970. The song was then dropped from the repertoire for 6 years returning in June 1976. It was then performed a few times most years through to 1995, though it was not performed in 1978, 1983 and 1989. In total the Grateful Dead performed the song just over 130 times.

You told me goodbye, how was I to know
You didn’t mean goodbye, you meant please don’t let me go?
I was having a high time, living the good life, well I know
The wheels are muddy, got a ton of hay,
Now listen here, Baby, ’cause I mean what I say.
I’m having a hard time, living the good life, well I know.
I was losing time, I had nothing to do,
No one to fight, I came to you.
Wheels broke down, leader won’t draw,
The line is busted, the last one I saw.
Tomorrow come trouble, tomorrow come pain,
Now don’t think too hard Baby, ’cause I know what I’m saying.
I could show you a high time, living the good life, don’t be that way.
Nothing’s for certain, it could always go wrong,
Come in when it’s raining, go on out when it’s gone.
We could have us a high time, living the good life, well I know.
Grateful Dead Woodstock

Turn On Your Lovelight

Pigpen

Another Dead cover. Perhaps their best known, band leader and arranger Joe Scott wrote “Turn On Your Love Light.”  The Dead also extended this song out a long way. Woodstock’s was  40 minutes, but the longest version was likely on June 6 that year at the Fillmore West at 47 minutes.

The following are the “official” lyrics tobut Pigpen was famous for improvising around those lyrics.

Without a warning you broke my heart, takin’ it baby, tore it apart
And you left me standin’ in the dark, said your love for me was dyin’
Come on baby, baby please come on baby, cause I’m on my knees
Turn on your lights let it shine on me shine on your love light
Let it shine on me let shine, let it shine, let it shine
When I get lonely in the middle of the night
And I need you darlin’ to make things all right
So come on baby, baby please and I’m beggin’ you baby cause I’m on my knees,
Turn on your lights let it shine on me
Turn on your love light let it shine on me
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine
Without a warning you broke my heart, takin’ it baby, tore it apart
And you left me standin’ in the dark, shine your love for me was dark
Come on baby, baby please come on baby, cause I’m on my knees
Turn on your lights let it shine on me shine on your love light
Let it shine on me let shine, let it shine, let it shine
Grateful Dead Woodstock

Double-dare

So there it is and now I dare you to click and open ↓ .

It’s really a nice listen for any day and always a slice of history. You’ll hear the actual radio feedback that Phil Lesh talks about during a quieter part of their set.

Grateful Dead Woodstock

Mountain Woodstock

Mountain Woodstock

Mountain Woodstock

It was about 9 PM and dark. Country dark. Mountain appeared.  I hesitated, but cautiously decided to attempt a picture knowing there wasn’t enough light. This post’s featured image is that picture. A cannabis haze covered the field. All was good.

Personnel

Setlist:

  • Blood of the Sun
  • Stormy Monday
  • Theme for an Imaginary Western
  • Long Red
  • Who Am I But You And The Sun
  • Beside the Sea
  • Waiting to Take You Away
  • Dreams of Milk and Honey
  • Southbound Train

They would play about 55 minutes.

Mountain Woodstock

Blood of the Sun

Cover of Leslie West’s debut album called “Mountain”
Leslie West had played with a well-known New York band called the Vagrants. In fact, Bert Sommer had written several songs for the band.
West released a solo album in July 1969. He called the album Mountain, and shortly afterwards, that became the band’s name.
Blood on the Sun was on that album. West, Pappalardi, and Pappalardi’s wife Gail Collins wrote the song.
Standin’ on my pillow
Talkin’ to the moon
Wadin’ in the ocean
I’m sendin’ for you soon
Reachin’ for the handle
Achin’ in my head
Woven in the bed sheets
And then I will understand
Politicians are screamin’
Runnin’ from the gun
Caught in webs of invention
It’s the blood, it’s the blood of the sun

Leanin’ out of the window
With the sunshine at my side
To leave the hard road behind me
There’s a light on the road that I ride
Hidin’ in the ocean
With the sunshine at my side
To leave the hard road behind me
There’s a light on the road that I ride
Standin’ on my pillow
Talkin’ to the moon
Wadin’ in the ocean
I’m sendin’ for you soon
I’m sendin’ for you soon
Mountain Woodstock

Stormy Monday

Rock and Roll Hall of fame inductee T-Bone Walker wrote the song. B.B. King once said it was Walker who ‘‘really started me to want to play the blues. I can still hear T-Bone in my mind today from that first record I heard, ‘Stormy Monday.’ He was the first electric guitar player I heard on record. He made me so that I knew I just had to go out and get an I electric guitar.

Perhaps the Allman Brothers’ cover is the best known.

They call it stormy Monday, yes but Tuesdays just as bad.
They call it stormy Monday, yes but Tuesdays just as bad.
Wednesdays even worse; Thursdays awful sad.

The eagle flies on Friday, Saturday I go out to play.
The eagle flies on Friday, but Saturday I go out to play.
Sunday I go to church where I kneel down and pray.
And I say, “Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy on me.
Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy on me.
Just trying to find my baby, wont you please send her on back to me.”
The eagle flies on Friday, on Saturday I go out to play.
The eagle flies on Friday, on Saturday I go out to play.
Sunday I go to church, where I kneel down, Lord and I pray.
Then I say, “Lord have mercy, wont you please have mercy on me.
Lord, oh Lord have mercy, yeah, wont you please, please have mercy on me.
Im just a-lookin for my sweet babe, so wont you please send him home,
Send him on home to me
Mountain Woodstock

Theme for an Imaginary Western

Mountain Woodstock
Mountain’s official debut studio album, Climbing! Recorded 1969 – 1970; released March 7, 1970
The third song of the set was one of the songs that would appear on the band‘s debut album, Climbing!, in six months. Cream bassist Jack Bruce and Pete Brown wrote it.
When the wagons leave the city
For the forest and further on
Painted wagons of the morning
Dusty roads where they have gone
Sometimes traveling through the darkness
Met the summer coming home
Fallen faces by the wayside
Looked as if they might have known
Oh the sun was in their eyes
And the desert was dry
In the country town
Where the laughter sounds
Oh the dancing and the singing
Oh the music when they played
Oh the fires that they started
Oh the girls with no regret
Sometimes they found it, sometimes they kept it
Often lost it along the way
Fought each other to possess it
Often died in sight of day
Oh the sun was in their eyes
And the desert was dry
In the country town
Where the laughter sounds
Oh the sun was in their eyes
And the desert was dry
In the country town
Where the laughter sounds
Mountain Woodstock

Long Red

Written by Leslie West, Felix Pappalardi, John Ventura, and Norman Landsberg, Long Red would not appear on any album until the band’s live release: Live: The Road Goes Ever On in 1972.

The long red, flowing through my mind
Dream here, dreamin’ there
Two pieces all the time
Sobered, wisdoms in my dreams
Bits and pieces in my arms
This is always what it seems
Long red, helpin’ you to find a day
Bright red, how am I gonna find a way?
Bright red
You have changed me too
Stranger now it seems somehow
Bright red has turned to blue
Long red
Tears and shades of gray
I have [Incomprehensible] you
I’ve lost forever from today
Long red, helpin’ you to find the day
Bright red, how am I gonna find a way?
Long red
Tears and shades of gray
I have changed you
I’ve lost forever from today
Mountain Woodstock

Who Am I But You And The Sun

Who Am I but You and the Sun would also appear on their debut album but re-titled For Yasgur’s Farm 

Who am i but you and the sun
A slight reflection in everyone
Was it me who let you walk away
Were you the one
Or is it we’re the same
What are we in time going by
The simple story of a younger life
Happy dreams and somehow through the day
Were you the one
Or is it we’re the same
Look at me, now
I’m a part of you
Love is only what we come to live
The waking, breathing and all with you
A crystal passing reflected in our eyes
Were you the one
Or is it we’re the same
Quiet as the voices in a dream
Without two shadows the things I’ve seen
Remember the evening I let you walk away
Were you the one
Or is it we’re the same
Look at me, i believe it’s true
You’re a part of me
I’m a part of you
Mountain Woodstock

Beside the Sea

There’s no patter. No Canned Heat re-tuning. Not a segue but pretty close.

Mountain Woodstock

Waiting to Take You Away

The song would appear on the Mountain Live album.

Yesterday went through until tomorrow
A pile of dreams appear
Better plan the hours to come
Today we shed our fear
And it’s waiting to take you away
It’s waiting to take you away

Rise you up to take my hand
Away from yesterday
I have a love within my heart
Which clearly shows the way
And it’s waiting to take you away
It’s waiting to take you away

No one can laugh but cannot cry
To begin we’ve got to end
Two together yet, in love
Within our love transcend
And it’s waiting to take you away
It’s waiting to take you away

Mountain Woodstock

Dreams of Milk and Honey

Written by West, Pappalardi, John Ventura, and Norman Landsberg, Dreams of Milk and Honey also appeared on West’s solo album.

Sitting in a blue room, staring at the wall
Trying to get into anything at all
Cigarettes taste funny as I sink into my bed
Dreams of milk and honey are running through my head
Look at me, Lord
Listen and see
Look at me, Lord
Listen and see
Girl, you say you love but the truth is in your eyes
Your heart for me is empty and your lips are gilded lies
And it seems I’m in a blue room, spending all my time
Trying so to catch you while you’re running through my mind
Mountain Woodstock

Southbound Train

Written by (West, Ventura, and Landsberg, Southbound Train appeared on West’s solo album. The  lyrics West sings aren’t quite what the internet shows.

Well she was born in a north woods town
Twenty-one winters ago
And she grew tired of the freezing cold
And living in the blinding snow
But this girl knew she wouldn’t be there long
‘Cause she had plans and dreams
And she’d seen pictures of the sunshine state
In the pages of the magazine
So she waited them tables and she used her smile
Saving every penny she can
For a one-way Dixie bound Amtrak ticket
Headed for the promised land
Her momma and daddy begged her not to go
When the day she dreamed of came
And she waved goodbye sittin’ way up high
From the window of a southbound train
Now she’s got a fire burnin’ deep inside
Ridin’ on a southbound train
And the clickity-clack of that railroad track
Only helps to fan the flames
No more worries, no more cares
She left them up in Bangor, Maine
Now she’s startin’ a brand new life
Ridin’ on a southbound train
Whoa…
She said, ‘Hello sun, good mornin’ Daytona
You’re sure lookin’ good to me
With your ocean breeze and your tall palm trees
And your southern hospitality’
Now she’s a knockout queenie in a string bikini
She’s drivin’ all the boys insane
And this all started with a small town dream
And a ticket on a southbound train
‘Cause she had a fire burnin’ deep inside
Ridin’ on a southbound train
And the clickity-clack of that railroad track
Only helps to fan the flames
No more worries, no more cares
She left them up in Bangor, Maine
Yeah she likes the boys with the southern drawl
Soakin’ up the sunshine, havin’ a ball
She’ll be the first to tell you that she owes it all
To ridin’ on a southbound train
Whoa…oh…
Mountain Woodstock

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.