Tag Archives: Woodstock Music and Art Fair

Richard Rich Joffe Esq

Richard Rich Joffe Esq

Rich Joffe grew up in Maplewood, NJ and entered Columbia University in the fall of 1968. High school had not been the most enjoyable of years, he was more into folk at a time when rock had become king. Folk’s dominance had slowly faded since its early 60s-Hang-Down-Your-Head-Tom-Dooley-Kingston-Trio-Hootenanny  high point.  Many booed in 1965 when Dylan went electric at the Newport Folk Festival . Folk-rock emerged.

Richard Rich Joffe Esq

Kingston Trio to Kingsmen

Joffe had joined Columbia University’s a cappella group, the Kingsmen. Their repertoire was limited to standard pop songs, but an opportunity to record pushed them to expand that repertoire.  They didn’t have far to look: doo wop only needed a bit of dusting off and was a music that emphasized harmonies.

A 1978 Harvard Crimson article wrote how George Leonard, the brother of Kingsmen Robert Leonard, arranged a “nostalgia” show and suggested that the group dress in a ’50s style.

Before the show, George also distributed a flyer that read: “So you think you’re an Ivy Leaguer? Bullshit. Underneath your button-down shirt is the eighth grade greaser standing on the corner, whistling ‘Duke of Earl’ to yourself and watching the girls go by. Come down to Ferris Booth Hall where the Kingsmen will be reliving the old days. Come dressed up.”

Joffe remembers: A big crowd came to hear us. We dressed up in what we thought were greasy clothes at the time–white shirts and turtlenecks. And this bunch of about 20 or 30 jocks were sitting in the corner, basically being rowdy during the first part of our show when we were singing all our usual corny stuff.

“When we did the five Oldies, these people went berserk. From then on, it was simply pandemonium.”

The group used that night’s energy to develop their act and costumes.

Richard Rich Joffe Esq

Kingsmen to Sha Na Na

Their local popularity grew, but their international fame came out of Woodstock. And their appeal crossed both sides of the political aisle. Hippies loved the nostalgia; older greasers loved the affirmations.

He remained a student and included study on Sha Na Na road trips. And while the band’s appeal may have originally crossed the aisle, they gravitated toward peace activism. On August 8, 1970 they appeared on the bill of a peace concert at Shea Stadium in New York City sharing the bill with Dionne Warwick, Al Cooper, the cast of “Hair,” Richie Havens. Poco, Ten Wheel Drive,  Paul Butterfield and Big Brother, Creedence Clearwater, Miles Davis, the Rascals, Paul Simon, and Steppenwolf.

Richard Rich Joffe Esq

Law

Rihard Rich Joffe Esq

After most of the members graduated, each faced a choice: continue as a commercial entity or leave and get (back?) on their intended career path. Most chose the latter. Joffee was one of them, but at the same time he and some others felt that as founders of the band the commercial entity “Sha Na Na” owed them money for the band’s ownership rights.

The suit was settled out of court. Joffe went to Harvard but took Woodstock with him. He And would take off semesters and go to auto mechanic’s and welding school. He worked as a delivery boy and a police reporter.

Richard Joffe is currently a class-action litigator with offices in Sacramento, New York City and Houston. His site describes the practice as “He represents  practitioners, clinics, companies and health related organizations in complex health care regulatory matters throughout the United States, especially legal cases and investigations brought by federal and state government agencies. He has extensive experience in FDA matters, including clinical trials and new drug issues, Medicare and insurance fraud, professional licensure and criminal and civil scheduled drug prescribing problems.”

Rihard Rich Joffe Esq

In 2008, Thumbs Up published his Galileo’s Lawyer book. It is “an insider’s view of the Alternative Health field based on the legal battles between medical mavericks,their patients, and the government and the church of medical orthodoxy. The book relates courtroom dramas such as the government’s fourteen year battle against the Burzynski Cancer Clinic in Houston.”

Richard Rich Joffe Esq

Endocannabinoid System

And sometimes that area of law brings him full circle to the haze over Woodstock.  He wrote in his blog“In July [2018], I tried a California medical board case for a doctor who recommended medical marijuana to five-year-old who was having severe mood disorder problems at home and school.”

It’s an interesting read and another example of the many roads that led from Woodstock.

Richard Rich Joffe Esq
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Saxophonist Trevor Lawrence

Saxophonist Trevor Lawrence

Trevor Lawrence played with the Paul Butterfield Blues Band at Woodstock and I’ve tried to do a little piece on each of the performers at that famed festival.

Saxophonist Trevor Lawrence
Paul-Butterfield, Gene Dinwiddie, Trevor Lawrence, & Steve-Madio

I try not to be too lazy about gathering some biographical information about each performer, but I could not do a better description of Trevor Lawrence than what appears at his Facebook page, so that is exactly where I’ve selected the following. Be ready to be impressed!

Saxophonist Trevor Lawrence

Some list!

The Sax-Man for, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, The Rolling Stones, The Butterfield Blues Band at Woodstock, B. B. King, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Ringo Starr, John Lennon, Fats Domino, Harry Nilsson, The Pointer Sisters, Carly Simon, Martha Reeves, Etta James, John Mayall, Ace, Goldie Zelkowitz, Roberta Flack, Bonnie Raitt, Leo Sayer, Country Joe McDonald, Mongo Santamaria, King Curtis, Syreeta Wright, Chuck Rainey, Jackie Lomax, Howard Tate, Lightnin’ Rod, The Rocky Horror Show, Andrew Gold, Melissa Manchester, Van McCoy, and many more. . .

Saxophonist Trevor Lawrence

Roots

Trevor Lawrence started playing the Saxophone when he was 11 years old. He was exposed to Music Theory and Harmony, when he was about 13 years old, by his next door neighbor Sol Moore. Moore, who happened to be an accomplished Music Arranger and Baritone Sax. player with the “Les Hite Band”, and Graduate of the Schillinger System of Musical Composition, used by George Gershwin, became his music Mentor. This mentoring intrigued and inspired him, as he continued taking Music Lessons privately, and playing in the School Band, while attending public school in Brooklyn, New York. 

Saxophonist Trevor Lawrence

Arranger/Composer

Trevor’s musical accomplishments continued to grow as he developed his skills as an Arranger / Composer for records and later television, and movies. After moving to Los Angeles, CA., he expanded his musical involvement to Record Producing and Songwriting. On the cutting-edge of developing and writing songs with artists, Trevor created such hits as, “I’m So Excited”, “Could I Be Dreaming”, with the Pointer Sisters and “All the Way Down” for Etta James. The theme song for the popular Jackie Gleason and Richard Pryor Film, “The Toy”, “I Just Wanna Be Your Friend” sung by the great Jeffery Osborne. Trevor was also The Composer and the Music Supervisor for the Sidney Poitier film “To Sir With Love II”, and has Produced and Directed the TV shows “Live From The Club” on BETJAZZ and “B In Tune TV” distributed by Viacom. 

Saxophonist Trevor Lawrence

Films

Saxophonist Trevor Lawrnce


Trevor Lawrence is known for songs in the Hit Films, Transformers, Working Girl, Happy Go Lucky, Summer Lovers, Working Trash and Vacation, to name a few.

Combining his musical talent, experience and knowledge, Trevor continues to move into the entertainment world of today by applying his talents to Playing the Saxophone, Producing Records, Developing Television Shows, Movies, and creating CG for the Visual Interpretations seen in Modern Media .

Trevor enjoys an artistry that generates a lifetime of musical vision and innovation.

Saxophonist Trevor Lawrence

Credit list

And if that’s not impressive enough and you still have time, check out his AllMusic credit list.

Here is a video of a great conversation that Trevor Lawrence explains his love of music and how hard it is to learn to play with someone, not just by yourself.

Saxophonist Trevor Lawrence
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Quill Phil Thayer

Quill Phil Thayer

Quill Phil Thayer
Promo photo of Quill’s appearance on The Dave Garroway Show, two months before Woodstock. Left to right: Jon Cole, Roger North, Dave Garroway, Norman Rogers, Phil Thayer, and Dan Cole.

Phil Thayer played both keyboard and sax for the band Quill, the band that opened day 2–August 16, 1969–of the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Since day 2 was the first day of rock music that weekend, Quill lays claim to the first rock act at Woodstock.

Unfortunately, that gold coin is only a Woodstock footnote. As as unfortunately,  so is Phil Thayer.

Quill Phil Thayer

Life-changing?

Of the “million” people around Bethel that weekend, my guess is that the event did not drastically change their lives. Yes, they could forever claim the first-hand experience of an historic event, but an historic event only to those who wanted to listen.

Put in perspective, we were not in Gettysburg in July 1863; on the USS Arizona on December 7, 1941. Such horribly historic events changed the lives of all Americans whether they wanted them changed or not. Woodstock was a great wet weekend of music, but did not change the lives of all Americans.

As I’ve found when doing the other short bios for Woodstock’s performers, while many did continue in music, there were those who had never intended that music would be their lifetime path or those for whom life pushed them off the musical path.

Perhaps there were some for whom it was what it was and life went on. 1979, 1994, and 2019 are just years, not anniversaries.

Quill Phil Thayer

Boston-based

Quill Phil Thayer

Quill came out of Boston.  Brothers Jon and Dan Cole were the founders of the band. Their management, Ray Paret and his partner, David Jenks, “introduced the Coles to three musicians …keyboardist Phil Thayer, guitarist Norm Rogers, and prodigious drummer Roger North. Recognition came quickly. By the summer of 1967, the band was gigging steadily.” [Boston.com article]

The band’s reputation grew with their own gigs and as they opened for bigger and bigger acts like The Jeff Beck Group, The Who, The Kinks, Janis Joplin, Velvet Underground.

Quill Phil Thayer

A December 1968 Scene magazine article stated that “It is not almost time for Quill. they deserve to succeed not only here but in every mind and acre in the country. Their success will go a long way forward dispelling the cynical distrust so many show toward the “system” inherent in the music business, because Quill is a group founded on honest musical expression instead of plastic promotional vagaries.”

The same piece applauded Norm Rogers (the band’s guitarist) and Thayer for their contribution “to the most amazing simulation of electronic music in Quill’s live performances.”

Quill Phil Thayer

Woodstock

Fate did seem to smile upon Quill when they received an invite to Woodstock.

They got to rub their elbows (and other joints I suppose) with the bigger names that weekend as well as names like Carlos Santana whose Woodstock bump would be bigger than any other band.

“Festival organizer Michael Lang remembers Quill as a “soft-rock’’ band, chosen for the goodwill tour because they played “rather benign rock and roll.’’  [ibid]

Quill Phil Thayer

1.1 albums

Quill Phil Thayer

Quill did not make the movie. Quill did not make the album despite the fact that Cotillion Records, the company that released the famous 3-disc set, had also signed Quill and released their album in 1970.

Less than rave reviews led to Jon’s departure and although the band recorded a second album, Cotillion did not release it.

According to a WoodsTALK blog entry by Bethel Woods Museum director Wade Lawrence, Phil Thayer dropped out of sight after Quill broke up and is presumed to be living in Florida.

Having said that, it seems that Phil may have played saxophone with the Allman Brothers at a Swathmore, PA concert on May 2, 1970 suggesting he continued at least for a time.

And there is a Facebook page for a Phil Thayer who lives in Casselberry, Florida. Of his friends, there is an Amanda Cole listed who is the daughter of Jon Cole (or Dan?).

Quill Phil Thayer

Together

AND…back in late May 2018, some of the Quill band got together for the first time in 49 years at the Dancing Cat Saloon, nearby the original Woodstock festival site. Among them was Phil Thayer. I think he is the middle person with one of the Cole brothers on the left and Roger North on the right.

Quill Phil Thayer

Quill Phil Thayer
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