Tag Archives: Woodstock Music and Art Fair

Ten Years After album

Ten Years After album

October 27, 1967
Happy anniversary

Ten Years After album

“I Wanna Know” first cut, first album

Ten Years After released its first album, Ten Years After, on October 27, 1967.  The band consisted of Alvin Lee (guitar), Chick Churchill (organ), Ric Lee (drums), and Leo Lyons (bass). Here was another example of a British band bringing American blues back to us. The band did write most of the album’s material, but their sound and the song’s they covered clearly showed those roots.

Ten Years After album

Side one

Ten Years After album

Here’s side one:

Side one
  1. “I Want to Know” (Sheila McLeod as pseudonym Paul Jones) – 2:11
  2. “I Can’t Keep from Crying Sometimes” (Al Kooper) – 5:24
  3. “Adventures of a Young Organ” (Alvin Lee, Chick Churchill) – 2:34
  4. “Spoonful” (Willie Dixon) – 6:05
  5. “Losing the Dogs” (Alvin Lee, Gus Dudgeon) – 3:03
Ten Years After album

Side two

And side two:

Side two
  1. “Feel It for Me” (Alvin Lee) – 2:40
  2. “Love Until I Die” (Alvin Lee) – 2:06
  3. “Don’t Want You Woman” (Alvin Lee) – 2:37
  4. “Help Me” (Ralph Bass, Willie Dixon, Sonny Boy Williamson) – 9:51

Note how short the majority of the songs were, the single-size under-three-minute good-for-radio-play type. Of course, there are those few where the band gets to stretch it out.

 

Ten Years After album

Alvin Lee

Ten Years After album

Alvin Lee was the heart of the band and for better or worse the inclusion of the band’s “Goin’ Home”  into the film and onto the record of Woodstock brought fame.

Fame from a single song’s performance that likely sounded like dozens of others performed that summer likely surprised Alvin Lee. An albatross that laid a golden egg. He was already a great guitarist when he began his trek along the summer of 1969’s festivals. June 28, 1969: Bath Festival of Blues. July 3 – 6, Newport Jazz Festival. July 11 – 12, Laurel Pop Festival. July 25 – 27, Seattle Pop Festival, Aug 15 – 18 – Woodstock Music and Art Festival. 30 – Sept 1: Texas International Pop Festival.

How many times did Alvin Lee play “I’m Going Home” that summer? It’s filming in August at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair preserved it and sent it worldwide. His name was and will forever be associated with that song and that performance.

Here are some factoids about Lee:

  • originally influenced by his parent’s collection of jazz and blues records
  • began playing guitar age 13
  • by aged 15 his Jaybirds band formed the core of Ten Years After
  • moved to London and changed the band’s name to Ten Years After in 1966
  • the band’s performance at the Windsor Jazz & Blues Festival in 1967 led to their first recording contract.
  • concert promoter Bill Graham who invited the band to tour America for the first time in the summer of 1968. Ten Years After would ultimately tour the USA 28 times in 7 years, more than any other U.K. band. 
  • After the breakup of Ten Years After, Lee continue to form bands and record music.
  • Lee’s overall musical output included more than 20 albums.
Ten Years After album

2018

Perhaps Ten Years After the band will be invited to Woodstock’s 50th anniversary?

Ten Years After album

 

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Mountain Leslie Weinstein West

Mountain Leslie Weinstein West

Happy birthday

Mountain Leslie Weinstein West

born October 22, 1945

Mountain, “Theme for an Imaginary Western”

Forest Hills High School

What do the four original members of the Ramones (Johnny, Dee Dee, Tommy and Joey), Burt Bacharach, Dick Stockton, Paul Simon, Art Garfunkel, Bob Keeshan, aka Captain Kangaroo, Jerry Springer and Peter Parker all have in common with Leslie West?

Except Peter Parker, aka Spiderman, they all actually attended Forest Hills High School in Queens, NYC.

Mountain Leslie Weinstein West

Leslie Weinstein

Leslie Weinstein became Leslie West after his parents divorced, but talent and luck (always a bit of luck), made Leslie West a household name among rock fans in the late 60s.

While Greenwich Village was pumping out folk musician after folk musician into the 1960’s cultural revolution, West though nearby geographically was light years artistically on “distant” Long Island, NY.

Leslie West was in the Vagrants and the band had minor success. Felix Pappalardi produced some of their recordings. Pappalardi produced and played on West’s first album, called Mountain (1969). It was from that album’s name that, in 1969, they formed Mountain.

Pappalardi had also produced Cream and some compared Mountain’s sound to theirs.  Steve Knight (keyboards) and N.D. Smart (drums) were the other two original members.

Mountain Leslie Weinstein West

Woodstock Music and Art Fair

The band appeared at Woodstock on Saturday night. Their well-received set was neither on the movie soundtrack nor the first movie, but the strength of their sound made West and the band favorites especially among the FM crowd.

Following Woodstock, the band released it’s first album,  Climbing! (February 1970). Nantucket Sleighride followed in January 1971, and Flowers of Evil in November 1971.

In 1972 Pappalardi left the band to do more productions and West, Jack Bruce and Corky Laing (had replaced ND Smart on drums) formed West, Bruce, and Lang.

Over the decades versions of Mountain have formed and re-formed, always with West at the center.

Mountain Leslie Weinstein West

Leslie West

Substance abuse and diabetes have plagued West, but have not kept him away from music very long. He lost the bottom half of his right leg to diabetes in 2011.

He told Billboard afterwards, ““I cried a couple fuckin’ times. I look down — ‘Where is it?!’ You still feel the nerves and stuff like that. I had to make a decision — lose my leg or lose my life. What are you gonna do?  But I’ll tell you, it’s a good thing it wasn’t one of my arms. Then I’d be really fucked.” [insert gallows humor comment here]

On August 15, 2009 he married Jenni Maurer on stage after Mountain’s performance at the Woodstock 40th anniversary concert at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, located on the site of the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Note Mr Levon Helm on the far left!

Mountain Leslie Weinstein West

 

In 2015, Rolling Stone magazine rated West as 65/100 among the greatest guitar players. The blurb said in part that, “ On songs like the 1970 hit “Mississippi Queen,” West played roughened blues lines with deceiving facility and an R&B flair, through a black forest of stressed-amp distortion. “

Mountain Leslie Weinstein West
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Grateful Dead Woodstock Woes

Grateful Dead Woodstock Woes

The oft’ told tale of the Dead’s Woodstock performance was that it was plagued with various difficulties and was generally lackluster.

That it wasn’t a typical ’69 performance.  Woodstock was only about 70 minutes of music with a more than 20 minute technical break after only two songs which had only totaled about five minutes.

Plus, there was, as Phil Lesh mic/walkie-talkie interference with their PA during some parts. 

Grateful Dead Woodstock Woes
Dead at Woodstock…Jerry and Bob
Grateful Dead Woodstock Woes

Dead at Woodstock

Grateful Dead Woodstock Woes
Dead at Woodstock

 

 Well, let’s take a look at the set list: 

  • 1. Saint Stephen (2:04)
  • 2. Mama Tried (2:42)
  • 3. a High Time tease (30 seconds)
  • the 20 minute technical issues break
  • 4. Dark Star (19:10)
  • 5. High Time (6:20),
  • 6. Turn On Your Lovelight (38:42)
Grateful Dead Woodstock Woes

Typical?

How atypical was the Dead at Woodstock? The concert immediately before at Family Dog at the Great Highway in San Francisco on  August 3  was about 90 minutes. Their first concert afterward was on August 20 at the Aqua Theater in Seattle.  How long was it? About 90 minutes.

If not for the technical issues, faced by most of the Woodstock performers, the Dead at Woodstock was not too different.

Perhaps it’d be best to give the Dead at Woodstock an actual listen and decide for yourself. As for me, I enjoy it. Of course the spice of it being at Woodstock is an enticing enhancement, but even without that, it’s still good. After all, there’s only one Barton Hall and that was eight years in the future.

Grateful Dead Woodstock Woes

Double-dare

I dare you to click and open ↓ .

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

Grateful Dead Woodstock Woes

 

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