Tag Archives: Woodstock

Bob Liikala Group 212 Inter-Media Project

Bob Liikala Group 212 Inter-Media Project

Bob Liikala Group 212 Inter-Media Project

                     The Town of Woodstock was established in 1787. By the late 1800s it had begun to attract artistic groups such as the Hudson River School painters. In 1902, the Arts and Crafts Movement arrived and in 1906, L. Birge Harrison and others founded the Summer School of the Art Students League of New York.

Bob Liikala Group 212 Inter-Media Project

Maverick Festival

                     Michael Lang wrote in his The Road to Woodstock that in 1915 the town was the site of  “the first annual Maverick Festival. A flyer promised ‘wild sports going on‘ and the dancer Lada, who illumes beautiful music like poems, and makes you feel its religion…you cry, it is so esquisite to see….All this in the wild stone-quarry theatre, in the moonlight, with the orchestra wailing in rapture, and the jealous torches flaring in the wind! In the afternoon, there is also a concert, with a pageant, and strange doings on the stage….There will be a village that will stand but for a day, which mad artists have hung with glorious banners and blazoned in the entrance through the woods.’ ”

                     Sounds a bit like that 1969 event, yes?

Bob Liikala Group 212 Inter-Media Project


                     In the late 1960s there was a series of shows known as Sound-Outs. Local musicians and the friends of local musicians such as like the Blues Magoos, Tim Hardin, Kenny Rankin, Richie Havens, Paul Butterfield, Dave van Ronk and Van Morrison  performed. 

                     The local success of these shows likely were partly inspired Michaal Lang and Artie Kornfeld’s idea to construct a recording studio in Woodstock and to finance that construction with a festival.

                     And also part of that stew that encouraged the arts was the…

Bob Liikala Group 212 Inter-Media Project

Bob Liikala

Bob Liikala Group 212 Inter-Media Proj
House occupied by Group 212 during the late sixties

                     From the Roots of Woodstock site: The 212 project ran summer retreats from 1967 to 1969 in the old Holiday Country Inn midway between Saugerties and Woodstock on Route 212. It was briefly home to professionals in the visual arts, music, performing arts, film-making and sciences. The collective fostered a collaborative meeting point and simplified time and space constraints for the participating artists. It encouraged them to experiment with the diverse new media and helped them to explore and synthesize the exploding potentials then being articulated through happenings, expanded cinema, environmental music and multimedia theater, dance and sculpture. Some of the projects that emerged in 1967 included Meredith Monk’s Blueprint, which was presented at Montreal’s Expo 67; Horse Play, a happening incorporating animals and audience members by Yayoi Kusama; and Dump Tour, a multimedia event directed by Franklin “Bud” Drake that featured a “deluxe” buffet, champagne, an art auction/burning, an airplane assault involving paper airplanes and White Mass choreographed by Norma Lusk. 

                     Group 212 was a manifestation of the exploding Woodstock artistic scene—as were the Sound-Outs. Bud Drake’s mother, Pan Copeland, presided over the latter on her farm just up the road. According to Roots of the 1969 Woodstock Festival: The Backstory to “Woodstock,” Pan hoped to craft these concerts into a Newport festivals of rock. 

                     Nina Yankowitz, a Group 212 artist remembers that she “loved Group 212’s fearless collaborative spirit, and remembers that she first installed her draped paintings on the trees in the surrounding Group 212 landscape. She says that Group 212’s propulsive and adventurous style of mixing music, painting, sculpture, photography, electronic sounds, poetry, and performance art opened her up to embrace new technologies and emerging artistic disciplines. For example, she met Ken Werner, a musician, at 212 in the summer of 1968, and she recalls their collaboration. Werner made an audio rendition to realize Nina’s desire to include sound that would mimic the musical score,Oh Say Can You See, on her draped canvas. This embodied the concept of hearing and seeing sounds as they unfolded from her draped paintings. The installation was exhibited later that year at Kornblee Gallery in New York City.” [my emphasis]

                     In other words the artistic freedom that the Woodstock area demonstrated in the late 60s allowed people like Lang and Kornfeld to think a music festival that included art…a fair…a Woodstock Music and Art Fair…was possible.

The following video shows many of the projects that Group 212 helped sponsor.

Bob Liikala Group 212 Inter-Media Project

Bob Liikala’s site


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Bill Hanley Soundman Extraordinaire

Bill Hanley Soundman Extraordinaire

Who is this guy?

Early Bill

Bill Hanley was born in March 4, 1937.  Happy birthday, Bill!

He was born in Medford, MA when radio still ruled the airwaves. Like some other young people of his time, listening to the radio evolved into looking inside and discovering the world of electronics.

During the early 60s, a childhood friend of mine showed me how easily we could hook up an extra speaker or two to my simple record player to enhance the sound. Such “simple” reconstruction can lead to the love of sound.

Such was the case with Bill Hanley and his brother Terry.

Keep in mind that for most outdoor sound at this time, the phrase was PA, as in “public address.” That is, the group or individual that needed outdoor sound concentrated on sending the speaker’s voice out into the audience.

The Hanley brothers loved good sound and their love coincided with a time of increased outdoor music events and musicians needed more than simply sending the singer’s voice, musicians needed their instruments to be heard as well.

Bill Hanley Soundman Extraordinaire

Hanley Sound

Bill Hanley Soundman Extraordinaire

In 1957 Bill Hanley began a relationship with the Newport Jazz Festival and its organizer, George Wein.  Remembering that difference between what a PA can do versus what a good “sound system” can do, think about how important quality sound production would be to jazz musicians.

Shortly after that Bill and Terry Hanley began Hanley Sound Inc, at 430 Salem St. in Medford, MA.

Bill Hanley Soundman Extraordinaire

Good timing

In 1964 Baby Boomers experienced Beatlemania and the British Invasion. Like all stories, being in the right place or knowing to be in the right place at the right time can make all the difference.

In 1966 Hanley Sound was working with the Boston band, The Remains (“the greatest band you never heard of”) and while the Remains were not a household name outside of Boston, they were good enough to land quite a gig: the 1966 Beatle tour.

Bill Hanley Soundman Extraordinaire

Epstein meets Hanley 

On that tour Brian Epstein recognized the quality that Hanley Sound could produce and used them.  Next came the Beach Boys. And by the end of the 60s, Hanley sound was doing outdoor concert after outdoor concert.

The most famous one was the Woodstock Music and Art Fair.

Bill Hanley Soundman Extraordinaire

Last Seat In the House

Bill Hanley continued his golden touch on sound. One person in particular who has tried to get the recognition for Bill Hanley that he so deserves is a John Kane.  John has been working on a film about Hanley called “Last Seat In the House.” 

The title reflects the goal that Hanley Sound always aimed at: that the people in the last row could hear the music as well as anyone seated anywhere else.

Bill Hanley Soundman Extraordinaire
Here are some words from John Kane:

I am a post grad doctoral student and for the past three years I have been researching the life/career of pioneer sound engineer Bill Hanley. Since the beginning of this research, until now my discoveries have been overwhelming.

Collectively, sound reinforcement is an area of technology that is often overlooked. It is my hope that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame acknowledges, considers, and/or inducts Bill Hanley and his pioneering sound company into their institution. If the RRHF leadership were to peel away the layers of popular music as we know it today, they would surely realize that the area of “sound” owes much to Hanley’s pioneering work. An acknowledgment like this would bring light and significance to an era innovation where quality sound in popular music mattered most…the 1960s and 1970s.

In my view (and others) Hanley was a primary force in bringing quality sound to the forefront of the evolving music and political arenas. When primitive public address technology was the “norm” for various events, the influence of Bill Hanley elevated the quality of sound via his innovative methods and application.

Lastly, if you choose to sign this petition would you kindly forward this email to your network of friends and colleagues? This will allow us to reach our rather ambitious goal.

Bill Hanley Soundman Extraordinaire


Help Induct Bill Hanley of Hanley Sound into the
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame!
Click here and please sign petition

Bill Hanley Soundman Extraordinaire
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