The Road to Woodstock

The Road to Woodstock

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By (author) Michael Lang, By (author) Holly George-Warren

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  • Publisher: Ecco Press
  • Format: Paperback | 256 pages
  • Dimensions: 134mm x 202mm x 24mm | 599g
  • Publication date: 15 July 2010
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0061576581
  • ISBN 13: 9780061576584
  • Edition: 1
  • Illustrations note: black & white illustrations
  • Sales rank: 283,163

Product description

On the afternoon of August 15, 1969, Richie Havens took the stage at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair, welcoming a crowd of several hundred thousand to the green fields of Max Yasgur's farm. Havens was the first act - the legendary festival, years in the making, was finally beginning. Nothing would be the same after. But the story of the legendary festival begins with Michael Lang, a kid out of Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, who liked to smoke a joint and listen to jazz and who eventually found his way to Florida, where he opened a head shop and produced his first festival - Miami Pop, featuring Jimi Hendrix, Frank Zappa, and others. In the late '60s, after settling in Woodstock, he began to envision a music and arts festival where folks could come and stay for a few days amid the rural beauty of upstate New York. The idea crystallized when Lang talked it over with Artie Kornfeld, a songwriter and A and R man, and with two other young men they formed Woodstock Ventures. They booked talent, from Janis Joplin and the Who to the virtually unknown Santana and Crosby, Stills and Nash; won over agents and promoters; brought in the Hog Farm commune to set up campgrounds; hired a peacekeeping force; took on fleets of volunteers; appeased the Yippies; and, were run out of one town and found another site weeks before the festival. On the ground with the talent, the townspeople, and his handpicked crew, Lang had a unique and panoramic perspective of the festival. Enhanced by interviews with others who were central to the making of the festival, "The Road to Woodstock" tells the story from inspiration to celebration, capturing all the magic, mayhem, and mud in between.

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Author information

Michael Lang is a producer who is best known as a cocreator of the Woodstock Music and Art Fair in 1969. He has produced festivals in East Berlin, the concert at the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, Woodstock '94, and Woodstock '99, among many other events worldwide. He is the head of the Michael Lang Organization, which encompasses live-event production, film and theater production, and artist management. Holly George-Warren is the author of numerous books, including The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: The First 25 Years and Public Cowboy No. 1: The Life and Times of Gene Autry; the coeditor of The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock and Roll; and the coproducer of the Grammy-nominated box set Respect: A Century of Women in Music.

Review quote

"The shelf of books about Woodstock is groaning, but Lang's is the best fly-on-the-wall account, tantamount to having had a backstage pass to an iconic event."--New York Post