The Road to Woodstock

The Road to Woodstock

Paperback

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

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  • Publisher: Ecco Press
  • Format: Paperback | 352 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: 233,288

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 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, producing live events; is a partner in Woodstock Ventures; and, with Sam Nappi, runs Harmony Entertainment, producing film and theater. He lives in upstate New York.

Review quote

"Lang, one of Woodstock's organizers, provides details about how the production was put together and kept running. His account is interspersed with interviews with performers and others, including, perhaps most interestingly, Hugh Romney, aka Wavy Gravy, of the Hog Farm, whose group provided order, reassurance and, as we know, granola." -- New York Times Book Review, Paperback Row "At Woodstock I saw a collective adventure representing something that still holds true today. When the Berlin Wall came down, Woodstock was there. When Mandela was liberated, Woodstock was in there. When we celebrated the year 2000, Woodstock was in there. Woodstock is still every day." -- Carlos Santana "Reading this inimitable account of how Woodstock really came to passmakes the Manhattan Project seem like whippin' up one of my mom's custard pies...[This book] he and Holly George-Warrenwill knock you out and once again make you wish that you were there." -- Terry Stewart, President of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum "Totally rocking...what elevates this book above the level of most rock memoirs is the inclusion of voices other than Lang's--including scenesters and key Woodstock players like Jimi Hendrix, Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend, Jerry Garcia...Well-written, informative and tons of fun." -- Kirkus Reviews "Invaluable...[Lang] wraps up his cinematic reminiscing by taking a seminal thread from Woodstock's history--Jimi Hendrix's breathtaking interpretation of The Star Spangled Banner--and linking its poignancy to what some have called the 21st century Woodstock moment: the day Barack Obama became the first black president." -- USA Today "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 "There are plenty of juicy tidbits in "The Road to Woodstock," starting with the compelling opening of Lang sharing his backstage view of Hendrix's sizzling performance at the rain-soaked end of the festival." -- Richmond Times-Dispatch