Santana – Evil Ways (Album 1969)
Live from Woodstock Music Festival 1969, New York USA
40 years after famous photo, Woodstock couple still together
Bobbi and Nick Ercoline appear on the soundtrack album that immortalized them at the legendary festival. Photo: Rhino Records
Photo: Rhino Records
Image 1 of 2Bobbi and Nick Ercoline appear on the soundtrack album that immortalized them at the legendary festival.
IMAGE 1 OF 2
Bobbi and Nick Ercoline appear on the soundtrack album that immortalized them at the legendary festival.
Bobbi Kelly and Nick Ercoline were girlfriend and boyfriend, 20 years old. Bobbi lived in Pine Bush, N.Y., and worked at a bank. Nick lived in Middletown, N.Y., and worked two jobs while going to college.
They had heard so much on the radio about an approaching festival called Woodstock that “we just had to go,” Bobbi says. They took back roads to Bethel, N.Y., parked their car when they couldn’t drive farther and walked the final two miles.
They stayed only one night. They never saw the stage because they were so far away. But at some point, and they have no idea when, a photographer took their picture hugging, draped in a quilt, on a muddy hillside.
Does Woodstock mean anything after 40 years?
The photo appeared on the cover of the Woodstock soundtrack. And Bobbi and Nick became part of the legend.
“Woodstock was a sign of the times,” says Bobbi, now Bobbi Ercoline. “So many things were churning around in our world at that time: civil rights, the Vietnam War, women’s rights. It was our generation.
“I know some people say Woodstock changed their life. But I don’t think it contributed to who I am or who Nick is. I think we became the people we would have become anyway.”
An estimated half-million young people like Bobbi and Nick descended upon Max Yasgur’s dairy farm in Bethel, N.Y., for the Woodstock Music and Art Fair, Aug. 15-18, 1969. A documentary film and soundtrack of the music lifted the event into legend.
And the legend — or at least the merchandising of it — continues. For the 40th anniversary, we’re getting more than a dozen books; the Taking Woodstock film by Academy-Award-winning director Ang Lee; the original Woodstock movie, expanded and in high definition; and a six-CD box set featuring, for the first time, music from every performer at the festival.
More news for Joe Cocker Dies at 70 Pool photo by Maurizio Gambarini British singer Joe Cocker died of an undisclosed illness at age 70, his agent says. Cocker was known for his cover of the Beatles’ “With a Little Help from My Friends” and his performance at Woodstock. He began his career in the 1960s in the city of Sheffield, and became a household name when his Beatles cover hit No. 1 on the charts. His agent, Barrie Marshall, said Cocker was “simply unique” and that “it will be impossible to fill the space he leaves in our hearts.” Read it at BBC SHARETWEETPOSTEMAIL14COMMENTS
The legendary British born, Grammy award winning singer, renowned for his unique voice and passionate delivery, Joe Cocker, returns with his 23rd studio album.
Following on from the resounding success of his platinum selling number one 2010 album ‘Hard Knocks’, Joe Cocker has returned to Matt Serletic’s Californian Emblem studios to deliver an outstanding follow up album due for release this winter.
Serletic, producer (Matchbox Twenty, Rob Thomas, Collective Soul, Carlos Santana) and Cocker have produced ‘Fire It Up’, an album of eleven songs recorded over the 2011 winter and spring of 2012.
On working again with Joe Cocker, Serletic explains: “We took it to the next level. I’m excited to hear all the different elements that we brought to this album, we got great classic soul records, big power ballads, high energy tracks, and they all have their place in this album ”. Cocker shares that creative direction: “Making an album, to me, is a bit like making a painting, you know, you’ve got 12 songs, and it’s colour – I don’t like everything to be one mood”.
Diverse album tracks include ‘Eye On The Prize’ written by Marc Broussard from New Orleans, who also wrote the song ‘Hard Knocks’; ‘I’ll Walk In The Sunshine Again’ written by the platinum selling singer-songwriter Keith Urban. Cocker describes it as: “It’s country but it isn’t”; ‘The Letting Go’ written by the trio of Charlie Evans with renowned young British blues/soul singer Joss Stone, and Grammy award winning Graham Lyle; and the irresistible title track ‘Fire It Up’ written by Alan Frew, Johnny Reid, and Marty Dodson, with the anthemic lyric, and rapturous chorus sung with Cocker’s signature passion.
Cocker: “Fire It Up is a special kind of tune, and it set up the whole album”. Serletic: “There’s this whole energy which we captured”. ‘Fire It Up’, the first single taken from the album, will be released 12th October prior to the album release.
Forty five years ago today, nearly half a million music lovers descended upon a dairy farm in the Catskills for three days of peace, love and rock’n’roll. The year was 1969 and a total of 32 bands performed at the event that would make music history. But today, we’re veering away from the stages that Hendrix and Joplin immortalised and venturing into the crowd; the muddy fields, the leafy woods that shielded naked bottoms and the green hills turned parking lots where the flower children, beatniks, hippies, yippies and music lovers spent three days celebrating their youth.
For festival-goers who were “lost” (dazed and confused), there were wooden signposts nailed to a tree with directions to the ‘Groovy Way’, the ‘Gentle Path’ and the ‘High Way’.
Despite famous reports that at least two women gave birth at Woodstock, to date, no one has ever stepped forward as a Woodstock baby. It’s thought that one baby was in fact born in a car en route to the festival, and another was born in a local hospital after its mother was airlifted out of the festival in labor, but the identities of these babies are unconfirmed to this day. There are nevertheless countless people who claim to have been conceived at the Woodstock festival.
More than twenty ticket booths were supposed to have been in place to charge the $24 admission (tickets bought in advance sold for $18), but those booths were never installed because of the overwhelming unexpected invasion of music lovers. Attempts to get people to pay were abandoned on day one, the fences were torn down and Woodstock was declared a free event.
Despite Woodstock being largely remembered as an iconic moment of bohemians living out the hippie dream, there was a tragic and sobering side to the festival. Two people died at Woodstock; one man from a heroin overdose and a teenager who was killed in his sleeping bag when a tractor ran over him. The driver was never identified.
Above, festival-goers receive medical care.
Hearing there was a shortage of food, a Jewish community centre made sandwiches with 200 loaves of bread, 40 pounds of meat cuts and two gallons of pickles, which were distributed by nuns. The U.S army also airlifted in food, medical teams and even some performers who couldn’t get through the traffic-blocked roads. Ironic, considering the festival mood was very much anti-war.
This is likely where our LIFE photographers spent a lot of their time; a sort of make-shift press area for reporters to type up their articles and phone in to their editors.
As dark storm clouds loomed, the crowd was urged: ‘Let’s think hard to get rid of the rain’ and they began chanting, ‘No rain, no rain, no rain.’ Unfortunately the heavens opened anyway and five inches of rain fell within three hours and the festival became a mudfest.
The performance of The Star-Spangled Banner by Jimi Hendrix that closed Woodstock was described by the rock critic from the New York Post as ‘the single greatest moment of the Sixties’. But because of the rain delays that Sunday, when Hendrix finally took the stage it was 8:30 Monday morning. The audience, which had peaked at an estimated 400,000 during the festival, had mostly gone home by that point and the crowd was now reduced to about 30,000; many of them merely waited to catch a glimpse of Hendrix before leaving during his performance.
We were ready to rock out and we waited and waited and finally it was our turn … there were a half million people asleep. These people were out. It was sort of like a painting of a Dante scene, just bodies from hell, all intertwined and asleep, covered with mud.
And this is the moment I will never forget as long as I live: A quarter mile away in the darkness, on the other edge of this bowl, there was some guy flicking his Bic, and in the night I hear, ‘Don’t worry about it, John. We’re with you.’ I played the rest of the show for that guy.
—John Fogerty recalling Creedence Clearwater Revival‘s 3:30 am start time at Woodstock
Need to recharge your flower power? Explore “The Sixties” all next week, Monday through Friday, August 18-22 at 9 p.m. on CNN.
(CNN) — Officially billed as The Woodstock Music and Art Fair, An Aquarian Exposition, the festival that came to be known, simply, as Woodstock is the stuff of legend.
Friday marks the 45th anniversary of Woodstock, which took place from August 15-18, 1969.
Woodstock didn’t take place in Woodstock, New York, but in Bethel, about 60 miles away.
“It was really called Woodstock because (festival co-creator) Mike Lang thought it had the right vibe,” Bob Spitz, journalist and author of “Barefoot in Babylon: The Creation of the Woodstock Music Festival, 1969” told CNN.
“Woodstock was where Bob Dylan lived,” said Spitz, “It’s where The Band hung out and he just liked the whole feel of the word. No matter where they were gonna have it, it was always going to be the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Everything about Woodstock has to do with the vibe.”
‘The Sixties’ all next week on CNN
60’s: Sex, Drugs & Rock N’ Roll
Max Yasgur provided Woodstock’s venue by leasing out his 600-acre dairy farm near the hamlet of White Lake in the Catskill Mountain community of Bethel, New York, 100 miles north of Manhattan.
The posters promised “3 Days of Peace & Music,” but the festival’s initial concept “depends on who you talk to,” said Spitz.
Lang and festival promoter Artie Kornfeld wanted to have a blowout that was “the biggest party the counterculture had ever seen,” said Spitz. “If you talk to their partners, John Roberts and Joel Rosenman, who were the money guys, it was to make a lot of money.”
For the crowd of 350,000 to 450,000 young people in attendance, Woodstock was all about peace and love, and that’s no myth.
“The entire Woodstock festival was peaceful and the kids were respectful because of one word: marijuana,” said Spitz. “Everybody was high. If it had been other drugs it would’ve been chaos. But because of dope and LSD, everything was peaceful there for those three days.”
Festival organizers who had been expecting a crowd of 80,000 to 100,000 people were blindsided when quadruple the crowd showed up. No one was prepared for a surplus of 300,000 people. With no system in place to charge them, Woodstock became a free event.
Cars within a five-mile radius were at a standstill. New York Gov. Nelson Rockefeller declared a state of emergency in White Lake. By Woodstock’s second day, authorities publicly pleaded for anyone who might be on their way to the festival to turn around and go home. Eventually no one could get out or in unless they needed to be airlifted. Festival managers scrambled to fly in 30 extra physicians from New York City.
Santana vocalist Gregg Rolie spoke to CNN while promoting the Blu-ray release of the director’s cut of the 1970 Academy Award-winning documentary “Woodstock: 3 Days of Peace and Music.”
Rolie recalled arriving with the other members of Santana via helicopter.
“We flew in because everybody parked on the highway,” said Rolie. “It was kinda like ‘Close Encounters’ or ‘Field of Dreams,’ you know? ‘If you build it, they will come.’ The highways were closed. Upstate New York was like a parking lot. So we had to fly in on helicopters.”
Santana’s appearance is considered one of the festival highlights. The band played early on, before the first of two downpours that reduced Yasgur’s alfalfa field to a sloppy, slippery slew of mud puddles.
All of Santana’s music was new at the time and the band was virtually unknown. They had not yet released their first album. Woodstock is credited for jump starting Santana’s career.
“If you played at Woodstock, you had a career,” said Rolie, who had no idea that the festival’s legacy would resonate so powerfully 45 years later.
Woodstock’s lineup also included Joan Baez, Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young; Joe Cocker, Creedence Clearwater Revival and The Band, among others.
Jimi Hendrix closed the festival. By the time he began his Monday morning set, which included his celebrated rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” the crowd had thinned out to 200,000. Many had to get to work, school, wanted to get a jump on the traffic or simply could not endure the close quarters any longer. Even so, Hendrix had never performed in front of such a big group before and nearly bailed.
Although Woodstock has been lifted onto a pedestal in certain ways, by all accounts the festival lived up to the fable. The fairy tale, though largely drug-laden, was a reality for those in attendance.
Watch ‘The Sixties’
Need to recharge your flower power? Explore “The Sixties” all next week, Monday through Friday August 18-22, at 9 p.m. on CNN.
It can be difficult to connect the storybook reality with Woodstock’s harsher realities like overflowed toilets, lack of food and water, and a makeshift, 20-bed hospital tent to accommodate roughly 3,000 medical emergencies.
A tractor crushed a teenage boy in a sleeping bag, fatally wounding him. One young man died of a heroin overdose, another died of a burst appendix. A young woman broke her back falling off of stage scaffolding.
In addition, there were about 400 bad acid trips, sprained ankles from sliding in the mud, and many a gashed foot as a result of stepping barefoot on broken glass.
Two babies were born, too. One child arrived in traffic en route to the festival, and the other was delivered in a hospital after the mother was airlifted out of the field.
A lot of sex was going on at Woodstock and, according to Spitz, a lot of women forgot to pack their birth control so supplies of birth control pills were flown in.
For an event where facilities were strained far past capacity, not a single fight or incident of violence erupted among the crowd, which endured near-unbearable conditions.
Town elders, residents, shopkeepers and local police couldn’t get over how courteous and considerate the kids were — all 450,000 or so of them.
Woodstock’s financial backers were not so lucky. They took a bath — and not a mud one — to the tune of $1.3 million.
Spitz called Woodstock “the beginning of the end of the ’60s” because it, along with the moon landing, represented a bright period after the deaths of John F. Kennedy, Malcolm X, the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy, and before the breakup of the Beatles and the deaths of Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison.
Woodstock is legendary for many reasons, but what made it magical was the value people placed on one another.
“If these are the kids that are going to inherit the world,” Max Yasgur said at the time, “I don’t fear for it.”
Havens was the first act at Woodstock and his performance of “Freedom” was a highlight of the event..
The Times Herald-Record of Middletown reports that Havens’ ashes were scattered from a plane as it flew over the upstate New York field during a ceremony on Sunday. About 30 family members attended the event, which drew more than a thousand fans. Actors Danny Glover and Louis Gossett Jr. were among the speakers.
“Though he traveled throughout the world for decades visiting and returning to countless locations, Max Yasgur’s field in the Town of Bethel, Sullivan County, New York always remained the location where Richie felt his deepest connection,” noted a statement from his family.
Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, the venue built on the Woodstock site, hosted the tribute on the 44th anniversary of the final day of the famous three-day concert.
The Woodstock Music and Art Fair was an event held at Max Yasgur’s 600 acre (2.4 km²) dairy farm in the rural town of Bethel, New York from August 15 to August 18, 1969. For many, it exemplified the counterculture of the 1960s and the “hippie era.” Many of the best-known musicians of the time appeared during the rainy weekend, captured in a successful 1970 movie, Woodstock. Joni Mitchell’s song “Woodstock,” which memorialized the event, became a major hit for Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. Though attempts have been made over the years to recreate the festival, the original Woodstock festival of 1969 has proven to be unique and legendary.
Woodstock has been idealized in the American popular culture as the culmination of the hippie movement. – What started as a paid event ended being free with over 500,000 attendees or flower children. Although the festival was remarkably peaceful given the number of people and conditions involved, the reality was less than perfect. Woodstock did have some crime and other misbehavior, as well as a fatality from a drug overdose, an accidental death caused by an occupied sleeping bag being run over by a tractor and one participant died from falling off a scaffold. There were also three miscarriages and two births recorded at the event and colossal logistical headaches. Furthermore, because Woodstock was not intended for such a large crowd, there were not enough resources such as portable toilets and first-aid tents. As a matter of fact the original plan for holding the festival in Wallkill, NY was scrapped because the town officially banned it on the grounds that the planned portable toilets wouldn’t meet town code. Maybe they would have preferred full bathroom suites.
There was some profiteering in the sale of “electric Kool-Aid.”
Woodstock began as a profit-making venture; it only became a free festival after it became obvious that the concert was drawing hundreds of thousands more people than the organizers had prepared for, and that the fence had been torn down by eager, unticketed arrivals. Tickets for the event (sold in 1969) cost US $18 to buy a ticket in advance (which would be US$95.58 in 2005 with inflation factored in) and $24 to buy a ticket at the gate for all three days. Ticket sales were limited to record stores in the greater New York City area, or by mail via a Post Office Box at the Radio City Station Post Office located in Midtown Manhattan.
Yet, in tune with the idealistic hopes of the 1960s, Woodstock satisfied most attendees. Especially memorable were the sense of social harmony, the quality of music, and the overwhelming mass of people, many sporting bohemian dress, behavior, and attitudes
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|Friday, August 15
The first day, which officially began at 5:08 p.m. with Richie Havens, featured folk artists.
Richie Havens (opened the festival – performed 7 encores)
High Flyin’ Bird
I Can’t Make It Anymore
With A Little Help w/ me
Strawberry Fields Forever
I Had A Woman
Swami Satchidananda – gave the invocation for the festival
Country Joe McDonald, played separate set from his band, The Fish
Saturday, August 16
Keef Hartley Band
Mountain, hour-long set including Jack Bruce’s “Theme For An Imaginary Western”
Janis Joplin (Performed 2 encores; Piece of My Heart and Ball and Chain).
Sly & the Family Stone started at 1:30 am
Creedence Clearwater Revival
The Who began at 3 AM, kicking off a 24-song set including Tommy
Jefferson Airplane began at 8 a.m. with an eight-song set, capping off the overnight marathon.
Sunday, August 17 to Monday, August 18
Joe Cocker was the first act on the last officially booked day (Sunday); he opened up for the day’s booked acts at 2 PM. The day’s events ultimately drove the schedule nine hours late. By dawn, the concert was continuing in spite of attendees’ having left, returning to the workweek and their other normal obligations.
|The Jeff Beck Group was scheduled to perform at Woodstock, but failed to make an appearance due to the band’s break-up the week before.
Iron Butterfly was stuck at an airport, and their manager demanded helicopters and special arrangements just for them. They were wired back and told, as impolitely as Western Union would allow, “to get lost”, but in other ‘words’.
Joni Mitchell was slated to perform but her agent informed her that it was more important that she appear on “The Dick Cavett Show” on Monday, with its national audience, rather than “sit around in a field with 500 people.” Ironically, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and Jefferson Airplane (who both performed at the festival) also made it to the show. She wrote and recorded the song “Woodstock” that was also a major hit for Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young and was recorded by Richie Havens on his 2004 album Grace of the Sun.
Canadian band Lighthouse was originally scheduled to play at Woodstock, but in the end they decided not to, fearing that it would be a bad scene. Later, several members of the group would say that they regretted the decision.
Mind Garage declined for various reasons but one of the primary reasons is that the band had agreed to a paid gig in Cleveland. Had they known that many of their friends were playing at this concert they would have attended. Read the entire story by clicking here.
|The promoters contacted John Lennon, requesting for The Beatles to perform. Lennon said that he couldn’t get the Beatles, but offered to play with his Plastic Ono Band. The promoters turned this down.
The Doors were considered as a potential performing band, but cancelled at the last moment. Contrary to popular belief that this was related in some fashion to lead singer Jim Morrison’s arrest for indecent exposure while performing earlier that year, the cancellation was most likely due to Morrison’s known and vocal distaste for performing in large outdoor venues. There also was a widely spread legend that Morrison, in a fit of paranoia, was fearful that someone would take a shot at him while he was onstage Drummer John Densmore attended and can be seen on the side of the stage during Joe Cocker’s set.
Led Zeppelin were asked to perform, their manager Peter Grant stating “We were asked to do Woodstock and Atlantic were very keen, and so was our US promoter, Frank Barcelona. I said no because at Woodstock we’d have just been another band on the bill.” “Led Zeppelin: The Concert Files”, Lewis & Pallett, 1997, Omnibus Press, ISBN 0.7119.5307.4
Jethro Tull refused to perform, claiming that it wouldn’t be a big deal.
The Moody Blues for unknown reasons declined to perform. They later regretted not performing. They were however promoted as being a performer on the third day on early posters that stated the site being Wallkill.
Tommy James and the Shondells declined an invitation to perform at Woodstock, which they later regretted. Lead singer Tommy James stated later, “We could have just kicked ourselves. We were in Hawaii, and my secretary called and said, ‘Yeah, listen, there’s this pig farmer in upstate New York that wants you to play in his field.’ That’s how it was put to me. So we passed, and we realized what we’d missed a couple of days later.”
The Clarence White-era Byrds were given an opportunity to play, but refused to do so after a melee during their performance at the Atlanta Pop Festival earlier that summer.
Paul Revere & The Raiders declined to perform. They later regretted.
Bob Dylan was in negotiations to play, however he had to pull out as his son was taken ill. He also was unhappy about the number of the hippies piling up outside his house near the originally planned site. He would go on to perform at the Isle of Wight Festival two weeks later.
Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention Quote: “A lot of mud at Woodstock. We were invited to play there, we turned it down” – FZ. Citation: “Class of the 20th Century,” U.S. network television special in serial format, circa 1995.
|Jimi Hendrix’s E-string broke when he was playing Red House and played the rest of the song with five strings, which was a remarkable feat.
John Sebastian wasn’t originally scheduled to perform. He was enlisted to perform when several of the acts were late in arriving due to the traffic going to the festival.
Richie Havens’s song “Freedom” was totally improvised. He was called back for so many encores that he ran out of songs to sing, so he just picked up his guitar and started singing “Freedom.” The song includes lyrics from the Negro spiritual, “Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child.”
Country Joe McDonald wasn’t scheduled to perform the first day. He was forced into it because many of the acts that were scheduled to perform that day hadn’t arrived yet. He also performed on Day Three with the rest of The Fish.
A 20-year-old man named Stephen Victor Tallarico (later known as Steven Tyler of Aerosmith) attended the festival.
Michael Lang once said that his original idea was to have Roy Rogers close the festival by singing “Happy Trails.”
The character named “Woodstock” from Peanuts was named for the festival
In Memory of Woodstock ” A Birth of a Generation”
Did you attend the “Original” Woodstock concert? If so I would like to hear from you and your experience while attending. Write to me firstname.lastname@example.org
The critic Greil Marcus once told an interviewer that, among musicians, Bob Dylan had the stupidest fans. “I think it’s because something in Dylan’s writing leads people to believe that there is a secret behind every song. And if you unlock that secret then you’ll understand the meaning of life,” he said. Dylan himself seems to agree. In 2001, forty years into his career, Dylan said, “These so-called connoisseurs of Bob Dylan music, I don’t feel they know a thing, or have any inkling of who I am and what I’m about. I know they think they do, and yet it’s ludicrous, it’s humorous, and sad.” A decade later, Dylan told an interviewer for Rolling Stone, “Why is it when people talk about me they have to go crazy? What the fuck is the matter with them? … May the Lord have mercy on them. They are lost souls.”
David Kinney’s new book, “The Dylanologists,” is a journey among these so-called lost souls. Kinney is a newspaper journalist and a Dylan fan; his first book, “The Big One,” from 2009, was about a different set of obsessives: the anglers who compete in an annual fishing derby on Martha’s Vineyard. Here, he travels to a Dylan-themed diner in the singer’s hometown of Hibbing, Minnesota, which catered to visiting fans. (It recently closed, after losing its liquor license; the executive chef explained to the local paper that “people from Hibbing don’t like Bob Dylan as much as people not from Hibbing like Bob Dylan.”) He stands in line in the cold among a group of Dylan’s late-career tour regulars in order to get a prime spot in the front row. And he introduces a cast of Dylan disciples: circumspect keepers of secret bootleg recordings, feuding editors of Dylan zines and Web sites, literary detectives sourcing allusions in his lyrics, and a guy who owns Dylan’s childhood high chair.
There are plenty of creeps. In the mid-sixties, perhaps unnerved by his influence over his fans, Dylan fled upstate to Woodstock, where hopeful acolytes showed up at his house. One guy sneaked into Dylan’s bedroom to watch him and his wife sleep. Later, Dylan recalled thinking, “Now wait, these people can’t be my fans. They just can’t be.” Devotion can turn strange, and sour. After Dylan moved back to New York City, in the late sixties, he was dogged by a man named A. J. Weberman, who created a peculiar translation system to “decode” Dylan’s lyrics—“in Dylan’s language Texas might mean ‘Europe’ ”—and even went through his trash. Years later, still preoccupied by bizarre theories about Dylan, Weberman tells Kinney, “I wasted my fucking life on this shit.” Another parser of Dylan’s songs became convinced that his album “Time Out of Mind,” from 1997, foretold the death of Princess Diana. As Kinney writes, “Any fool could find whatever he wanted inside the vast Dylan songbook: drugs, Jesus, Joan Baez.”
Yet, despite these unnerving examples, most of the fans that Kinney talks to aren’t fools or stalkers. They have simply developed an usually strong affinity for an artist and his music. And though their ardor seems to make the artist himself uncomfortable, Kinney suggests that Dylan might be partially to blame for it—that his own aloofness and self-made mythologies have deepened his fans’ thralldom. “Dylan created personas and then demolished them, denied they had ever existed, and scorned the people who still clung to them,” Kinney writes. Political folkie, country farmer, travelling gypsy, born-again Christian, rustic dandy—Dylan has cycled through a series of musical characters as if playing all the parts in a one-man vaudeville act. It’s been thrilling and curious, and also—most of the time, at least—deeply persuasive. Can fans be blamed for coming under one of these spells—for believing that Dylan meant what he sang at the March on Washington, or wasn’t just messing around when he recorded “Self Portrait,” or for preferring one incarnation above the others and lamenting or resenting that version’s demolition by Dylan’s own revisionism? Kinney’s own fandom seems to have lapsed a bit into skepticism, yet he never mocks the continued devotion of those who still believe. By getting his subjects to talk about the moment, often years past, in which they were swayed by Dylan’s music, Kinney humanizes the archetype of the pop junkie.
It is risky to be an earnest Bob Dylan fan—the kind of person who is inclined to follow him around on his Never Ending Tour, which began in 1988 and hasn’t stopped, as Dylan plays on past his seventy-second birthday. Or someone like the music critic Lester Bangs, who found himself, in the seventies, using Dylan’s album “Blood on the Tracks” as “an instrument of self abuse”—something he put on after every heartbreak, a personal soundtrack of misery. Dylan might very well sneer at one of the hardcore fans whom Kinney talks to, who describes what he feels when he watches the singer onstage: “I just wanted him to know that I existed and that I loved what he did. But it goes deeper than that. I don’t know why, but if Bob is sad, or his music is sad, I feel sad, and I feel sad for him. When he’s singing and he’s hurting, it hurts me, too.” Another fan, who followed the tour as a young woman, told Kinney that she went out of her way not to meet Dylan on the road; she’d heard about his mercurial, often prickly personality, and couldn’t imagine how she could go on listening to his music if he were to shoot her an icy, dismissive stare.
Like a disappointed father—or an angry God—Dylan seems to lament the foibles of his followers. But Kinney argues that Dylan may have more in common with his obsessive fans than he might think. Like them, he is a collector of cultural ephemera, a hoarder of odd texts and phrases, and an avid, idiosyncratic student of the past.
In the summer of 2003, a schoolteacher from Minnesota was travelling in Japan and happened to pick up a book about the world of Japanese organized crime called “Confessions of a Yakuza.” On the book’s first page, he read a line, about a man sitting like a “feudal lord,” that stood out. He realized that it echoed a line from one of Dylan’s songs from the album “Love and Theft,” which was released in 2001. He brought the book home and found a handful of other, unmistakably reused phrases. Dylan had not credited his strange source, which seemed to have been selected almost at random. In the years since, with the help of Google Books, Scott Warmuth, a fan from New Mexico, has been delving deeper into Dylan’s recent writing and finding all kinds of odd, uncredited borrowings. Passages from Dylan’s memoir, “Chronicles: Volume One” (2004), were taken from disparate sources: from H. G. Wells, Jack London, Hemingway, and Fitzgerald; from Tony Horowitz’s nonfiction book “Confederates in the Attic,” a travel guide about New Orleans, and an issue of Time, from 1961. Listeners of Dylan’s album “Modern Times” (from 2006) found lyrics that came from the work of an unremembered Civil War poet named Henry Timrod. Some have called these plain cases of plagiarism; others have suggested that they diminish or else entirely scuttle the idea of Dylan as an original American voice.
But Kinney takes a different view of these discoveries. Warmuth’s reading of Dylan’s memoir has revealed that Dylan’s “appropriations were not random. They were deliberate. When Scott delved into them, he found cleverness, wordplay, jokes, and subtexts.” The thefts that Dylan made were part of the story—he had, as Kinney writes, “hidden another book between the lines.” Kinney remarks on an especially intriguing section of “Chronicles,” in which Dylan seems to be explaining the method behind his guitar playing. Dylan writes, mysteriously, “You gain power with the least amount of effort, trust the listeners to make their own connections, and it’s very seldom that they don’t.” If this sounds inscrutable as musical technique, that’s because it is lifted from a self-help book about gaining influence over others called “The 48 Laws of Power,” by Robert Greene. This, then, is a cunning bit of dark humor: Dylan purports to explain the magic behind his music, but he’s really just revealing how susceptible devoted fans are to this kind of florid nonsense.
This unpacking of Dylan’s memoir, and the increased scrutiny given to his recent albums, is a reminder that Dylan’s work has always been spurred on by his own fannish, idiosyncratic obsessions. Michael Gray, who has written extensively about Dylan’s songwriting, tells Kinney, “You want him to be this lone genius who came from another planet. He never pretended to be. He’s created something out of something else.” Dylan’s earliest songs borrowed chords and lyrics from traditional folk songs; he has lifted lines and licks from the blues; he has repurposed and reassembled the Bible, press clippings, English poetry, the American songbook, and a half century of cultural comings and goings to create a kind of ongoing, evolving musical collage. Dylan is an archivist and a librarian in addition to being an artist.
Before Robert Zimmerman was Bob Dylan, he was an eager music fan. As a young man, he couldn’t wait to blow out of Minnesota and meet his idol, Woody Guthrie. He was, Kinney writes, “earnest, embarrassingly so. He would talk and talk and talk about traveling east, meeting Woody, making it big.” Dylan, just nineteen years old, visited Guthrie at the Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital, in New Jersey, where Guthrie, suffering from Huntington’s disease, had been committed. Guthrie was debilitated by the illness—there wasn’t much he could teach Dylan. Perhaps Dylan learned that idols never live up to a fan’s expectations, and so it’s silly to expect otherwise. But Dylan had been a musical pilgrim long before he inspired others to make pilgrimages in his footsteps. Kinney tells another story, of the time when Dylan, years later, in 2009, showed up for a tour at John Lennon’s childhood home. Or the year before, in Winnipeg, when he was spotted at the house where Neil Young grew up. Another time, he was seen at Sun Studios, in Memphis, where Elvis had cut his first records. Someone stopped him and told Dylan what his music had meant to him. Dylan responded, “Well son, we all have our heroes.”
Credit: Gijsbert Hanekroot/Redferns/Getty.
The American Counterculture refers to the period between 1964-1972 when the norms of the 1950s were rejected by youth.
◾Counterculture youth rejected the cultural standards of their parents, especially with respect to racial segregation, the Vietnam War, sexual mores, women’s rights, and materialism.
◾Hippies were the largest countercultural classification comprising mostly white members of the middle class.
The counterculture movement divided the country.
◾The movement died in the early 1970s because most of their goals had become mainstream, and because of rising economic troubles.
To defeat forcibly.
Inflation accompanied by stagnant growth, unemployment or recession.
Any culture whose values and lifestyles are opposed to those of the established mainstream culture, especially to western culture.
A counterculture developed in the United States in late 1960s. This movement lasted from approximately 1964 to 1972, and it coincided with America’s involvement in Vietnam. A counterculture is the rejection of conventional social norms – in this case the norms of the 1950s . The counterculture youth rejected the cultural standards of their parents, specifically racial segregation and initial widespread support for the Vietnam War.
This photo was taken near the Woodstock Music Festival in August, 1969. The counterculture in the 1960s was characterized by young people breaking away from the traditional culture of the 1950s.
As the 1960s progressed, widespread tensions developed in American society that tended to flow along generational lines regarding the war in Vietnam , race relations, sexual mores, women’s rights, traditional modes of authority, and a materialist interpretation of the American Dream. White, middle class youth, who made up the bulk of the counterculture, had sufficient leisure time to turn their attention to social issues, thanks to widespread economic prosperity.
Vietnam War Protest
The counterculture of the 1960s was marked by a growing distrust of government
, which included anti-war protests like this.
Unconventional appearance, music, drugs, communitarian experiments, and sexual liberation were hallmarks of the sixties counterculture, most of whose members were white, middle-class young Americans. Hippies became the largest countercultural group in the United States . The counterculture reached its peak in the 1967 “Summer of Love,” when thousands of young people flocked to the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco. The counterculture lifestyle integrated many of the ideals and indulgences of the time: peace, love, harmony, music, and mysticism. Meditation, yoga, and psychedelic drugs were embraced as routes to expanding one’s consciousness.
Rejection of mainstream culture was best embodied in the new genres of psychedelic rock music, pop-art, and new explorations in spirituality. Musicians who exemplified this era include The Beatles, The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, The Rolling Stones, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, and Pink Floyd.
New forms of musical presentation also played a key role in spreading the counterculture, mainly large outdoor rock festivals. The climactic live statement of this occurred from August 15–18, 1969, with the Woodstock Music Festival held in Bethel, New York. During this festival, 32 of rock and psychedelic rock’s most popular acts performing live outdoors over the course of a weekend to an audience of half a million people.
Countercultural sentiments were expressed in song lyrics and popular sayings of the period, such as “do your own thing,” “turn on, tune in, drop out,” “whatever turns you on,” “eight miles high,” “sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll,” and “light my fire. ” Spiritually, the counterculture included interest in astrology, the term “Age of Aquarius,” and knowing people’s signs.
The counterculture movement divided the country. To some Americans, these attributes reflected American ideals of free speech, equality, world peace, and the pursuit of happiness. To others, the counterculture movement reflected a self-indulgent, pointlessly rebellious, unpatriotic, and destructive assault on America’s traditional moral order.
In an effort to quash the movement, authorities banned the psychedelic drug LSD, restricted political gatherings, and tried to enforce bans on what they considered obscenity in books, music, theater, and other media. In the end, the counterculture collapsed on its own around 1973.
Two main reasons are cited for the collapse. First, the most popular of the movement’s political goals—civil rights, civil liberties, gender equality, environmentalism, and the end of the Vietnam War—were accomplished (to at least a significant degree), and its most popular social attributes, particularly a “live and let live” mentality in personal lifestyles (the “sexual revolution”)—were co-opted by mainstream society. Second, a decline of idealism and hedonism occured as many notable counterculture figures died and the rest settled into mainstream society and started their own families.
The “magic economy” of the 1960s gave way to the stagflation of the 1970s, the latter costing many middle-class Americans the luxury of being able to live outside conventional social institutions. The counterculture, however, continues to influence social movements, art, music, and society in general, and the post-1973 mainstream society has been in many ways a hybrid of the 1960s establishment and counterculture—seen as the best (or the worst) of both worlds.
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