Woodstock Web Site

I discovered the redesigned Woodstock.Com Web site. The Official Woodstock Music & Art Fair page from original producers of Woodstock Festival 1969. Michael Lang, Joel Rosenman and the family of John Roberts.

It’s beautifully done plus socially engineered (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Tumblr). The responsive design with your smartphone or tablet is right on!

Copyright Woodstock Ventures 2015

The folks at The Riot House, the creative alliance outdid themselves. Give it a browse and get lost in the national treasure known as Woodstock.

Peace, Ed

Copyright Woodstock Ventures 2015
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Santana Appears on the NBC Today Show in 2002 (We were there)

I thought my readers would like to see one of my first Web pages about Santana from 2002. I barely knew anything about creating HTML in those days. I wrote this report in Microsoft Word hoping to publish it as HTML output somewhere? I didn’t have my own Web site twelve years ago.

I was fortunate to be a member of the Moonflower Cafe (a Santana Fan Bulletin Board) that was administered by Gilberto Vera. It just so happens that Gil is back once more in that same primary role after a hiatus. Gil took my original Word/HTML document and dressed it up for me on the Moonflower Cafe as an HTML page. That link is here. I appreciate to this day that he still has that Web link and page displaying. Thank you Gil, please check your PayPal 😉

I thought it might be fun to see the content again as a WordPress blog post in 2014.

Enjoy all! Viva Gil and Viva Santana!

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October 22nd, 2002

Santana with Special Guests, Michelle Branch and the Product G&B

Rocktober Concert Series, sponsored by NBC Today Show and Westwood One Studios

30 Rockefeller Plaza, NY City, N.Y.

Never in our wildest dreams did my wife and I realize when our alarm went off at 3:00 am, what a spontaneous day lie ahead of us in New York City. Witnessing Santana perform live has become a joyous celebration for our souls and spirit. The early morning concert allowed us to get closer to the oneness Carlos and his band magically creates in our loving hearts.

The drive from New Haven, CT to New York City proved to be its usual white knuckle experience even in the early morning hours. We were fortunate to arrive just ahead of the morning Manhattan commute. We quickly located a parking garage on 50th and Lexington Avenue, at the Waldorf Astoria, where the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremonies are held every year. Our walk to 30 Rockefeller Plaza at West 49th Street ended up being just a few blocks. But what a magical walk it became for us.

Just before we reached the Today Show plaza, we were greeted in the darkened shadows of early morning by the searing guitar opening to the Supernatural selection, “(Da Le)  Yaleo”. As the notes flowed from Carlos’s guitar, the band joined flight. I don’t think my wife and I will ever forget that moment in time. The Santana sound bounced off the buildings right into our hearts. It was very exciting to be greeted by surprise like this as we scrambled to discover the best viewing spot.

We ran to the back of the raised platform as the Santana band worked its groove. My wife and I were redirected by building security to use the West 48th Street entrance. We entered the Today Show Plaza on West 48th Street maneuvering through a small group of people. We claimed our spot at the front of the railed fence where we stood for the next three hours.

Carlos was wearing a navy blue Olympics 2000 jacket with a blue knit cap and single red stripe. He cranked away on the opening chorus of “(Da Le) Yaleo”. The rest of the band was bundled up in winter coats as it was a cold but manageable 41 degrees. Thankfully, the flood lights were raised high in front of where we were standing so we could see everyone in the band clearly as we danced happily to “(Da Le) Yaleo”. A dream come true unfolded as we observed Santana for FREE in the heart of New York City. I flashed on how it might have been reminiscent of the free concerts Santana played in the 60’s and early 70’s in San Francisco. We were blessed to watch Santana practice as they made refinements to their sound, with Carlos motioning that his acoustic guitar needed to be tuned more closely to the sound he wanted to achieve. The band appeared electrified but very professional about appearing on a national broadcast in front of the Today Show viewing audience.

The sound check allowed us to preview all three songs that would be played for the 8:30 am live broadcast that morning (The Game of Love, Maria, Maria and Yaleo). Michelle Branch looked colder than we were feeling. She was wearing a navy peacoat and a baseball cap pulled down over her ears. She sang “The Game Of Love, a song that has grown appreciably for us. It has been a revelation to see the song mature as it gets more significant airplay, from the MTV video, to the A&E Live Request event, and then broadcast on the MTV TRL show. We enjoyed Michelle’s interaction level with the band, her vocal mixed well with Tony Lindsay and Andy Vargas’s voices. I especially enjoyed the interplay between Carlos and Michelle as they collaborate singing and playing off each other. We are eager to purchase The Game of Love CD single with the alternate track when it is released sometime in November.

It was especially rewarding to see Santana play “Maria, Maria with the Product G & B. My wife and I had seen Santana this summer at The Meadows in Hartford, where they played the hit “Maria, Maria” with Tony and Andy trading off lead vocals. As much as we love Tony and Andy’s energy it was even more “On” when presented with the original collaborators, Product G&B on stage. The closeness they share with Carlos adds a unique balance in how the song takes on a life of its own.

The band then went inside the NBC building as daylight began to enter the plaza The NBC Today Show television monitors which encircled the plaza roof tops brought us back to a stark reality as the lead story stated Another shooting in Maryland occurred this morning as we watched in disbelief more senseless brutality of our fellow Americans. The Today Show unfolded as various guests had their time before the cameras, Carol Burnett, Arnold Scwarzenneger, etc.

Then at 8:15 a.m. Katie Couric joined us in the plaza as Santana, Michelle Branch and the Product G&B took the stage. At 8:30 a.m. the Today Show began to run a video clip about Carlos Santana and the recent success of the group. I never tire of seeing clips from Woodstock or Supernatural interspersed. The Santana video added to our excitement as the video’s pace and musical backing were tastefully done.

Photo by Rosemary Jennings

Our excitement for the live concert moment built as Katie Couric spoke with Carlos and Michelle about the making of The Game of Love recording. Katie also commented that the Shaman CD was being released that day, worldwide as Wyclef Jean would say.

Next thing we know the band is playing “The Game of Love” as my wife and I clapped and danced along to the beat of this salsa-like song. Michelle was in even better voice for the broadcast as the sunshine helped bring out the clarity of her voice. Carlos looked truly content as he played his guitar and encouraged us to clap along. It was fascinating to see the city come alive in front of our eyes as early morning darkness gave way to dawn and sunlit building sides stood all around us.

After “The Game of Love ended, the Product G&B took the stage. We just love their energy and enthusiasm. The intersection of hip hop and afro-cuban rhythm gets us moving up and down. Maria, Maria is my favorite hit on Supernatural, a tough choice to make on that megarecording.

Photo by Rosemary Jennings

After the band did a very spirited rendition of “(Da Le) Yaleo” for the plaza crowd, we watched as Carlos stepped off the stage to shake a few hands and we yelled to him, “Carlos”, he graciously smiled and waved back to us as we smiled and waved to him. Then he signed an autograph or two for the front group of fans and exited into the NBC building.

Our morning got more interesting as we were given free tickets see for the Caroline Rhea Show. We learned as we waited in the halls of NBC’s Studio that the special musical guest was going to be Tracy Chapman, so we got to see her and her band perform the song You’re The One from her new CD Let it Rain. We were also given FREE DVD’s of E.T. The Extra Terrestrial 20th Anniversary and the Harry Potter movie . The special guest who was filmed after the 10:00 am daily show taping was the star of Harry Potter who we happened to see as we were getting off the elevator exiting the building. Our final thrill was buying the Shaman CD at HMV Records on 5th Avenue where the cashier informed us that Carlos was her customer on Friday October 18th. I wonder what CDs Carlos purchased that day?, seems we were following in his past footsteps as we walked to our car to drive back to Connecticut. A spiritual and healing day for us as we listened to the Shaman CD all the way home in the car!

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Graham Nash on the Howard Stern Show

It was a total buzz to catch Graham Nash on the Howard Stern Show this morning. It is electrifying when Howard is on his interview game, especially if he is enamored with a musician. The intimate sense that comes across the satellite is magnetic and captivating.

Copyright Howard Stern Show 2013

Graham Nash was in the studio promoting his new book, Wild TalesThe connection between Graham and Howard was crisp. I liked how open, nonchalant, and free ranging Graham Nash was about his life.

I learned a lot this morning about Graham Nash and his circle of famous musician friends. Many of whom I have come admire and respect these many decades. I can’t wait to hear the audio book of Wild Tales that Graham Nash narrates.

Be sure to visit HowardStern.com to learn Song by Song with Graham Nash and why Graham Nash is a Zelig.

The Basement Tapes – Bob Dylan and The Band

Yesterday I posted a blog post about Music From Big Pink by The Band. As many know the front cover of that album was painted by Bob Dylan. Bob Dylan hung out with The Band in 1967 while he recovered from his motorcycle accident in Woodstock, New York.

“Big Pink” is a pink house in West SaugertiesNew York. The house was newly built when Rick Danko, who was collaborating with Bob Dylan at the time, found it as a rental. In February 1967, Rick DankoRichard Manuel and Garth Hudson moved into a house in West Saugerties nicknamed Big Pink on Stoll Road.[3] These musicians, when joined by Robbie Robertson and Levon Helm, would later become famous as The Band. In Big Pink, they recorded around a hundred songs with Bob Dylan from June to October 1967, and a selections of these recordings were released in 1975 on the album The Basement Tapes.

The Basement Tapes proved to be the foundation of Bob Dylan’ next recording John Wesley Harding and The Band’s debut recording, Music From Big Pink.

Richie Havens, A Friend Forever

Today I learned that Richie Havens, one of the nicest souls in music passed away.

He goes to prepare a place for us. I feel his soul ascending as I try to find solace inside the wonderful music he played for us.

Thank you Richie Havens for your beautiful voice and the peace you warmly create in all of us.

I was fortunate to see Richie Havens perform a couple of times live. My favorite moment was to sit across from him at Players Tavern in Westport, Ct. on my birthday in 1978. He was very cordial to us that evening. I loved the vibe he shared as he played guitar and sang so passionately.

Richie

I love his album Stonehenge the best. My favorite track is “Minstrel from Gault”. He opened the Woodstock Music and Arts Festival on August 15, 1969 at 5 p.m. playing that song.

Then my son and I caught Richie Havens at The Jammy Awards in 2006 at The Theatre at Madison Square Garden where he opened the evening with The Mutaytor. Check out the energy of Freedom from that night.

http://www.myspace.com/video/themutaytor/freedom-with-richi-havens-live-at-the-jammys/45560624

 

 

 

Richie Havens we send you loving prayers as you join your spirit as one with Woodstock Nation.

Ain’t In It For My Health – Levon Helm

When we search within our souls and find that brave spot it summons the strength to conquer our fears. Levon Helm offers us an example of a musical soul guiding us to bravery in a brand new film, Ain’t In It For My Health.

Director Jacob Hatley’s intimate documentary finds Mr. Helm at home in Woodstock, NY, in the midst of creating his first studio album in 25 years. Shot during the course of two-plus years, this highly anticipated film focuses in on the four-time Grammy winner and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member after his 2007 comeback album, Dirt Farmer, brought him back to the spotlight.

The movie premiered last night at a special “Midnight Ramble” at Levon Helm Studios in Woodstock, NY. It was followed by a barbecue dinner and afterwards the Dirt Farmer Band (including Larry Campbell, Amy Helm and Teresa Williams) performed live.

The film will then have a limited run at theaters in the U.S.. I hope we can view it in Greenwich Village NYC at the Cinema Village site.

My wife and I were fortunate to see The Levon Helm Band perform at the Gathering of the Vibes in 2009. Here is one of the songs from that evening set featuring Levon playing mandolin.

He was so brave for all of us that night and he continues to be in the music of our heart.

Alvin Lee – In Memoriam

As we age so do our rock and roll heroes. It is with great sadness I learned today that Alvin Lee of Ten Years After fame died this morning.

His website reported that Alvin Lee (age 68),

“… passed away early this morning after unforeseen complications following a routine surgical procedure.”

His family through their sorrow bravely shared the tragic news with the world,

 “We have lost a wonderful and much loved father and companion. The world has lost a truly great and gifted musician.

I flashed on all the sensational Ten Years After albums I enjoyed listening to in my collection.  Listening to them now in your honor Alvin Lee. Thank you for the great guitar work. You gave blues rock that special tinged edge.

 

Alvin Lee

There have been guitarists over the decades that ignite my interest in music with their power and technique. One such guitarist is Alvin Lee, formerly of Ten Years After.

I was once a huge fan of Ten Years After. I owned all their vinyl recordings. I played them loud and often. They hold a special place in the music of our heart.

I finally got to see Ten Years After in 2009 as part of the Heroes of Woodstock, 40th Anniversary tour at Foxwoods. Alvin Lee wasn’t with them, Joe Gooch handled the lead guitar riffs ably with the Ten Years After core band members, Leo Lyons (Bass), Ric Lee (Drums), and Chick Churchill (Keyboards).

I got to wondering what has been going on with Alvin Lee so I Bing’d him and learned of his latest musical exploits. He mostly tours in Europe.

Alvin Lee’s most recent album, Still on the Road to Freedom, was released on August 27, 2012.

Photo: , License: N/A

A Tale of Two Posters

I became interested in Rock and Roll memorabilia in the 70’s. My passion for rock merchandise has several areas of focus. I love rock poster art. Much of the walls in my home have unique framed art.

My membership in The Rock Poster Society has kept me in direct touch with famous rock poster artists and their monumental work. Yesterday I got to see the Fillmore East Rock Art Poster guru, David Edward Byrd.

The event began with a Rock Art Poster Fair that featured various poster sellers and several of the poster artists themselves. The centerpiece of the Rock Art Poster Fair was to witness the artist proofs of David Edward Byrd before we attended the exhibition and the talk by David Edward Byrd and Arnold Skolnick. I was blown away to see the artist proofs of David’s Jimi Hendrix Fillmore East posters. I intend to buy one of those proofs from his Web site this year.

I can’t decide between these two images below. The final poster feature The Jimi Hendrix Experience and is the final artwork. The first poster was David’s original poster, which I like the colors and lightning bolt effect of he chose for Jimi. Decisions, decisions…

Jimi HendrixJimi Hendrix Experience - Fillmore East - May 1968

We then went downstairs to see the Byrd/Skolnick, A Tale of Two Posters exhibit. The exhibition did great justice to both art icons. I learned how much more David Edward Byrd has accomplished beyond my understanding of him as the Fillmore East poster artist. He has made a major contribution to Broadway, Television and Film with classic posters and art for Godspell, Warner Bros. Looney Tunes and Harry Potter. David Edward Byrd’s work is in a word, magnificent.

Godspell

Arnold Skolnick educated us about his art contributions for nook covers, photography and painting. Yes he is the creator of the Woodstock poster that we all know and love, but he has an amazing dimensional ability with his art that is impressive.

We especially loved his photography book Love Songs.

The next event was a talk that featured both artists. Their discussion was informative, lively, revealing, filling us with laughter and respect. It was a great chance to learn more about them, their art and the stories behind famous posters and famous people like Bill Graham.

We had a lovely time at this event. The exhibition was well curated. The talk was very informative. Thank you Bethel Woods Center for the Arts for a fantastic weekend.

Stephen Stills at Mohegan Sun Wolf Den,October 21, 2011

There is something reassuring about taking a favorite book down from the shelf and getting reacquainted with the pages between the covers.

How well this adage held true when we saw Stephen Stills live at the Wolf Den last night.

I was surprised to learn from a friend of mine that Stephen Stills was playing for free only an hour away from our home. As I told my friend Dave, “You outslutted the concert slut ; with this event”

Stephen Stills appearance was part of the 15th Anniversary celebration events at Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville Ct.

Stephen Stills

I had my doubts we would get into the Wolf Den to see an artist of the stature and reputation of Stephen Stills. I felt this because you have to get online early for their shows. It’s a first come, first get basis venue. I expected a long line in place by the time we got to the Wolf Den at 12:45 p.m. (6 hours before they allow an audience in…). Surprisinly there were only 10 people on-line, which we knew could mushroom to 40 as people place hold in line there (a maximum of 4 people as a party per person…) They handed out cards with numbers on them last night as there were lots of dignitaries, “A” listers and high rollers in attendance. This made less “free” seats available. Stephen Stills is the first artist I have ever waited 8 hours to see without a ticket in hopes of getting in…(He did not appear onstage until 8:45 p.m.)

Thankfully we got inside and were given a table about 20 feet from the stage. I have seen Stephen Stills twice before, once in the rafters of Mohegan Sun Casino Arena for the CSNY Freedom of Speech tour (2006) and then with CSN at the Meadowlands in 2010 from the lawn.

Stephen Stills and his band were top-notch. I find Steven Stills to be one of my favorite guitarists to watch. His guitar playing amazed me all night long. He kept his guitar tech busy let me tell you. Stephen Stills played both an acoustic and electric set. My iPhone lost power last night so I was unable to document a set list.

Some of the songs I recall from last night were a wonderful rendition of “Johnny’s Garden” from the first Manassas album. I was entranced with an intriguing interlude of The Beatles, “Within You, Without You“, that fused effortlessly with the Crosby, Stills and Nash classic, “Suite Judy Blue Eyes“. He also played “4+20” from Deja Vue and “Helplessly Hoping” during the acoustic set.

I loved the rendition of “Bluebird” he opened the show with as it rocked so tight. It was really cool to see him on electric piano which is rare.

He ended the evening with a rousing version of “Woodstock” . The encore consisted of “Love the One You’re With” from the Stephen Stills album and then he finished with the Buffalo Springfield gem, “For What It’s Worth”.

File:Stephenstills.jpg