August 17: Three Days of Peace and Music
The third and final day of the Woodstock Music and Art Fair took place on this date in 1969 in Bethel, New York, with performances by Country Joe and the Fish, Joe Cocker, Blood, Sweat & Tears, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band (see Jewdayo for July 28), Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, and Jimi Hendrix, among others. The festival was the brainchild of Michael Lang, John Roberts, Joel Rosenman, and Artie Kornfeld, self-described as “young men with unlimited capital,” and it took place on the farm of Max Yasgur (see Jewdayo for February 8). Nearly half a million people attended and lived to tell and cherish the tale.
“We are stardust (million year old carbon)/we are golden (caught in the devil’s bargain)/ and we’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden . . .”—Joni Mitchell, “Woodstock”
Watch Grace Slick and the Jefferson Airplane perform some “morning maniac music” (8:00 AM!) on Sunday, August 17 at Woodstock: “Somebody to Love” and “White Rabbit”: