Today's video from the vault features the man who kicked off the festivities on stage at the original Woodstock: Richie Havens. Richie wasn't supposed to be the opener, but he was pressed into that coveted role after a number of bands were late getting to the concert grounds. Best known for his soulful, folk rock covers of other artists' songs (including the Beatles and Bob Dylan), Richie wound up stretching his set at Woodstock to include an epic mash up of the traditional blues song "Motherless Child" with "Freedom." The performance became a hit after it was featured in both the Woodstock film and soundtrack.
We just discovered this Woodstock site and it's a treasure trove of news and notes. Along with tons of great stuff about the 1969 event, this site seems to be keeping track of all of the news about anniversary concerts that are popping up across the country. We hear they'll be adding our book to the site soon, so thank you, Woodstockstory.com!
Stay tuned in the near future for our interview with Joel Makower, the man who put together what Rolling Stone called “the definitive study of the mega-concert.”