The plan is to do a 6 hour radio show called Virtual Woodstock on Radio 1190 (radio1190.org) from 12-6pm on Monday Aug 17, the 40th anniversary of the last day of the official show. Jimi Hendrix played the next day, Monday morning, so it went a little over, and this may also.
The first thing you notice when you go hunting for this material is how little has been officially produced. At the time they did a soundtrack that had one song by many of the groups, things that became famous like Country Joe's "Feel Like I'm Fixin to Die Rag" and Sly Stones "Higher." But so many groups were left out for a variety of reasons. Janis Joplin started shooting H as soon as she got there, washed it down with booze. Arlo Guthrie didn't like his performance. Incredible String Band, which was incredible, just got lost in the shuffle.
So in my brain what I am trying to do is recreate a music heavy version, play things in the order they happened, and include lots of great stage announcments about staying away from the brown acid. Sony Legacy has just released some full performances of Santana, Janis, Johnny Winter, Sly, Jeff Airplane and they are fairly fabulous. 6 days before air Rhino is going to release a 6 CD box set that appears to be a lot of the stuff that has been floating around on the internet for years.
Speaking of the evil internet, there are at least 30 CDs out there that were ripped on the day of the concert from the soundboard. Some are really good quality, some sound like you recorded from the back of the pasture with a cell phone. So the point is to build a 6 hour version of the show using all these points of input, and also rip some movie drops, etc. I don't know if you've ever produced a long radio show or not, but it will be quite challenging. Sure I could pre record it, but I think that would take for freaking ever. Putting it together live should give it a seat of the pants feel.
So anyway, many recordings are being readied, both on hard drive and CD backup. Next I'm going to tap into the talent at Radio 1190 and get a lot of young voices to voice some short radio stories to include in between. Then I'm going to cross my fingers and push the way back machine back to a few minutes past 5 pm on Aug 15, 1969 when Richie Havens took the stage.
That was a crazy summer! Ted Kennedy drove off the Chappaquiddic bridge with only one fatalty reported. Men walked on the moon, I'll write a blog about interviewing Buzz Aldrin sometime, the Manson murders went down, and almost a half million people smoked pot and attended Woodstock.
OK, one last blurb. My live contact with people who played Woodstock:
Although I never met Arlo, he used to visit his aunt, Woody's youngest sister Mary Jo, who was a good friend of my mother. This was in Seminole, Okla in the 1960s.
I interviewed Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead and had him do a live DJ set on my show at KOFM in 1972.
I saw Jimi Hendrix in concert in May of 1970 (he died in Sept) and had a drug experience with him which I will also save for another time.
I was supposed to interview Little Richard on the day Janis Joplin died. He was so broke up over her demise he cancelled the interview.
My wife Nancy was in her early teens and visiting friends just a few miles from the concert. They had tickets, but the adults in charge would not let her bunch go because of all they were hearing about drug use etc.
Other Woodstock bands I saw live: Country Joe, Crosby Stills and Nash, Iron Butterfly, Jefferson Airplane, Sha Na Na, Sly and the Family Stone, The Who.
More on the show as it develops. I love this stuff! (Oh yes, I've been watching the new director's cut of the movie. They shot 120 hours of film, of which only about 6 has been released to the public over time.)