Forty Years Later, The Focus Is On Woodstock Again
June 25, 2009 at 5:00 AM (PT)
Forty years after a generation-defining celebration of music, peace and free love called WOODSTOCK took root in a muddy NEW YORK farm, writes TODAY's U.S.A. TODAY, "archivists are reimagining, repackaging and rehyping the experience in spiffy 21st-century fashion. Nearly a dozen multimedia projects -- including an expanded version of the OSCAR-winning WOODSTOCK documentary, a new ANG LEE film and a six-CD box set -- will roll out this SUMMER, all commemorating 1969's WOODSTOCK MUSIC & ART FAIR.
'More than 400,000 free spirits flocked to MAX YASGUR's dairy farm near BETHEL from AUGUST 15th to 18th to commune with 33 musical acts, including JIMI HENDRIX, JANIS JOPLIN, THE GRATEFUL DEAD, JEFFERSON AIRPLANE, JOAN BAEZ, SANTANA, THE WHO and a nascent CROSBY, STILLS, NASH & YOUNG. Even if you weren't at the festival or any of several anniversary gatherings, it hardly seems to matter now, given the plethora of material headed to the marketplace.
"Over the years, it has become legend and bigger than life and a little overexposed in some ways," says festival producer MICHAEL LANG, whose 'The Road to WOODSTOCK' memoir is one of several new books that will join the four-dozen already in print. "But the thing that is consistent over the years is that people say it changed their lives in a significant way."
"Those transformative forces will be explored most notably in WARNER HOME VIDEO's ultimate collector's version of director MICHAEL WADLEIGH's documentary 'WOODSTOCK: 3 Days of Peace & Music.' The four-hour director's cut has been remastered and expanded with two hours of 18 unreleased performances by 13 acts, including CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL, JOE COCKER, JOHNNY WINTER and SANTANA, and an extra hour of interviews with chroniclers such as MARTIN SCORSESE and HUGH HEFNER."