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Saturday, August 15, 2009

Jimi Hendrix and Neil Young at Woodstock

Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock
August 18, 1969

It's been 40 years since Jimi Hendrix caught up with Neil Young at Woodstock.

On that helicopter day, a million stories were made. And here's one of our favorites -- Jimi & Neil trying to make it to the Woodstock concert along with the nearly half a million strong.

We had long believed it to be an urban legend that Jimi and Neil stole a truck in order to make it to Woodstock. It turns out that is not too far off the mark.

From a radio interview program "On The Record" by Mary Turner in 1979, Neil was asked about what he remembered of Woodstock:
Young: "One of things I remember about Woodstock was trying to get there to play. As it turns out, the charter plane I was on with Jimi Hendrix flew into the wrong airport. We were supposed to be picked by a helicopter. The roads were jammed and there was nobody at the airport, so we had no way to get to the concert.

So we're standing at the airport with Melvin Belli [an attorney] trying to figure out what to do. And Melvin Belli steals this pickup truck parked at the airport.

So it's the three of us in this stolen pickup truck trying to get to the Woodstock concert to play -- Jimi, Melvin & me.

That's what I really remember about Woodstock.


More on Jimi Hendrix and Neil Young and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young at Woodstock.

Also, see Woodstock: The Day After.

UPDATE 8/17: Another variation of the story appears in David Zimmer's CROSBY, STILLS & NASH: The Biography with Neil hot-wiring the truck and Elliot Roberts, Young's manager, is driving the pickup truck with Jimi Hendrix on the hood.

Elliot says: 'Jimi Hendrix was a hood ornament! It was insane.'"

As they say, if you remember Woodstock, you weren't there...

Labels: , ,


At 8/15/2009 04:04:00 PM, Blogger doc said...

Hey Neil,Ya know what they say....
If ya can remember the 60' weren't there!!..What pick up truck?

"all in a dream,all in a dream."

Ya better check with David Byrne!!

At 8/15/2009 04:19:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

cool story!

hadn't heard that one before.

but i guess that's the case on a lot of these Woodtsock stories.

40 years on and folks are still building the legend.

it was a hippie dream...

At 8/15/2009 08:59:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I watched the Director's Cut of Woodstock last night and at the end, as the closing credits on running, there's a great version of "Find The Cost of Freedom" playing.

It's definitely not the version that was released as the B-Side of Ohio.

Any idea where this version came from.....Stills is singing, not sure who else.

At 8/15/2009 09:17:00 PM, Blogger karen said...

Oh man, seriously? The story I heard was that Neil hotwired the truck after Jimi jumped into the passenger seat, and Neil thought it was his truck! Neil looked at Jimi for the keys and Jimi said "what are you crazy this ain't my truck man, don't you know how to hotwire this thing" and of course Neil did, so he did, and off they went. I think we should go with my story, it's so much better, facts be damned! This is why I am not doing Joel Bernstein's job, lovekaren

At 8/15/2009 11:02:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

Great version. I had heard a lot of variations like that until I heard it straight from the man.

Not quite as exciting a story.

But still an incredible experience of peace, love and music.

Of course today, the truck would be put up on eBay probably....


At 8/16/2009 06:31:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've heard Neil tell a version where he rode on the hood -- "I was the hood ornament."

At 8/16/2009 06:24:00 PM, Anonymous Simpson said...

I think the hood ornament story was from when CSNY played at Altamont. It's in the book Shakey.

At 8/17/2009 05:38:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Possibly, Simpson, but I don't think so. 99% sure Neil was talking about Woodstock.

At 8/17/2009 08:12:00 AM, Anonymous SONY said...

Watched the documentary of Woodstock again on Sunday. Pretty crazy.

In the end, to me, regardless of success, failure, money maker, money loser, good or bad music, vibe, etc.....Woodstock = attitude no matter what age you were or are.

At 8/17/2009 03:20:00 PM, Anonymous SONY said...


'have you ever been experienced?'

At 8/17/2009 04:36:00 PM, Blogger Shadow said...

"TIME it was and time it stood
a time of innocence i have a photograph "

Searcher age 57

Woodstock Nation


Rip it up Peace

At 8/17/2009 09:51:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

Simpson - The hood ornament story is from the Zimmer's CSN bio.

It was Woodstock and not Altamont.

At 7/09/2011 08:10:00 PM, Anonymous jt18023 said...

if neil and jimmy stole my truck i would be honnored

At 1/22/2012 06:58:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, there is in fact a pick-up truck story tha Neil tells in Shakey. "We were on the other side of the crowd. So we get this pickup truck, and we're driving it thru the crowd. I think everybody was pretty high. Crosby and Stills were standing on the front of the truck or on the running boards yelling..."

It is very likely that the 2 stories got confused by the coke heads. I would go with Neil's '79 story considering he wasn't high at woodstock and he tells the story only 10 years after the fact.


At 1/11/2013 02:13:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cool story, needs more dragons.

At 4/05/2018 02:29:00 AM, Blogger Frederick Drury said...

You people are all idiots. Unless you were a daily drunk or a complete moron you would never forget that amazing time. Absolutely unforgettable.

At 4/05/2018 02:32:00 AM, Blogger Frederick Drury said...

Billy Cox who recalls along with the rest of Hendrix multi-named band that they were driven slowly through the Woodstock crowd in a borrowed station wagon. Niel Young must have stolen that pick-up with somebody else. Also, why hasn't he been charged?

At 8/27/2022 12:02:00 PM, Blogger curbozer boomer said...

I would go with Billy Cox and his story...there is a photo of Hendrix riding in an AMC station wagon, either to, or from, Woodstock!...and btw...Neil Young did not even perform at Woodstock--at leat not with Crosby, Stills, and Nash!...check out the film--Neil is not on stage with them...this story must be some mixed up memory from Neil's imagination.

At 7/12/2023 05:25:00 PM, Blogger AJ Pendley said...

Actually, Neil Young did perform with CSNY at Woodstock. He sings "Sea of Madness" on the Woodstock 2 album.


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