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Monday, August 17, 2009

Woodstock: The Day After

Here's something we've never seen before.

This YouTube video is a compilation of various footage of Crosby, Stills and Nash from 1969.

It includes a segment from The Dick Cavett TV program that was filmed the day after Woodstock with Joni Mitchell and The Jefferson Airplane's Paul Kantner and Grace Slick.

And out walk David Crosby and Stephen Stills basically straight from Woodstock. Stills shows everyone the mud that is still caked to his jeans which everyone seems to find pretty groovy. Stephen then plays "4+20".

There are other clips from the summer and fall of 1969 including scenes from their home studio in Laurel Canyon, California. Song clips include Crosby's "Song With No Words", Stills' "Black Queen", "Find The Cost of Freedom", and Crosby's "Laughing".

Certainly there's a lot of folklore that's been built up about going down to Yasgur's Farm and joining in a rock and roll band. Like that story about Jimi Hendrix and Neil Young riding a stolen truck to Woodstock.

So it turns out that Neil Young was actually at Woodstock afterall even though he does not appear in the film.

There are a lot of stories about why Neil isn't in the film. Most commonly, it's because he didn't want to be filmed and the lights were cut during CSNY's performance.

Neil's had a lot of contradictory reflections to Woodstock over the years. He used the Woodstock stage announcements extensively during the 1978 Rust Never Sleeps tour. (Hey, if we think really hard, be the rain.)

Conversely, look closely at the desert scene in the film Journey Through the Past where there is a shot revealing The Graduate wearing a Woodstock shirt just before shooting up.

So it would seem that some of the ethos of the period didn't sit too well with Neil judging by the lyrics of 1986's "Hippie Dream" from Landing On Water

'Cause the tie-dye sails
Are the screamin' sheets
And the dusty trail
Leads to blood in the streets
And the wooden ships
Are a hippie dream
Capsized in excess

And it would seem that's Neil's feelings towards that day only seemed to harden over the years. A quote from biographer Jimmy McDonough's Shakey has been bouncing around the blogs driven by a look at the flip-side of Woodstock in The Globe and Mail:
“Woodstock was a bullshit gig. A piece of shit. We played fuckin’ awful. No one was into the music. I think Stephen [Stills] was way overboard into the huge crowd. Everybody was on this Hollywood trip with the fuckin’ cameras. They weren’t playin’ to the audience as much as to the cameras…I could see everybody changing their performances for the fucking camera and I thought that was bullshit. All these assholes filming, everybody’s carried away with how cool they are…I wasn’t moved.”

Nevertheless, a duet with Stills on "Mr. Soul" from Woodstock was used on The Archives. So maybe the hippie dream wasn't so bad afterall?

But -- for many -- Neil seemed to really drive a stake into the '60's hippie vibe of "peace, love and music" culture with his "music can't change the world" comments last year. And based on the overwhelming reaction, not everyone agreed that the spirit of the 1960's was dead.

But we still think Neil loves hippies.


On the Greendale tour in 2003, we heard Neil say just before "Carmichael" that:
"It used to be that hippies were good and the cops are bad. Nowadays, it's the cops who are good and the hippies that are bad."

Recall how last fall Neil sported that hippie button?

Nostalgia dies hard.


peace. love. music.

We still think that's what it's all about. While just singing a song won't change the world, it's a start.


At 8/17/2009 08:42:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thrasher -

Neil was filmed at Woodstock. He's actually visible in several outtake clips, including this one:

As someone who was too young to attend Woodstock, i guess i'll never really know the true story behind the festival. Based on the movie, it looks Can't-Miss, it looks so cool, idealistic, and a treasure.

But a movie is something put together by editors and directors, giving us something built in their vision.

But was it really so cool?

I went to a Neil concert a while back, General Admission, 2nd row, and i couldn't move for 6 hours. Quite frankly, it sucked. Yea, the show was good, but the overall experience blew.

I wonder what Woodstock was REALLY like.

At 8/17/2009 09:16:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

Yes, indeed, Neil was filmed. Like I said about Mr Soul w/ Stills on NYA. He just wasn't in the film itself..

Sorry you were 2nd row @ Neil concert and thought it sucked.

Too bad for you. Maybe you could've given your spot to someone who might've appreciated it?


At 8/17/2009 09:55:00 PM, Blogger Crris said...

Enjoyed that.Not seen it before -Reminded me of Celebration at Big Sur video. Guess that's not surprising.Graham Nash sounded most North Englandish ever heard him here.

At 8/17/2009 09:57:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

He said he enjoyed the show, but not having to stand for 6 hours. Having experienced this at Dylan and having to pay $5 for water I understand what he is saying. Please do not be so negative Thrasher.
Peace and Love

ps: I am high on life.

At 8/17/2009 10:58:00 PM, Anonymous SUNY said...

Young told biographer Jimmy McDonough. “We played [expletive] awful. No one was into the music.”

Photographs & memories.

Interesting singular recountings all around. Gotta be tough to understand what a few hundred thousand people could think about what's one of the biggest performances of one's life, and that feeling, as it happens.......and then the recountings of feeling about who knew what and when did they know it!

It is a hippie dream.

It's a hippie daydream, don't ever fall asleep!

So maybe the performance was bad. How was the anticipation? How was the action? How was the.........

At 8/17/2009 11:18:00 PM, Blogger Shadow said...

Thrasher i agreehe should have. Woodstock happen in 69 but really took the country in 1970 with the movie and album and CSNY Deju Vu album .You could not go anywhere without hearing Cockers "with a little help from my friends " on the radio .When i saw it we waited 4 hrs in theater parking lot to get in the theater played the soundtrack over loud speakers and CSNY . Melanie also was playing also "Lay Down " was about Woodstock . It became a generational thing then not just a concert that summer i went to Center Lake festival near Jackson Michigan many from Woodstock performed . For a cpl of years summer met festivals then they died out for long time .Like the old saying it was the best of times and the worst to be a teenager . It is hard to explain if you werent part of the counter culture then or a young person or hippie you pick the popular term to use . Forty years later thinking back Neil often comes to mind and his songs . " Only a dream its only a dream" " We are all about a million miles away from those hellicopter days" Was it all a hippie dream . I don't know thought i did in my room listening to "wooden ships " in 69 and 70. We will all have to decide was it real or a dream did we suceed or fail what we believed in them . Many of us still believe once a hippie always a hippie in a way cause it not a look not an event it is a spirit that we all caught in the late 60s.


At 8/18/2009 12:36:00 AM, Blogger Dan1 said...

"Nevertheless, a duet with Stills on "Mr. Soul" from Woodstock was used on The Archives. So maybe the hippie dream wasn't so bad afterall?"

Thrasher, an alternative impression on the comment above - didn't Neil say in Shakey he wanted the archives to show everything, including the bad? So perhaps, if he felt that negative about Woodstock, its in the archives to show the parts of his career he's not crazy about. Anyhow, I just love that quote about how he hated it cause everyone became so Hollywood, playing for the cameras, instead of for the music ... One of the things I've always admired about Neil is his sincerity toward his music and his 'allergy' to showboating ... its a breath of fresh air and probably one of the things that have sustained him over 40+ years and enabled him to outlast virtually everyone from his era.


At 8/18/2009 03:26:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thrasher, surely Hippie Dream is directed more at Crosby himself than hippies in general?

At 8/18/2009 06:28:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thrashwer -

the Neil show i was at - in the 2nd row - was immense, an unbelievable performance.

what sucked was standing in the same place for hours on end, not being able to move, not being able to use the bathroom, not being able to get food.

Fortunately, it didn't (be the) rain.

Perhaps you can relate....or maybe you can't.

At 8/18/2009 09:15:00 AM, Blogger thrasher said...

A couple of things.

Folks at Woodstock got wet & muddy and were tired & hungry. But I'm not sure there response was Woodstock sucked. Similarly, if it was a great Neil show & you were on 2nd row, what does it matter that you had some inconvenience? Life's like that.

As for Mr. Soul from Woodstock being included in The Archives? Maybe Neil's come to terms with that day?


At 8/18/2009 09:17:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So where did that footage of the rehearsal stuff come from?

At 8/18/2009 09:56:00 AM, Anonymous Crunchy granola said...

Man, some of this Woodstock nostalgia is way overblown. All this hoopla for the 40th? Wonder what'll be like for 50th?

At 8/18/2009 10:49:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yo Crunchy - you had to be there to really understand.

At 8/18/2009 11:20:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i've read plenty of quotes where people who attended say that absolutely hated Woodstock.

Conversely, i've read others where attendees absolutely loved it.

I'm not sure what that day was like. I can only base it on what i've seen in the movie, and, let's face it, that was a carefully crafted editing job put together by the filmmakers. And some of what we see didn't actually happen - ie, Sly and the Family Stone, I want to take you higher - much of the crowd noise was put in after the fact. There are plenty of other examples.

Still, i wish i was there.

sorry Thrasher, these are my independent thoughts...whether you want them or not.

At 8/18/2009 11:45:00 AM, Anonymous SONY said...

In the words of Tommy Chong


It's all perspective, and there are 450,000 seats at the table and a few hundred million closed circuit TV onlookers

At 8/18/2009 01:36:00 PM, Anonymous Martin Lav said...

Went to the Bridge School show a few years back and it poured down rain. Since I was close to 40 years old at the time I had enough sense to wear rain gear. The young kids we sat next to on the grass only had the enough sense to keep their stash, pipe and lighter dry. They went to the car early. We stayed til the rain stopped and Neil and friends came out and blew us away. We'll never forget that show as it was one of the best ever. The kids won't either, but unless this show goes down as some kind of huge cultural event (it won't) they will not look back fondly on this as some great moment in their lives. Point is only you can make your moment memorable or special.

At 8/18/2009 05:27:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It would've been groovy if Neil released some Woodstock footage via BluRay Live on the 40th Anniversary this past weekend.

Farrrr Out!

BTW - what happened to BluRay Live? Will Neil still be utilizing it moving forward?

At 8/18/2009 05:27:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As usual with Neil, he complains about something that's actually greatly benefitted him.

Take his advice - don't listen to him.

At 8/19/2009 05:27:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kinda' freaked out that these clips are "new" to you- or ANYONE who is an even passing fan of Neil Young or CSN/CSN&Y! These all come from the LOOOOONG available "Long Time Gone" DVD, "officially" released on VHS in 1994 and then DVD in 2004. All the post on Youtube did was pull some of the clips from that.
The Crosby clip is from "Journey Through The Past"- and I think you know when THAT was finally released!
All the Dick Cavett stuff- including the complete "Day After Woodstock" show- was released on his "Rock Icons" 3 DVD set a few years ago.

Just thought you should know......

At 8/19/2009 07:04:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This footage is taken from CSN's "Long Time Gone" DVD

At 8/19/2009 08:40:00 AM, Blogger thrasher said...

Thanks folks!

Well, I guess it's been a long time gone since I last watched this stuff....

At 8/19/2009 10:17:00 AM, Anonymous SONY said...

Don't let it bring you down
It's only castles burning,
Find someone who's turning
And you will come around.

Thrashers Wheat -
A Correctional Facility

At 8/19/2009 09:16:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, THIS is kinda' odd.......

The VHS tape AND the DVD both used to be titled "Long Time GONE". If you go to Amazon(or any other retailer) it's NOW listed for sale as "Long Time COMIN'"!

Weird.....anybody know why?


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