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?True believers still call Woodstock the capstone of an era devoted to human advancement,? said Cynics. ?Then there are those who said it was a hell of a party.? The Woodstock music and art festival of 1969 drew more than 450,000 people to a field out in Sullivan County for four days (tiber). This field became the site of a countercultural mini-nation where minds were open, drugs were everything but legal and love was free.
The music started late Friday afternoon at about 5:07 p.m. August 15 and continued until early afternoon Monday August 18. Woodstock closed the New York State Thruway and created one of the nations largest traffic jams (tiber). The festival also inspired some new laws that would prohibit something like this ever happening again. Although there were more woodstocks over the years, there hasn?t been one of this great size. They put a ?lock? on how many tickets could be sold to be able to attend the other numerous Woodstocks (tiber). Woodstock has become part of our nation’s history as ?Watergate? is the code word for a national crisis, and ?Waterloo? means ignominious defeat. ?What we had here was a once in a lifetime occurrence,? said Bethel town historian Bert Feldmen (tiber). ?Dickens said it first: ?it was the best of times. It was the worst of times?. It?s an amalgam that will never be reproduced again. Gathered that weekend in August 1969 were the prophets and the profiteers, the liars and the lovers. They also made love, made money, and made some history all in that one weekend. Arnold Skolnick, the man that drew the Woodstock logo of the dove on the guitar, said this, ?Something was tapped, a nerve, in this country. And everybody just came.? A festival of this great size cost more than 2.4 million dollars (tiber). To meet such a high price there were four men who invested their money into a company known as Woodstock Ventures.
These four men were John Roberts, Joel Rosenman, Artie Kornfield, and Michael Lang. The older of the four men was John Roberts who was twenty-six and supplied most of the money that got Woodstock Ventures going. He inherited a drugstore and a toothpaste manufacturing company that was passed down to him from his father. He also had a University of Pennsylvania degree, a lieutenant?s commission, and a multimillion-dollar trust fund. John Roberts had not been to any rock concerts except for the one that he went to the Beach Boys were Performing. Joel Rosenman was one of John?s more active friends.
Joel was the son of a prominent orthodontist from Long Island, went to Yale Law School and graduated. In 1967, Joel, who was 24 at the time, was in a lounge band that played in motels from Long Island to Las Vegas. Artie Kornfield, who was 25 and wore a suit with the lapels a little wide and his hair touched the top of his ears.
Artie was the vice president of Capitol Records. He was also the companies? connection to the musicians who were starting to sell records by the millions. Artie had 30 hit singles that he had written, along with them was ?Dead Mans Curve,? Jan and Dean had recorded it. Artie had also wrote and produced music for the Cowsills. Last but not least there was Michael Lang.
Michael Lang was very different form the other three, for example he rarely wore shoes. He had a head of full curly black hair that bounced on his shoulders; most of his friends called him the cosmic pixie. At the age of 23, he owned the first head shop in the entire state of Florida. In 1968, Michael had hosted one of the largest rock festivals so far before Woodstock. It was the Miami Pop Festival. With this festival he got over 40,000 people to attend this concert that he had produced (tiber). In the end for the next decade Woodstock
became a clich? for everything that was crazy about the 60?s. By the time that the 80?s arrived the world had moved on. John Roberts and Joel Rosenman were still in business in the ventures capital. They stopped funding concerts, and started taking down conglomerates and handling mergers. ?The transactions that we were involved in would have been vetoed if they?d known about Woodstock,? Rosenman said. ?It wasn?t broadcast in our resumes. Kornfield was the one who was able to use his Woodstock credentials. He remained in the music business, promoting rock acts and albums. He worked with Bruce Springsteen and Tracy Chapman. Lang too stayed in music. His title as Woodstock?s producer gave him a certain cachet with superstars of the business.
In 1984, Saward began to build the only monument in the world for Woodstock. This monument is a five and a half-ton marker that is made of concrete and cast iron. (tiber) As soon as the monument went up it became a counterculture shrine. People began to show up at the site where Woodstock was held and reminisced about their time at Woodstock. Talked with a few other visitors and left the site. The magic that is Woodstock continues?it?s in the air.
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