Max Yasgur's Farm
Who is the guy rapping at the beginning of Lovelight at Woodstock? I'm looking in Deadbase VIII Tape Timings, and the writer there says it's Wavy Gravy. But the video in the Woodstock DVD set reveals that it's not Wavy. Seems like I read somewhere that someone speculated it's Ken Babbs, but it doesn't look like Ken. Does anybody know who the rapper is?
Woodstock was a moment frozen in time that has been immortalized as a high tide mark and well it should be. It seemed from this vantage point that there was nothing the counterculture might not accomplish with sheer will and numbers. In retrospect it was all a heady dream that was never accomplished, save for the premature end of the Vietnam war.
Now the "Bethel Woods Amphitheater" showcases rock'n'roll and other gigs at the event site. Furthur has played there for the last two years. They finally found a way to cash in eternally on the image. There is even a plaque there commemorating what happened in days of yore.
The Grateful Dead almost didn't take the stage in 1969 because their manager was so nervous the band wouldn't get paid he demanded cash upfront. This caused a general stir that spread to other bands and the organizers had to scramble to the bank to withdraw large sums in order to pay those performers who wouldn't accept a check.
We really want to immortalize Woodstock as something positive and meaningful and the story of cooperation between 300,000 people to make it through three trying days was notable, but not immortal. The music was good though.
In a related footnote, the 30th anniversary concert promoted by John Scher in 1999 at the former Grifiss air force base near Rome, NY, turned into a riot. They were selling $6 bottles of water and many people became sick because of poor sanitary conditions. The cash machines were looted during the unrest. Scher lamented about the poor behavior of the crowd. The crowd lamented on the ruthless profiteering of the promoter!
I've read various accounts that only The Who got paid all of their money because their manager demanded to be paid upfront.