Now on PWFM :: Aquarius Full Moon; Woodstock Festival Tribute; Interview with Amandha Vollmer

Photo by Barry Z. Levine, one of the photographers whose work was used in the documentary “Woodstock” (1970). See below the article for more recent photos of this field, which I visited Tuesday — you will be astonished how so many people crammed in to such a small space.

I’m posting the new program early — ’tis done. It includes our annual tribute to the Woodstock Festival (see more below), Thursday night’s Aquarius Full Moon, and an interview with naturopathic doctor Amandha Vollmer.

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Previously on Planet Waves FM :: Michael Lang, Eccentric Uncle of the Woodstock Generation

Michael Lang, center, at the Woodstock festival in Bethel, N.Y., in August 1969 with Steve Cohen, left, and Rocky Williams of the event’s production team. Automotive Affairs Editor Larry Allen commented: “Real male bodies! Not Justin Bieber!” Photo by Elliott Landy / The New York Times.

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On the new Planet Waves FM, I pay homage to Michael Lang, one of the founders of the Woodstock Music and Arts Fair, who I knew from both journalism assignments and bumping into him in Woodstock (the actual town) and Kingston. Lang died in New York City on Saturday, Jan. 8 of a rare form of non-Hodgkins lymphoma. Here is the original press report in Variety, which I have confirmed through other sources.

Read my prior coverage of the various Woodstock festivals:

In Search of the Ghost of Woodstock from AS WE ARE, 1994 is reported from on the ground during preparation for the 25th anniversary concert in Saugerties, New York.

Flashpoints: The Continuation of Burning Man from 1999 includes coverage of the Woodstock 1999 30th anniversary festival held on a retired Air Force AWAC base. Our man on the ground was Mikio Kennedy, Grateful Dead artist and my March 10 brother.

They Were Barefoot in Babylon from 2020, my most “controversial” article about covid so far, relating to the Hong Kong flu which was supposedly a big deal in summer 1969.

Friday’s edition will include an edition of The Branching of the Road, from the Teacher’s Manual of A Course in Miracles. Here is the section I will be covering.

Noon chart for Michael Lang, and the commencement of the Woodstock festival to the right. I asked Michael several times for his birth time, and each time he said he did not know it. It is not published by any authoritative source or biography, so a noon chart is what we have to work with. The festival chart is for when Richie Havens took the stage, one hour past the scheduled time. Source is Bob Spitz’ book Barefoot in Babylon. Click chart for larger version.
Mike Lang at the festival site, August 1969. Photo by Henry Diltz.
Michael Lang is shown at the Winston Farm in Saugerties, N.Y., site of the Woodstock ’94 concert, in early August 1994, about two weeks before the festival. The concert’s North Stage is being built in the background. (Daily Freeman File Photo)

One comment

  1. Amanda Vollmer interview was awesome. Loved your point, Eric, about how any coherence rendered to facts, a chronology and a method, makes people go “conspiracy theory.” Everything seems so chaotic to most people, and they just love chaos because they have “grown accustomed to your face.” Good discussion about staying healthy without trying to deny aging. I do wish there were better ways to deal with aging digestive systems, slowly working my way through that. And again, good discussion about how we as a society were traumatized by what happened in March ’20 and took the shock as a sign we were alive, given how numb the digital age has made us, and lots of people haven’t recovered, indeed some folks embrace this ever more tightly as restrictions appear to be lifting, as if they are expressing defiance and vigilance in the face of mounting carelessness and apathy, a society gone too lackadaisical. I see this in the “freedom” community as well as many in my lists are clinging ever more tightly to the “bioweapon” narrative, some of them even thinking they can dissociate such a weapon from virus theory.

    Woodstock. First of all, the music. Interesting item from Melanie (Safka), whom i had not even heard of till the following year, coincidentally with her hit tune about Woodstock (Candles in the Rain). Crosby, Stills,Nash and Young Wooden Ships: WOW! That’s WAY better than the Suite Judy Blue Eyes which was in the movie (though the soundtrack did have Wooden Ships), i wonder why that choice was made. Per this page, which details the Woodstock appearance by this band, https://www.bethelwoodscenter.org/blog/crosby-stills-nash-young Young had come onto the stage several tunes before they did this set closer, did follow with a couple of acoustic encores. First time i’ve heard them do this tune live. I have a bootleg Jefferson Airplane album circa 1970 with this song done, a spacier version, it was on the 1969 Volunteers album, and the Airplane idd it in Woodstock about 24 hours before CSNY, Crosby wrote the music, Stills and Paul Kantner wrote the lyrics, the latter was uncredited on the CSN album because he asked his name be left off due to a contract dispute he was having with the Airplane’s manager. The Band, The Weight. What a spirited performance! And it sounded like more than one person sang leads, for some reason i thought the Dead’s rendition was different in this respect but now realize otherwise. Joe Cocker, With a Little Help From My Friends. I have heard it, this did make it to the movie, and i loved it then, love it now. This is such a dynamite version, frankly it puts the Sargent Pepper version to shame, good song that it is, so much more guts and soul, so much more psychedelic, better played, and i like it in A better than in E. My ex had Cocker’s first album, loved playing it. Great band too, in particularly Chris Stanton (later with Eric Claptpn) and Henry McCullough (later with Wings, another Beatles connection) In the same way, the Dead’s rendition of Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds was likewise way better than the Beatle’s studio version. I don’t even think the Sargent was the Beatles’ best album. 🙂 (Revolver!!) So, great job with musical selections!!

    At the time of Woodstock, not only did i not contemplate going, but the very idea of that many freaks congregating in one place disgusted me. My closet college friend, a frat mate, older by five years (Jerry G’s age), got married that Sunday, had contemplated going to the first day but changed his mind. The ceremony and reception were in Forest Hills, adjacent to his home neighborhood, and the area was flooded with young people retuning from the event. Hearing about it from them and via the media afterward deeply disturbed me, made me feel like my generation was being subverted by…. sex, drugs and rock n’ roll, pushed by the “communists” to undermine our resistance to the communist project of taking over the world. The day after the festival ended, my father died, which diverted me from that reality for quite a while, i didn’t surface till my last semester of college started the next month. After graduating, moving to the Bay Area, and then undergoing a series of events which quite suddenly placed me on the other side of the culture war by Sept ’70, i had a different attitude. Went to see the movie that November, and came out feeling lots of regret that i didn’t go. Over the years, i have come to terms with the fact that i simply wasn’t ready. What a travesty, the 1999 30th anniversary celebration of death culture and the early digital age on a military base formerly dedicated to nuclear death. Not quite “bombers riding shotgun in the skies turning into butterflies,” EH??!!! I already noticed the video game generation going zombie in many ways, had heard a little bit about this via High Times Magazine, but it wasn’t something i gave much significance to at the time, not feeling at all connected to that part of the culture, as i had my own niche, the Dead/jam band scene. A mistake.

    Regarding the coming time. Interesting discussion re religion and sexuality.

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