There’s been a lot of hubbub about the 50th anniversary of Woodstock. I’m not going to be one of those people who claimed to have been there but I was about 20 miles (and a world) away.
I was eleven years old. Every summer, my family would stay at a bungalow colony in upstate New York in an area that was known as the Borscht Belt (The Borscht Belt was a nickname for the network of summer resorts in the Catskill Mountains that were popular with New York City Jews between the 1920s and the 1970s). I was just getting into rock music and I saw the posters for Woodstock in town (South Fallsburg, NY to be exact). I saw that my favorite band, The Jefferson Airplane were scheduled to play on Saturday so I asked my parents if I could go. You can guess what the answer was (as a side note, I fractured my foot about a week later so I was in a cast when Woodstock took place, further reducing the already zero chances of my going to negative).
So I never got a chance to see Jefferson Airplane at Woodstock. Hindsight being 20/20, I sure it was a good thing. My eleven year self would be freaking out at the chaos of the situation. Actually, now that I think about it, I never saw Jefferson Airplane live. By he time I began going to concerts, the Airplane had morphed and split into Jefferson Starship (a band I was never into) and Hot Tuna. Like choosing who in a divorced couple you stay friends with, I went with Hot Tuna.
Luckily, a good part of the Airplane’s set was filmed though it was not included in the Woodstock movie. At Woodstock, Jefferson Airplane was scheduled to be the headliner for Saturday, but due to delays caused by rain and general chaos. instead ended up playing at 8am on Sunday for a tired Woodstock crowd. The early “maniac morning music” session included their songs from their previous albums as well as new material that would appear on their next record “Volunteers”.
Now I can finally see what I missed.
Jefferson Airplane -Somebody To Love, White Rabbit (Live At Woodstock 1969) –
Jefferson Airplane – Volunteers (Live At Woodstock 1969) –
Jefferson Airplane – Won’t You Try/Saturday Afternoon (Live At Woodstock 1969) –