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10 great moments from last weekend's Woodstock Music & Arts Fair
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August 30th, 1969: 10 great moments from last weekend's Woodstock Music & Arts Fair

Last weekend saw half a million people descend upon Bethel, NY for a music festival. Here are some highlights.

The events we write about at Gaslight Records happened in some form or another 50 years ago to the day. Roll along with us and imagine you are back in 1969.

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10

Bob Hite from Canned Heat sharing a smoke with a kid who jumped up on stage

Canned Heat turned out to be one the crowd favourites of the festival. During the band's performance of their as yet unreleased track "A Change Is Gonna Come," a young man jumped up on stage. Rather than having him removed, singer Bob Hite shared a cigarette with him. If you're in a hurry and don't feel like sitting through 5 minutes of badass blues music, it happens from around 1:23.

9

Janis Joplin - Try (Just a Little Bit Harder)

Twenty-six-year-old Texan, Janis Joplin is always a heavyweight at any festival and Woodstock was no exception. At 2am on Sunday morning she put on another impressive show. Checking in with the crowd, she asked if they were "staying stoned, have enough water and have got a place to sleep." Here is Janis Joplin's version of Chip Taylor's "Try (Just A Little Bit Harder)."

8

Richie Havens - I Can't Make It Anymore & Freedom

Twenty-eight-year-old Ritchie Havens was the first performer at the Woodstock festival. Due to heavy traffic, several artists were running late and Havens was fortunately available to go on early. Havens set the tone for the unorthodox festival, playing for so long that he ran out of songs and closed his set by writing and performing "Freedom" live on stage.

7

Jefferson Airplane - Volunteers

Jefferson Airplane had the difficult task of following The Who at 8am last Sunday morning. The band rallied despite being clearly burnt out and performing to a crowd that hadn't slept.

Here's their performance of "Volunteers."

6

Country Joe McDonald - The "Fish" Cheer/I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-to-Die Rag

Country Joe McDonald had a 1:30pm Saturday afternoon time slot, performing to a fresh and enthusiastic crowd. Nearly every other performer on this list had the odds against them being exhausted themselves and playing to an exhausted audience.

Country Joe had the crowd up on their feet chanting F.U.C.K. before singing along to his anti-Vietnam protest song "The Fish Cheer/I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-to-Die Rag."

5

Joe Cocker - With A Little Help From My Friends

As Joe Cocker says before his covering The Beatles' song from 1967, "this title just about puts it all into focus." Twenty-five-year-old Cocker recorded "With A Little Help From My Friends" for his debut album released earlier this year.

4

Jimi Hendrix - Star-Spangled Banner

Jimi Hendrix was the final act to perform at the Woodstock festival. The 26-year-old came on stage on Monday morning at 9am and played for over two hours. During his festival closing performance he played a searing rendition of the "Star-Spangled Banner." Watch below.

3

The Who - We're Not Gonna Take It/See Me, Feel Me

The Who came on stage at 5am on the final day of the festival. They performed the majority of their recently released album Tommy.

Here's their performance of "We're Not Gonna Take It/See Me, Feel Me" as the sun came up early on Sunday morning.

2

Bob Dylan not showing up

10 great moments from last weekend's Woodstock Music & Arts Fair

One of the primary reasons the location of Bethel, NY was chosen as the venue for the Woodstock festival was its close proximity to where Bob Dylan has been hiding out from the world for the last few years. Recently, more and more artists have followed Dylan up to Woodstock and eventually it made sense to take a festival there to try to coax the bard into performing again.

In typical Dylan fashion, however, the very day that half a million hippies turned up on his doorstep with hopes of watching him play he drove down to New York and boarded the QE2 bound for England. Dylan is performing at the far smaller Isle Of Wight Festival on August 29th.

1

Arlo Guthrie smoking and drinking all day before going out on stage

Twenty-year-old Arlo Guthrie arrived at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair on day one of the three day event. Guthrie wasn't due to play straight away so he settled into an afternoon of drinking and smoking weed.

Day one of the event saw scheduling issues due to major traffic congestion heading into Bethel, so several bands hadn't arrived on time.

An event organiser found Arlo Guthrie backstage and told him he had to go up on stage to fill the gap in the bill. Despite telling them he could barely walk, a stoned and drunk Arlo Guthrie was pushed into performing in front of the massive crowd.

Watch below Guthrie addressing the crowd and performing Bob Dylan's unreleased 1962 song, "Walkin' Down The Line" at Woodstock last week.

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