Woodstock wasn’t the best organized event, to say the least. Woe unto the poor musician who found himself standing around backstage during a lull. That’s how Richie Havens came to open the festival, and how Country Joe McDonald ended up playing a solo acoustic set.
And it’s why former Lovin’ Spoonful John Sebastian had to shift gears from trying to wear all of the tie-dye and smoke all of the pot in the tri-state area to playing a short set on a moment’s notice.
It was Saturday afternoon, 45 minutes after Santana blistered the first ten rows, when Sebastian was shoved out on stage. His stage patter is among the best on record: If you listen closely you can hear the THC.
Big John (I just made up that nickname) had a huge hit in the mid-seventies with the Welcome Back Kotter theme song, and he’s never really stopped working. He gigs quite a bit, in fact, though he’s retired the tie-dye.
If you’ve got $150 American (or more) you can get his complete performance on the out of print Faithful Virtue: The Reprise Recordings. It’s a three disc set, seventy songs. In iTunes terms that’s not a horrible cost per tune for a John Sebastian fan, but if you’re looking purely for Woodstock material it’s a bit steep. Here’s Sebastian’s Woodstock set list and where you can find all of it for a lot less:
- How Have You Been (Woodstock: 40 Years On: Back To Yasgur’s Farm (CD))
- Rainbows Over Your Blues (Woodstock: 40 Years On: Back To Yasgur’s Farm (CD))
- I Had A Dream (Woodstock: 40 Years On: Back To Yasgur’s Farm (CD))
- Darlin’ Be Home Soon (Woodstock: The Lost Performances (VHS))
- Younger Generation (Woodstock: The Director’s Cut Ultimate Collector’s Edition (DVD))
Your official Woodstock song count to date: 52