The (Kind Of) Complete Woodstock: John Sebastian

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:

  1. How Have You Been (Woodstock: 40 Years On: Back To Yasgur’s Farm (CD))
  2. Rainbows Over Your Blues (Woodstock: 40 Years On: Back To Yasgur’s Farm (CD))
  3. I Had A Dream (Woodstock: 40 Years On: Back To Yasgur’s Farm (CD))
  4. Darlin’ Be Home Soon (Woodstock: The Lost Performances (VHS))
  5. Younger Generation (Woodstock: The Director’s Cut Ultimate Collector’s Edition (DVD))

Your official Woodstock song count to date: 52

Next Week: Keef Hartley Band

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Categories: Music

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