Music

The (Kind Of) Complete Woodstock: Blood, Sweat & Tears

David Clayton Thomas

Following Johnny Winter early that morning was Blood, Sweat & Tears.  They were at the top of their game at the time: “Spinning Wheel” was a monster hit, and BST commanded $12,000 for their Woodstock appearance.

That was a lot of money for 1969, and they never saw a dime.

That’s not a huge surprise – countless acts were never paid for their performances.  Unfortunately, BST’s manager took the same hard line as Keef Hartley’s:  He demanded that the recording equipment be stopped if the band didn’t get paid.

And the results were pretty much the same as in Hartley’s situation:  Blood, Sweat & Tears became another forgotten Woodstock act.  Fortunately some footage survived, so we have at least a glimpse of BST’s brassy set, and at least four audio tracks have surfaced.

The band’s post-Woodstock downward spiral is covered quite well in lead singer David Clayton-Thomas’s great memoir.  Pick it up, you won’t be disappointed.

The name “Blood, Sweat & Tears” still tours, though none of the original members remain in the band.  I haven’t seen them, but if you want to hear those old BST songs performed live this may be the only game in town.  You can see their tour schedule at: www.bloodsweatandtears.com.

If you want to hear the original voice of BST, though, take heart.  David Clayton-Thomas is still very busy making music and doing the occasional show.  How he found time to write a book is a mystery.  You can visit him here:  www.davidclaytonthomas.com

Here’s Blood, Sweat & Tears’s complete Woodstock set list and where you can find some of it:

  1. More and More (Youtube)
  2. Just One Smile
  3. Something’s Coming On (Youtube)
  4. More Than You’ll Ever Know
  5. Spinning Wheel (Youtube)
  6. Sometimes In Winter
  7. Smiling Phases
  8. God Bless the Child
  9. I Stand Accused
  10. And When I Die
  11. You’ve Made Me So Very Happy (Woodstock 40 Years On: Back To Yasgur’s Farm (CD))

Your official (and bootleg) Woodstock soundtrack song count to date: 179

Next week: Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

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7 replies »

  1. BLOOD, SWEAT AND TEARS at WOODSTOCK – thank you for recommending David Clayton-Thomas’ memoir. Damn the band manager’s who stopped the recording (of what was most likely an awesome set) because of money! Bless the technicians who kept it all on tape, anyways. Can you even put a fair price on the blood, sweat and tears, it took to put on a show, such as woodstock? For the love of just being there, would have been payment enough! Ohhh, the what could have beens!

    Like

  2. David Clayton-Thomas had an incredible voice.
    We all had the famous B,S,& T self titled album with “Spinning Wheel” on it. It took me a few years to fully appreciate Clayton-Thomas’ “God bless the Child.”

    I thought he was gone. Thanks for the heads-up, and the link.

    Like

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