It seems the East Coast-West Coast rivalry is being dug up again, which we’re sure Biggie and Tupac would be amused at. It’s 40 years ago this August that the legendary Woodstock festival took place, which saw electric performances by Santana, Janis Joplin, The Grateful Dead, The Who, CSNY, and Jimi Hendrix among others. Now, though, the celebration of four decades of influential music is being disputed by San Francisco and New York companies, who are arguing who owns the rights to the name “Woodstock.”
As reported by SF Weekly’s All Shook Down, Woodstock Venture’s Michael Lang is putting out cease and desist letters to all companies, organizations, and groups trying to plan festivities for the iconic festival. Lang, who was one of the co-creators of the original 1969 Woodstock, is trying to stop “any event in the world that plans to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Woodstock’” as well as any art or phrase that contains the words “peace and music.” Really? Is the economy that bad you have to limit the use of the word “peace”? Is “love” going to be next?
Veterans of the late 60s festival, including SF former venue owner Boots Houghston, Country Joe McDonald, and Lester Chambers of The Chambers Brothers, rallied yesterday to publicly denounce the idea and do not plan on complying with Lang’s request, citing that nearly 20 bands who played the original Woodstock in Bethel, New York were from San Francisco (Writer’s note: Hell fucking yeah!) (Editor’s note: Go back to Cali you hippie!). A gala scheduled in October to commemorate the 40 years of Woodstock is still being planned by the group. Hopefully these Summer of Love guys can just drop some acid and hug it out.