Friday, August 21, 2009

Forty Years Ago This Month

August 15-18, 1969 - Bethel, New York

David Sanborn was there.

David Sanborn could fill a book with all the unique experiences he'd had in his career. When he came by the WNUA studios in 1995 and joined me on the air during my midday show, little did I know, however, that we'd spend some time talking about something I wouldn't expect coming out of the mouth of a Smooth Jazzer. The man told me he played Woodstock! Yup, the original one--the one that's marking its 40th anniversary this month.

In the late 1960s David was a member of the famed Paul Butterfield Blues Band, which was booked to perform at Woodstock on Sunday, August 17. He recalled for my audience and me that day the group had to fly into the park in a helicopter, since the freeway was closed. It was a sight he won't soon forget, he and the band "coming over the hill and seeing half a million people below, all spread out on this field." Never before had he seen a crowd that size.

The whole experience must have left a positive impression on David. He left Butterfield's group in 1971 and moved to Woodstock, where he lived until the mid '70s, when he relocated to Manhattan.

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