By The Time We Got to Woodstock: The Great Rock ’n’ Roll Revolution of 1969
by Bruce Pollock
September 2009 / $19.99 / ISBN: 978-0-87930-979-4 / Paperback original
Published by Backbeat Books, an imprint of Hal Leonard Corporation
By the Time We Got to Woodstock is a raucous, fast-paced, and occasionally brutal look at 1969, which author Bruce Pollock calls America’s most volatile and creative year in music. It effectively demolishes the peace-and-love, flowers-in-your-hair myths we usually get about that year.
1969 was a time of euphoria and devastation, freedom and assassination, revolution and retribution, moonwalks and sit-ins, love-ins and race riots, sex, drugs, and guns. By the Time We Got to Woodstock breathlessly documents a year that saw more music-as-manifesto and rock-as-revolution than ever before. At one mad outdoor party after another — from Miami to Denver, and from Woodstock to Altamont — cracks in the promised hippie utopia turned to canyons, while vital music scenes thrived in New York, San Francisco, L.A., Detroit, and England.
This was the year that saw the Beatles go supernova while Bob Dylan hightailed it to Nashville. Artists as diverse as the Byrds, Phil Ochs, Jimi Hendrix, the Rolling Stones, Janis Joplin, Sly and the Family Stone, the Temptations, the Velvet Underground, the Mothers of Invention, Funkadelic, and the MC5 released stunning and career-defining records. (Not to be outdone, Led Zeppelin announced their arrival with two monster records in 1969.) This creative explosion also spawned the genre hybrids that ruled 1969: country-rock, proto-punk, psychedelic soul, jazz rock, the Broadway rock musical. The Last Poets laid the groundwork for hip-hop in 1969, and the American Top 40 saw its first-ever reggae record (Desmond Dekker’s “The Israelites”) and first gospel record (Edwin Hawkins Singers’s “Oh Happy Day”). And 1969 was the year the underground press and FM radio finally stood up and took their place in mainstream American culture.
By the Time We Got to Woodstock captures the frenzy of this insane, wonderful, and often frightening year in glorious, blistering fashion.
Bruce Pollock has written 12 books on music, including Working Musician and The Rock Song Index; interviewed hundreds of musicians; contributed to numerous publications including The New York Times, Cosmopolitan, Entertainment Weekly, USA Today, Playboy, and The Village Voice; produced nearly 100 record compilations; and founded and edited exactly 100 issues of a top music magazine.
Although he lived in Greenwich Village in 1969, he now resides in Fairfield, CT.
Visit Bruce Pollock online at www.thejoyofsegues.blogspot.com.