"I think you people have proven something to the world," Max Yasgur told the crowd, "that half a million people can get together and have three days of fun and music, and have nothing but fun and music, and I god bless you for it."
Of all the images snapped during the original Woodstock weekend, one stands above all: a young couple huddled together in a blanket, standing alone in a sea of people lying on wet ground.
It's an enduring image of love, care and protection that earned iconic status through its placement on the cover of the original "Woodstock" album in 1970, as well as on the movie poster.
Forty years later, the couple in the photo
How Mike Solved the Puzzle
The picture of Bobbi and Nick, clicked by Newsweek photographer Burk Uzzle, captured what it was like to be there — the slush and rain, the fatigue and the feeling of revolution, amid a haze of drugs. The picture made it to the cover of the `Woodstock' album, thus immortalizing the couple for generations to come.
Woodstock Music & Art Fair (informally, Woodstock or The Woodstock Festival) was a music festival, billed as "An Aquarian Exposition: 3 Days of Peace & Music", held at Max Yasgur's 600-acre dairy farm in the rural town of Bethel, New York, from August 15 to August 18, 1969. Bethel, in Sullivan County, is 43 miles southwest of the town of Woodstock, New York, in adjoining Ulster County.
We thought we were all individual, scattered hippies," says David Crosby. "When we got there, we said, 'Wait a minute, this is a lot bigger than we thought.' We flew in there by helicopter and saw the New York State Thruway at a dead stop for twenty miles and a gigantic crowd of at least half a million people. You couldn't really wrap your mind around how many people were there. It had never happened before, and it was sort of like having aliens land."
On the weekend of August 15th, 1969, an estimated 400,000 people from all over America descended on the 600-acre dairy farm of Max Yasgur, in Bethel, New York, for a three-day concert, the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. On Monday, August 18th, they all melted back into America after witnessing legendary performances by, among others, the Who, Santana, Janis Joplin, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Joe Cocker, Sly and the Family Stone, Jimi Hendrix and, in only their second live show together, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.
"It was a hectic scene, and we were all kind of winging it," says Crosby. "Behind us were Hendrix, Sly and the Family Stone - all these bands - and we really wanted to be good in front of them. For me, the high point was us going out and singing 'Suite: Judy Blue Eyes' and getting all the way through it and not screwing up. It was stoned and funny and fine."
Despite delays, the danger of electrical shocks and
Yasgur's farm for sale ... for $8 million Alfalfa field where Woodstock was held isn't included in the sale MSNBC August 8, 2007 www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20183704/
During the sometimes rainy weekend, thirty-two acts performed outdoors in front of 500,000 concert-goers. It is widely regarded as one of the greatest and most pivotal moments in popular music history and was listed on Rolling Stone's 50 Moments That Changed the History of Rock and Roll.
The event was captured in the successful 1970 documentary movie Woodstock, an accompanying soundtrack album, and Joni Mitchell's song "Woodstock" which commemorated the event and became a major hit for Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young.
general backstage anarchy, Woodstock pulled off the ultimate magic act of the 1960s: turning utter rain-soaked chaos into the greatest rock festival ever and the decade's most famous and successful experiment in peace and community.
"It was incredible," said Carlos Santana. "I'll never forget the way the music sounded
Max Yasgur poses at his farm near Bethel, N.Y. in this 1970 photo. The famous Woodstock homestead is on the market for $8 million.
Max Yasgur 18 days old 1920 Census Manhattan, NY 6 January 1920
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BETHEL, N.Y. - The famous farm near the alfalfa field that drew 400,000 people to Woodstock for three days of sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll is up for sale.
The asking price: $8 million.
Roy Howard, the current owner, is packing it in after years of tangling with local officials over permits for reunion gatherings to mark the 1969, three-day Woodstock music festival that helped ignite a generation.
Up for sale is the 2,000-square-foot house
that belonged to dairy farmer Yasgur, along with a larger farmhouse, a barn and 103 bucolic acres about 80 miles north of New York City.
Included are a gourmet kitchen with stainless steel appliances, double convection ovens, Viking stove, antique soapstone sink, 22-foot vaulted ceilings and expansive views of the Pocono Mountains. There’s also a double whirlpool tub, steam shower and bidet.
The nearby alfalfa field where the concert was held isn’t included in the sale. It’s owned by cable magnate Alan Gerry, who turned it into the 4,800-seat Bethel Woods Center last summer.
Yasgur lent out the alfalfa field for the concert after promoters were rejected by officials in the nearby town of Woodstock. About 400,000 people packed the field Aug. 15-17 for the festival that drew the biggest names in music — Jimi Hendrix and the Who among them.
Yasgur and his farm were celebrated in Joni Mitchell’s song “Woodstock,” popularized
by Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young with the line: "I'm going on down to Yasgur's farm. I'm going to join in a rock 'n' roll band."
Sullivan County Treasurer Ira Cohen, who was at Woodstock, helped organize reunions during the 1990s and said the sale will end an era.
“The reunions were a way to keep the music going,” he said.
Answers: 1. August 18, 1969 (Woodstock) 2. Nick and Bobbi Ercoline 3. Burk Uzzle
bouncing up against a field of bodies." Cocker took British R&B to church with his version of the Beatles' "With a Little Help From My Friends," and Hendrix sent the remaining stragglers home on Monday morning with his immortal recasting of "The Star-Spangled Banner." As Wavy Gravy, one of the show's MCs, says, "The whole world was watching us, and we had a chance to show the world how it could be if we ran things."
- Nick and Bobbi Ercoline, both 60 - remain together. They married two summers after the fabled weekend, and they still live less than an hour's drive from the original concert site of Bethel, N.Y., and within spitting distance of where they both grew up.
Nick Ercoline works for the Orange County, N.Y., Department of Housing. Bobbi is a resident nurse at the elementary school in their hometown of Pine Bush.
The 40th anniversary of the ultimate hippie be-in, this Aug. 15-17, has thrown the Ercolines into the spotlight again - something they never expected or sought.
They say they remember nothing of the original shot, taken by Burk Uzzle. "We weren't striking a pose," Nick says. "We were as surprised as everybody to see that photo on the album cover."
At first I thought it was a picture of me and my old girlfriend, moonflower..taken Aug. 16, 1969; but on closer inspection I think it is of Nick and Bobbi Ercoline. It was taken by Burk Uzzle as I recall. It is all such a blur!! This question was totally groovy. Dennis Brann
***** My approach to solving this week’s photo quiz was to use the search terms “Woodstock photos” (as it was obvious that the scene depicted was from Woodstock). One of the links that came up made reference to a photo of the “hugging quilted hippies”. This link was to photos taken by Burk Uzzle where the photo given in this week’s quiz was shown.
I fine tuned my search to “burk uzzle quilt photo couple” and found the reference to Bobbi and Nick Ercoline. Their story was quite interesting in itself and I learned that they arrived on the Saturday and left on the Sunday. It is obvious from the photo that the couple had been there for a while and it did look as if it is early morning and people are just starting to stir (if that is what you could call it). That is how I came up with the date of Sunday, August 17. Norm Smith
***** No the old Rickster did not attend; he got married instead...and I listen to Joe Crocker's 'Get By with a Little help from my Friends' every morning on the way to work! Rick Mackinney ***** Bobbi D. Kelly-Ercoline is on Facebook! Fred Stuart
***** Great to hear they are still together after 38 years of marriage. Love & peace always! Alan Cullinan ***** Looked through many copies of the photos on the web, most of them just said 1969. But, didn't give up and finally found one that said "Bobbi Kelly and Nick ercoline greet the dawn on August 17, 1969". Sometimes, you've just got to keep looking! Carl Blessing ***** Oh please! Like I wouldn't recognize Woodstock! Marilyn Hamill
***** The Ercolines as they are today were on the front page of my local newspaper yesterday. Joshua Kreitzer
***** I had moved to Fort Lauderdale in May of 69, so I wasn't even in the area. :-( Suzan Farris ***** Big hint from the name of the photo! Janice Sellers
***** In Oregon we had our own Vortex Music Festival at Mciver State Park, government sponsored and sanctioned. It succeeded in drawing some 30 to 100 thousand young people some 30 miles away from Portland; on a weekend when the American Legion had its national convention in town. Back then certain people were bent upon creating a bigger riot in Portland than the the Chicago Democratic Convention of 1968. The Governor of Oregon, Tom McCall,deftly defused the situation. Mike Dalton
***** How appropriate to have a Woodstock Festival photo quiz on this the 40th anniversary of the event! I thought, when I saw the vast expanse of humanity, that it was the setting for Woodstock. Probably I have seen this picture before, either on an album cover or Life Magazine, but if so, I did not remember.
It was interesting to learn about the marriage of Bobbi and Nick and how they remain a couple in New York State. Woodstock, the moon landing and the Chappaquiddick incident were 3 remarkable news stories of that summer.
Concert promoters continue to organize “field concerts” but on a smaller scale to Woodstock. Proper sanitation, security, food availability, toilets, field hospitals, parking, traffic and crowd control, etc all must be looked after. Even with these things in place, things can go wrong. A good example happened in Camrose Alberta, on August 01/09 when a sudden storm caused the stage, at the Big Valley Jamboree festival, to collapse, resulting in death and injuries. Kevin Costner and his band were just getting ready to perform. Don Draper
***** I found this one to be easy. Maybe because I watched 60 minutes last week and the whole show was about Woodstock. The Wall street journal also had a big article about it. You probably would have made the quiz harder if you had posted it a few months ago.
I was two years old when Woodstock happened. I really like the music from Woodstock and I have enjoyed reading the articles about it and watching the shows about it. Delores Martin
***** Yeah, I wasn't into the whole rock and roll/hippie movement either ... I was "in love" with The Beatles ONLY!! I didn't start going to concerts until the '80's!! In fact, Jennifer and I went to a Cheap Trick/Poison/Def Leppard concert just last night - go figure?!?!? - but I wasn't the oldest one there, that's for sure!! Elaine C. Hebert
***** I remember Woodstock wel, I was only 14 but remember it being the "thing" everyone wanted to go to. Debbie Sterbinsky
***** Enjoyed the recent interview with this couple, who are still married. Seems their most lasting memory was how smelly the place was, and I can believe it from looking at that photo. Carolyn Cornelius
***** I have a friend who is 11 years older than me who went to Woodstock. When I was a teenager, listening to her tell about it made me wish that I could've gone. There was a period in my life where the rebelliousness in me would have made me a likely candidate for a Woodstock peace lover. I know that sounds contradictory, but it would have been rebelliousness that would allow me to ever listen to "that type" of music in the first place as we were not allowed to listen to anything but Christian music growing up. It was good to see that this marriage from Woodstock is still going strong. Karen Kay Bunting ***** The photographer was Burk Uzzle. I bet he would be interesting to trace his genealogy with a Surname like that! Sharon Martin
LOL. Yes there probably aren't many Uzzles around. Maybe it used to be Muzzle but when he became a journalist, he didn't think it would sound right.
Comments from Our Readers
I googled: couple in blanket woodstock festival to arrive at contest answer: The photo was taken of young couple Nick and Bobbi Ecoline who lived not far from the site and are married to each other to this day. The photo was taken on August 17, 1969 on a muddy dawn morning by a Life contract photgrapher by the name of Burk Uzzle.
Quiz Number 221, 16 August 2009
A WEEKEND, REMEMBERED
It was a cold, misty dawn, that 17th of August in 1969, When Nick and Bobbie Ercoline, wearily awakened, Standing covered in a bedraggled blanket to fend off the chill, Oblivious to all including Burk Uzzle, a photographer, As he took pictures of the couple, to be soon immortalized, In the memory of all who attended or wished that they had, To this festival of Music and Free-Spirited Experience, called "Woodstock."
Never to be equaled,
Robert Edward McKenna Quiz Poet Laureate
Where have all the hippies gone? Long time passing? Where have all the hippies gone? Long time ago....
Where have all the hippies gone? They're all now mainstream citizens. Looks like they finally learned - Looks like they...finally learned.
Colleen Fitzpatrick Understudy to Quiz Poet Laureate Robert Edward McKenna
1. What is the date this picture was taken? 2. What are the names of the couple? 3. Who took the picture? (A hint will be issued sometime on Wednesday evening.)
Answers to Quiz #221 August 16, 2009
This quiz was suggested by long time Quizmaster Stan Read.
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