Among the 500,000 people frolicking in the mud atWoodstock, 50 years ago this weekend in Bethel, New York, were five future members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame --Billy Joel,Steven Tyler, former Eagles guitarist Don Felder, and from Blondie,Chris Stein and Debbie Harry, although they didn't know each other.
Billy Joel:“I hated it. I think a lot of that ‘community spirit’ was based on the fact that everybody was so wasted. Because everybody was stoned — everybody was passing around pot and acid — and I wasn’t into it. There’d been a lot of rain, it was all muddy, and you couldn’t go to the bathroom unless you stood up and went right where you were. I was there for a night and a day, and then I left just beforeThe Whowent on. I really wanted to see them, but it was very hard to because everybody was hopping up and down and banging into you. So I walked out and hitched a ride home.”
Chris Steinsaysit was "awesome," adding that it was "the only time" he sawJimi Hendrix. "By the time he went on the crowd was really thinned out and we were right up in front of the stage."
Steven Tyler was a year removed from forming Aerosmith when he made the trek to Bethel.
Steven Tyler on being atWoodstock:
Tyler and Aerosmith performed atWoodstock '94in Saugerties, New York.
Don Felderwas bouncing around from band to band and was four years away from moving to Los Angles, where he finally made it. Ironically, one of his childhood friends was on the bill,Stephen StillswithCrosby, Stills, Nash & Young.
Don Felder on Woodstock:
Word of the concert did indeed spread around the world, including north of the border to Toronto, Canada.
Geddy Lee on Woodstock:
And it wasn't lost on two members of the London music community, who had yet to relocate to America, where they both have homes today...
Keith Richards:“I think it had an enormous impact upon people who were there. In a way, it was actually ‘creating your own little nation’ for a few days, which at that time seemed very important, and a lot of connections were made between people.”
Rod Stewart:“Woodstock was a wonderful, historic event, but I think it dates you a bit to have played it.”