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Woodstock 1969

WOODSTOCK was the summer of love, scheduled over three days on a dairy farm in Bethel, New York from August 15th – 17th, 1969. It was 48 years ago this week when a crowd of 400,000 people attended the most momentous concert in history. Rock Scene Auctions  will feature three photographers that captured this historic gathering. We are proud to feature the photographs of legendary photographer Baron Wolman, Rolling Stone Magazine’s first chief photographer.
Baron reflects on WOODSTOCK: “I remember standing on the stage, there was a sea of people, I had never seen so many people, yet there was no violence, everyone was helping each other, sharing their food because of the shortage. Woodstock proved people could live in harmony, could help one another, could live without violence and hate, could share with one another. “And… people look back longingly at the festival and the promise of the 60s. There was hope. There was peace. There was love. And there was music.  It’s what we said was possible, and it was possible – we proved it.” – Baron Wolman
Photograph by Baron Wolman
Bill Graham backstage at WOODSTOCK                      photograph by Baron Wolman
Barry Z Levine captured it all. Arriving days before the crowd, when the site was still a grassy cow pasture, and continuing to photograph long after the last of them had departed, when it had become a debris strew mud hole, Levine took so many pictures that he had blisters on his index finger and thumb from clicking the shutter and advancing the film. Over the course of that tumultuous week, the only time he stopped was for a 45-minute nap on the piano cover on stage during the Blood, Sweat and Tears performance.
     photograph by Barry Z. Levine
     photograph by Barry Z. Levine
There will be never before seen photos of Janis Joplin during her Woodstock performance,  from photographer Shelly Rusten, the same photographer that took this historic crowd photo that Warner Bros. films later used as their poster to promote the film ‘WOODSTOCK the movie’. Plastered on every wall and bus from NYC to Rangoon for over ten years, it was one of the most widely seen photographs back in the day. Shelly is a music loving photo journalist / poet that began shooting in the 1960’s.
photograph by Shelly Rusten
Shelly reflects on WOODSTOCK:  “The way things were set up, you could only get so close to the stars. The one exception was Janis. She was so close I could smell the Southern Comfort coming off her sweat. Her singing was so fierce, I dared not get any closer lest she might have kicked me in the Face! 
Ah, the Good Old Days… We were SO FREE Back then!  Woodstock was really a Celebration of that. 400,000 hippies smoking pot with abandon. There was a LOT of that on the stage as well. Photographers were all passing it around. One would pass you some good pot and another dude on the other side would say “F**k that s**t, try this” while there was another one on the other side offering hash, etc. etc. etc. These folks in the audience kept pulling on the fence in back of us, trying to tear it down. I thought I was gonna die!  I had to get off the stage for a bit. I went around back to lay on the grass to Chill Out.” – Shelly Rusten
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