Rediscover: Taking Woodstock

On August 15-18, 1969, 400,000 people descended on Max Yasgur's 600-acre dairy farm in Bethel, N.Y. (43 miles southwest of the town of Woodstock) for what was billed as "An Aquarian Exposition: 3 Days of Peace & Music." Thirty-two performers took the stage that weekend, including Jimi Hendrix, Jefferson Airplane, the Grateful Dead, the Who, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Janis Joplin, Sly and the Family Stone, the Band and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. The event became a major component of '60s counterculture, music history and pop culture in general.

In 1969, Elliot Tiber was a young gay man who split his time between New York City and his parents' motel in Bethel. After witnessing the Stonewall riots, Tiber heard that the forthcoming Woodstock festival had been kicked out of Walkill, N.Y., and needed a new venue. He got in touch with the organizers and offered his parents' 15-acre property. When that proved inadequate, he introduced them to Yasgur and the rest is history. Taking Woodstock: A True Story of a Riot, a Concert and a Life, co-written with Tom Monte, gives a biography of Tiber and recounts how the family motel became the logistical epicenter of a once-in-a-generation event. In 2009, Ang Lee directed a comedy-drama adaptation of Taking Woodstock starring Demetri Martin as Tiber. Taking Woodstock is available from Square One ($15.95, 9780757003332). --Tobias Mutter

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