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Woodstock Organizers Answer Ad-Rock

Woodstock Organizers Answer Ad-Rock

September 14, 1999 12:00 AM ET

Beastie Boy Ad-Rock's remarks about Woodstock's numerous reported sexual assaults, delivered as his band accepted their Best Hip-Hop Video award at last week's MTV Video Music Awards, offered viewers a reality check about a situation that has gone largely unaddressed by high-profile artists.

During his speech, Ad-Rock admonished concert promoters to take an active role in preventing these kinds of assaults. "I think we can do something, as musicians," he said. "I think we can talk to the promoters and make sure that they're doing something about the safety of all the girls and the women that come to our shows."

As a sign of their support of the Beastie Boy's comments, the producers of Woodstock '99, whose handling of the alleged assaults has earned them considerable flak from women's organizations like N.O.W., issued a statement congratulating the Beasties and other artists who have spoken out about the alleged assaults.

"Concert promoters, security companies, artists and so many others who work daily to put on concerts must work together to foster an environment of safety and security for all concertgoers," it reads. "We stand ready to work with any other producers, artists and other industry leaders to ensure that it is universally understood that violence is not acceptable and will not be tolerated at our concerts or anywhere else."

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Song Stories

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A country-folk song of epic proportions, "San Francisco Mabel Joy" tells the tale of a poor Georgia farmboy who wound up in prison after a move to the Bay Area found love turning into tragedy. First released by Mickey Newbury in 1969, it might be more familiar through covers by Waylon Jennings, Joan Baez and Kenny Rogers. "It was a five-minute song written in a two-minute world," Newbury said. "I was told it would never be cut by any artist ... I was told you could not use the term 'redneck' in a song and get it recorded."

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