Fifty years later, the new episode of the Rolling Stone Music Now podcast takes a deep look back at the original Woodstock, with Country Joe McDonald, Santana percussionist Michael Carabello and Andy Zax — producer of a comprehensive new box set — joining host Brian Hiatt.
Zax explains the complex and surprising years-long process behind the box that chronicles every minute of the festival’s music, and delves into some of the newly available sets, including Creedence Clearwater Revival’s revelatory performance. “They’re kind of remarkable,” Zax says. “They feel to me like the missing link between Eddie Cochran or Link Wray and Television. You can really hear it on the big blow up at the end of the set, this 10-minute version of ‘Suzy Q,’ which is explosive.”
McDonald tells the tale of getting tens of thousands of people to spell out the word “fuck” in unison at the festival — a career-making moment that also got him banned from some venues. “It was just unbelievable that they allowed it to go in the movie in 1969,” he says.
Carabello, the percussionist whose playing is intercut with Carlos Santana’s during the Woodstock film‘s “Soul Sacrifice” sequence — one of the most indelible rock-movie moments ever – looks back on the then-unsigned band’s performance, and much more.
Download and subscribe to our weekly podcast, Rolling Stone Music Now, hosted by Brian Hiatt, on iTunes or Spotify (or wherever you get your podcasts), and check out two years worth of episodes in the archive, including in-depth, career-spanning interviews with Bruce Springsteen, Halsey, Ice Cube, Neil Young, the National, Questlove, Julian Casablancas, Sheryl Crow, Johnny Marr, Scott Weiland, Alice Cooper, Fleetwood Mac, Elvis Costello, Donald Fagen, Phil Collins, Alicia Keys, Stephen Malkmus, Sebastian Bach, Tom Petty, Kelly Clarkson, Pete Townshend, Bob Seger, the Zombies, Gary Clark Jr. and many more — plus dozens of episodes featuring genre-spanning discussions, debates and explainers with Rolling Stone’s critics and reporters. Tune in every Friday at 1 p.m. ET to hear Rolling Stone Music Now broadcast live from SiriusXM’s studios on Volume, channel 106.