Fifty years ago today, the Woodstock festival was in full swing, having kicked off the day before. Among the main artists scheduled to perform on August 16, 1969 was Creedence Clearwater Revival, who were the first major act signed to play the event. The band was supposed to have had a prime slot that evening, but technical issues and bad weather pushed the start of their set back to 12:30 a.m.
CCR frontman John Fogerty tells ABC Radio that he remembers that his old band was “playing really well,” but that “at first everyone was asleep” following a performance by The Grateful Dead.
“[I]t’s just one of those things that somebody had to get hit with that,” Fogerty notes, “because it rained for a day and a half, and people were starving and thirsty and tired, and they finally conked out.”
Fogerty says one heartening moment during CCR’s set happened when “some guy out in the darkness [yelled], ‘Hey John, don’t worry about it! We’re with yaaa!'”
CCR bassist Stu Cook says one of his vivid recollections about Woodstock was the massive crowd below him as he was being flown in to the festival site by helicopter.
“It was just…an amazing collection of hair and teeth,” he tells ABC Radio. “We never seen anything like it…I don’t know how that many people can get together and not go crazy, but they managed to do it.”
Fogerty’s displeasure with CCR’s Woodstock experience led him to block the release of the band’s full set for years, but the performance finally came out earlier this month on the Live at Woodstock album.
Fogerty tells ABC Radio that he’s excited to return to the site of Woodstock this Sunday to play a concert at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts in Bethel, New York.
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