The Music Sucked at Woodstock

By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 14, 2009 7:06 AM CDT
The Music Sucked at Woodstock
Concert-goers sit on the roof of a Volkswagen bus at the Woodstock Music and Arts Fair at Bethel, N.Y.    (AP Photo)

Woodstock become an iconic event of the '60s, but according to Wall Street Journal critic Jim Fusilli, it was a mediocre festival at best. Major artists like Lennon, the Doors, and Led Zeppelin stayed away, those who did show were drugged up, and sound equipment failed—the whole thing was "pretty much a bust."

At Woodstock folk music was overrepresented—even though Dylan himself has already gone electric—while black music was largely absent: no James Brown, no Stevie Wonder, no Aretha Franklin. And the Woodstock albums culled the worst bits, inserted new versions of songs, and even relied on actors in a Hollywood studio to augment the cheering. Listen to the full recordings, Fusilli writes, and you'll have to "plow through the dross to enjoy the few moments of musical magic." (More Woodstock stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.