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jdegrazia's avatar

Why didn't the Beatles play at Woodstock?

Asked by jdegrazia (266 points ) September 12th, 2008
Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

16 Answers

Seesul's avatar

Woodstock was in 1969, John, Paul, George and Ringo gave their last concert in August 1966. They were basically done with the concert scene by then and were in the process of breaking up

lefteh's avatar

Sort of…
The bigger issue was that Lennon insisted that if the Beatles play, that the Plastic Ono Band would also be permitted to play. The organizers said no.

hoosier_banana's avatar

It was John’s fault too, it’s not like she was a brain slug… physically.

Seesul's avatar

If John did put that stipulation on, it is highly doubtful at that point that he was speaking for the group and could have gotten them all to agree anyway, even if his supposed terms had been met. It was pretty much over for them as a group by then.

jdegrazia's avatar

Speaking of Yoko Ono, anybody know the song I attached to the end of this blog post? Barenaked Ladies. Be My Yoko Ono. I think their take on things is pretty fascinating.

hoosier_banana's avatar

Never heard it before, the video is a reminder that in 16 years we all are gonna look like total fools to our future selves. Great song.

allengreen's avatar

@Seesul—the Beatles broke up in 1972, right? After the live performance on the top of the building, someone help me out here…..http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ea6ZcfJspcI

I’ve Got a Feeling, a feeling deep inside, oh no….

AstroChuck's avatar

Paul wanted to tour again and plans were considered to put on a concert at sea, on a luxury liner. The rest of the Beatles weren’t too keen on the idea, especially Ringo. He was so turned off by the Manila tour stop that he just wanted to fulfill the tour obligations and then stop. Also, as said above, John would insist that Yoko be on stage with him whenever he was asked to perform. In fact he dropped out of George’s Concert for Bangladesh at the last moment when it was made clear that Yoko wasn’t to be included. Of course, the last time they performed for any croud was the on the rooftop of their Apple headquarters in 1969.

@allengreen- They officially broke up in 1970.

AstroChuck's avatar

Should read “performed for any crowd.”
Duh.

jdegrazia's avatar

Thanks for the info everyone. What led me to ask the question was watching this and this and this and thinking about how absolutely awesome it would be to be a rockstar, to share your music with a dancing crowd, to connect to other people so physically through your art, to be a part of something like Woodstock, to be THE BEATLES, to be innovators at that level, to change everything.

And I thought it would have been cool had The Beatles been at Woodstock and there to see Santana get famous, to see Crosby, Stills, & Nash play Suite: Judy Blue Eyes before they had it fully worked out live, to see Arlo Guthrie, just a kid with a guitar, get up there and do his thing in front of all those people.

I think it would have been so much fun for The Beatles to see that, to experience it with those other musicians, because The Beatles participated in creating it, because, without The Beatles, there might never have been a Woodstock. They were an historical hinge. The world was different, in part, because of them. And I hope they knew that and felt good about it, because I think they made the world better, and people that make the world better should get to experience and enjoy and appreciate those improvements.

AstroChuck's avatar

I agree completely. Well said.

Seesul's avatar

Thanks for backing me up, AC. I lived through it, so I was going from memory, but I knew I was on target because 1970 was a landmark year to remember for me. A lot happened that year in my personal life and that was something that stuck out as well.

I was in London in the summer of ‘69 and remember the talk about it at the time. My sisters both attended the first concert in LA and my dad was the airline agent who handled them when they landed at LAX, though that fact didn’t slip out until years later.

My musical background spans from the Buddy Holly/Big Bopper era, even though I was just a toddler when they hit the scene. We had only one record player in the house and my older brother would entertain me with his 45’s when he came home from school. My eldest sister was part of the Elvis craze, so I got a good dose of him as well.

The article that I gave the link to above has at least one mistake in it, Ringo’s birth name was actually Richard Starkey, not Starsky. The author must be mixing it up with the TV series, Starksy and Hutch.

My sisters and I had all of the Beatles albums, as well as other classics at the time. Oddly enough, the cruise we took this summer featured Beatlemania, and they were fantastic, very much like the originals.

agentman's avatar

It’s not because they were in the process of breaking up, although Yoko was buying the nails for the coffin so to speak at that point. It’s because it was almost impossible to reproduce their material on stage at that point. It was too musically complex.

Chaosweaver's avatar

becuase they suck and half ov em are dead

AstroChuck's avatar

@Chaosweaver-
1) They don’t now, nor have they ever sucked.
2) It’s spelled of, not ov. (Do I even have to point out ‘em?)
3) All four were young and very much alive in 1969.

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