Rocks In The Attic #782: Santana – ‘Woodstock, Saturday, August 16, 1969’ (1969)

RITA#782Featuring a 20-year old Michael Shrieve on drums, the youngest performer at the festival, Santana’s set at Woodstock started at 2pm on the Saturday afternoon. Carlos Santana was only 21 himself, as he walked onto the stage, virtually unknown. 45 minutes later he’d be a household name in the making.

Soul Sacrifice is easily a standout performance on Michael Wadleigh’s documentary film of the festival, and Shrieve’s blustering drum fills are a big reason why. It’s one of my favourite moments in the film. I’ve never liked the night-time performances in the film, as the lighting rig was extremely basic, but these daytime performances in the stark sunshine of New York state look amazing.

RITA#782abHaving read about the forgettable performances which took place during the Friday, it almost feels like Santana kick-started the festival when they played on the Saturday afternoon. Having listened to WXPN’s online stream of the festival in “real time” to mark its 50th anniversary last weekend, it appears that the next band to play with anywhere close to the same kind of energy was Creedence, ten hours later in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Hendrix’s 3 x LP set has long been a regular visitor to my turntable, but these individual performance Woodstock LPs that have started to see the light of day in the last couple of years are great, and are starting to become quite an addiction. Santana’s set was released for Record Store Day in 2017, and this year’s Record Store Day also added performances by Janis Joplin and The Kozmic Blues Band, and Sly And The Family Stone to my collection. I’ve also recently acquired Johnny Winter’s performance (spoiler alert: that albino genius can PLAY the guitar, although his singing sounds like Bobcat Goldthwait), and Jefferson Airplane’s 3 x LP set is en route.

My fingers are crossed for Sha-Na-Na’s performance to be released for Record Store Day 2020. I can see the gold lamé jumpsuits now…

Hit: Soul Sacrifice

Hidden Gem: Waiting


4 thoughts on “Rocks In The Attic #782: Santana – ‘Woodstock, Saturday, August 16, 1969’ (1969)

  1. greenpete58

    The Guardian article you linked to was terrible. Many mistakes. (He confuses John Morris with Chip Monck at one point, and mistakenly says Arlo Guthrie was an “unknown,” amongst other errors.) Also, although Incredible String Band were low-key and would have fit better on Friday night, their songs had a simple grace and presented a nice, British, “gentle hippie” aspect to the festival. Also, you say that Friday night was “forgettable,” but I urge you to revisit Richie Havens, Bert Sommer (the first standing ovation of Woodstock, for “America”) and Joan Baez’ spine-tingling rendition of “Swing Low Sweet Chariot.”

    I agree however that “Soul Sacrifice” was a highlight!

  2. mrjohnnyandrews Post author

    Yeah, that Guardian article was more a humorous review than anything else, I think. I hear you on Richie Havens and Joan Baez – it was more the likes of Sweetwater and Melanie that I was happy to miss out on. I will try and check out the Bert Sommer set though – thanks for the tip!

  3. Pingback: Rocks In The Attic #787: Jefferson Airplane – ‘Woodstock, Sunday, August 17, 1969′ (1969) | Vinyl Stylus

  4. Pingback: Rocks In The Attic #861: Johnny Winter – ‘Woodstock, Sunday, August 17, 1969’ (1969) | Vinyl Stylus

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