Saturday, August 29, 2015

Creative Contemporaries - Woodstock 3

Iconic contemporaries of our iconic Fiat 124 Spider. From my website  SPIDERSWEB.NL


WHO WAS THERE?   WHAT DID THEY PLAY?  ( click for more details ).
Saturday was the day of the well-known names such as  THE GRATEFUL DEAD,  JANIS JOPLIN  and  THE WHO. The first played their worst concert ever. It was raining and the members of the band got electrical shocks continuously because of the enormous water trouble with all the electrical instruments on stage.

JANIS JOPLIN  had one of the highlights of her career that resulted in a definitive confirmation as a rock-icon. For The Who it meant the salvation of the band. Their recently released rock opera Tommy was after all a major financial disaster and only after the triumph at Woodstock their double album was sold like a hot dog.

JOE COCKER ( HERE or  HERE )  THE BAND,  CROSBY, STILLS, NASH  & YOUNG,  TEN YEARS AFTER  and others played on Sunday. As the smashing conclusion there was the breathtaking show of  JIMI HENDRIX. He started his repertoire at nine o'clock in the morning on Monday and made an unforgettable GRAND FINALE  in which Hendrix played and teared apart the American National Anthem by playing through it the sound of  exploding bombs, jet planes and machine gunfire as his flaming protest against the Vietnam war.
The massive exodus started after his last chords. It was only after days that the traffic in Bethel was back to normal again.

For the organizers the festival stood for a financial disaster of at least two and a half million dollars. This sum was forked out without blinking the eyes by the Roberts family, that earned back a multiplication of this amount for film rights and many released collection albums in the years after.

Woodstock also became a magical aura owing to the movie made by  MICHAEL WADLEIGH.
He rounded up a crew of about 100 from the New York Film scene, including the ( at that time ) unknown movie director  MARTIN SCORSESE. Wadleigh couldn't pay them until much later, but he could get them inside the event of the summer. The crew signed on a double-or-nothing basis. If the film made it, they'd get twice regular pay. If the film bombed, they'd lose.
Wadleigh's plot ran like this: Woodstock would be a modern-day  CANTERBURY TALE,  a pilgrimage back to the land. He wanted the film to be as much about the  HIPPIES  who trekked to Woodstock as about the  MUSIC ON STAGE.  He wanted the stories of the young people, their feelings about the Vietnam War, about the times. The stories of the townspeople and the chaos. These would make the film, not just the music.

The movie meant - together with the triple album - free publicity for the artists for many years. When seeing the movie pictures now one realises that the Summer of Love mainly was a spiritual event, because for the human body this Woodstock weekend was just in one word: exhausting.

Despite the rain and the excessive consumption of alcohol and drugs there was no violence at the festival whatsoever. The Woodstock festival was the subculture  HIGHLIGHT OF THE SIXTIES      and of the hippie era.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Creative Contemporaries - Woodstock 2

Iconic contemporaries of our iconic Fiat 124 Spider. From my website  SPIDERSWEB.NL


THREE DAYS OF LOVE & PEACE  ( click for more details ).
After the deal with farmer  MAX YASGUR, the organisation got down immediately but the Bethel residents had read about the worries in  WALLKILL: drugs, traffic, sewage and water. Public fury mounted once more. They did not like at all the perspective having ten thousands of  HIPPIES  in their backyard. A variety of attempts to stop the festival, failed.

The opposition plotted a last-minute strategy to stop the show: a human barricade across Route 17B on the day before the concert. As soon as this news was on national radio the consequences were disastrous: from Tuesday on  THE ROADS TO BETHEL  were crowded with people on their way to the concert.

The  TRAFFIC JAM  just grew spectacular in the course of the week. Spectators just left their cars everywhere and camped in gardens and on the festival grounds. Woodstock's momentum was accelerating like a runaway train. At that time, it had progressed so far, any kind of order to stop it would have just resulted in chaos.

On Thursday the organisation found out, that it was absolutely impossible to move the two dozen ticket booths into position because there were already more than 100.000 people walking around, too many cars and abandoned (vacant) tents blocking the way.

"My most vivid memory was that there was this chain-link, CYCLONE FENCE  that went all the way around," said Bert Feldman, who was working security on the hill near the Hog Farm base. "I had the uncanny feeling that there were 500 million people there. Suddenly, the fence was no more. TRAMPLED  into the mud. It disappeared like magic."
Organizer and promoter Michael Lang said he never exactly decided Woodstock would become a free show. But he did decide to make the announcement. "It was kind of like stating the obvious," he said.
And because of the complete inaccessibility to the grounds in a normal way, all the artists had to be flown in  BY HELICOPTER.

The festival should have started on Friday late in the afternoon, but around four o'clock the completely stoned  Tim Hardin  and folksinger Richie Havens were the only artists present.

The organizers decided that  RICHIE HAVENS  just should start and continue to play till another singer or band would arrive. Finally he played more than two hours, before Coutry Joe was pushed on stage.
In turn he also improvised through his repertoire as long as he was able to and was relieved hastily by John Sebastien (of Lovin' Spoonful) who happened to be around as a spectator.

Later on bands like Sly & The Family Stone, the Indian sitar player RAVI SHANKAR, JOAN BAEZ  and  MELANIE  followed. This last singer made her appearance during a kind of mini-hurricane that turned the grounds and the entire area at 3 a.m. in the morning into an inconceivable PUDDLE OF MUD  and clay.

The shock and bewilderment about the gigantic rain flood was total and a lot of spectators were living in the days that followed in a nightmare. The scenes made one think of a  REFUGEE CAMP  rather than of a summer festival. Army units provided on a voluntary basis the declared disaster area of food and medication.

Couples lost their children, many did not find again the car of their parents and others lost consciousness because of drinking acid-water unsuspectingly. The  MEDICAL CARE TENTS  were flooded by people who stepped on pieces of broken glass and above all by drug victims.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Creative Contemporaries - Woodstock 1

Iconic contemporaries of our iconic Fiat 124 Spider from my website  SPIDERSWEB.NL
In time I will republish most of my files, photos, images, videos and music of my worldwide 
well-attended former website on this blog again.


In the very early years of our  FIAT 124 SPIDER  a unique music spectacle took place that was unparalleled in history: WOODSTOCK.

Although  LIVE 8  was the largest television event held at different locations in the world that mankind ever observed before, at the largest visited location  HYDE PARK  in London there were no more than 200.000 visitors gathered and cannot be compared at all with the Woodstock crowd where almost 500.000 people shared three days and nights with each other, even in heavy storm and rain !

THE WOODSTOCK MUSIC & ART FAIR  in 1969 drew almost half a million people to a pasture in  SULLIVAN COUNTY. For four days, the site became a counter cultural mini-nation in which minds were open, drugs were all but legal and love was "free".

The music began Friday afternoon at 5:07 pm August 15 and continued until mid-morning Monday August 18. The festival closed the  NEW YORK STATE THRUWAY  and created one of the NATION'S WORST TRAFFIC JAMS.  It also inspired a slew of local and state laws to ensure that nothing like it would ever happen again.

Gathered that weekend in 1969 were liars and lovers, prophets and profiteers. They made love,
they made money and they made a little history. ARNOLD SKOLNICK, the artist who designed Woodstock's dove-and-guitar symbol, described it this way: "Something was tapped, a nerve, in this country. And everybody just came."

The counterculture's biggest bash - it ultimately cost more than $2.4 million - was sponsored by
FOUR VERY DIFFERENT, AND VERY YOUNG MEN, namely: John Roberts, Joel Rosenman, ARTIE KORNFELD  and  MICHAEL LANG. The oldest of the four was 26. John Roberts supplied the money. He was heir to a drugstore and toothpaste manufacturing fortune. He had a multimillion-dollar trust fund, a University of Pennsylvania degree and a lieutenant's commission in the Army. He had seen exactly one rock concert, by the Beach Boys.

The four men founded Woodstock Ventures in the spring of 1969 and planned a large-scale rock festival at an industrial park in Walkill, about 60 miles from New-York.
By early April, the promoters were carefully cultivating the Woodstock image in the underground press, in publications like the Village Voice and Rolling Stone magazine. Ads began to run in The New York Times and The Times Herald-Record in May. For Artie Kornfeld, Woodstock wasn't a matter of building stages, signing acts or even selling tickets. For him, the festival was always a state of mind, a happening that would exemplify the generation.

The group settled on the concrete slogan of  "Three Days of Peace and Music" and downplayed the highly conceptual  THEME OF AQUARIUS. The promoters figured "peace" would link the anti-war sentiment to the rock concert. They also wanted to avoid any violence and figured that a slogan with 'peace' in it would help keep order.

They attracted the most popular artists from the psychedelic music scene: JIMI HENDRIX  and JEFFERSON AIRPLANE. These musicians got paid double the amount what they used to get. Jimi Hendrix would just receive for the finale 32.0000 dollars, whereas The Who got 12.500 dollars. Bands such as Jefferson Airplane and Creedence Clearwater Revival also received more than 10.000 dollars, amounts that were unprecedented in those days.

The residents of Wallkill had heard of hippies, drugs and rock concerts, and after the Woodstock advertising hit The New York Times, The Times Herald-Record and the radio stations, local residents knew that a three-day rock show, maybe the biggest ever, was coming. Besides, Woodstock Venture's employees sure looked like hippies. In the minds of many people, long hair and shabby clothes were associated with left-wing politics and drug use. So, the few thousand inhabitants of Walkill became anxious and succeeded in banning the festival on July 15.
Up to that moment a lot of ads were published and quite a number of bands were booked. After a feverish search the organising Ventures stumbled across the land of the largest dairy farmer and the biggest milk producer of Sullivan County:  MAX YASGUR.

Yasgur was an enterprising and dynamic farmer who had gone to New York University and studied real estate law. He rented the fields near Bethel, at about 60 miles from the real Woodstock on July 20. The lay of the land was perfect. The sloping bowl, a little rise for  THE STAGE. A lake in the background. The deal was sealed with the organisers right there in the fields of Yagur's farm for 75.000 dollars.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Two dazzling Enzo Ferrari Museums

Last year in June, when I made my round trip through North and Mid-Italy with my always loyal, PERFECTLY RUNNING 124 SPIDER, I stayed two days in the small city of  FORMIGINE  in the district  EMILIA ROMAGNA  in Northern Italy.
After a wonderful dinner in a superb small restaurant in a nearby hamlet, I consulted - back in my hotel - the local maps and navigation, planning a tour for the next day.

Although I did not plan or intend to visit any (!) tourist town, city, event, monument or touristic sight in  MY ITALIAN ROUNDTRIP  other than my favorite rural  AGRITURISMO  accommodations such as olive grove farms and vineyard estates, I found out to my completely unexpected surprise that Maranello was merely  5,7 KM.  and Modena  12,5 KM.  away from my hotel in Formigine.

Although visiting these places of Ferrari- pilgrimage never crossed my mind, I changed my original planned tour and visited the  FERRARI  FACTORY , where I blocked the  MAIN ENTRANCE  for a while, THE STORE  and  THE MUSEUM  in Maranello as well as the museum in  MODENA (OLD)  and  ( NEW ),  where at that moment was an extraordinary exhibition of  "100 years of  Maserati" in a dazzling  FUTURISTIC BUILT MUSEUM , the  MUSEO ENZO FERRARI MODENA.

Talking about pilgrimage: In Maranello I met a nice couple from California who exclusively came to Italy to visit  THESE TWO FERRARI EXHIBITIONS  only. (Sorry for the short ad right at the start)

I experienced not only the story of Enzo Ferrari told by a spectacular 360 degrees video, which with a total of 19 projectors captivated me completely ( see  HERE  for a short summary of this amazing show ) and placed the car models on display in their historical context alongside the men and drivers who created and drove them, but I admired also the most famous Maserati models on display in its  CENTENARY MASERATI  history.
A unique exhibition that was opened just  THREE DAYS BEFORE  on June 19. 2014.

And to be honest, looking back I was really glad I changed my route for a few days.
It was just one of my not-planned but great surprises during my  SPIDER ROUND TRIP  in Italy.

Monday, August 3, 2015

About Italian automotive design 3

From Petrolicious by Yoav Gilad
More recently, another American has shaken up the Italian status quo. JASON CASTRIOTA hails from the New York City area and took an internship at Pininfarina while still a student at Art Center College of Design. When his internship ended, he dropped out of school and stayed in Torino as an employee where he worked on the FERRARI 599 GTB FIORANO as well as other clients’ projects.

 His work was so appreciated that he was named Head Designer for Special Projects. It is there that he executed what may be his best-known work: The  FERRARI P4/5 BY PININFARINA. It was based on the  FERRARI ENZO  ( and HERE  )  but completely redesigned to pay homage to the FERRARI P3/4  ( and HERE  )  endurance racers of the 1960s. Additionally, Castriota designed a one-off  FERRARI 612, AS A SOPHISTICATED LADY ( or HERE )  called the Kappa based on the Scaglietti and bodied entirely out of aluminum.

To see more of Castriota's creations, click  HERE  and  HERE.

Now let’s be clear: Ferrari is a purely Italian phenomenon.
But it’s Ferrari North America’s sixtieth anniversary and like  LUIGI CHINETTI SR.  and  JUNIOR contributing to Ferrari’s success during the early days, we’re recognizing a couple of American contributions to the storied marque in the field of design that might be surprising to some.