This weekend is the 40th Anniversary of Woodstock, and one can’t escape the memories. 400.000 people! Not enough food! Lots of mud! In the middle of all of that is a statistic that hardly seems to be mentioned, but is none toe less pretty amazing:
There were 32 acts that played over the three days. Although several of the artists have passed away, all but three of the artists are still, in one form or another, making relevant music, touring extensively, and three of the acts, (The Who, Santana and the Grateful Dead) are continually selling out major arenas and generating millions of dollars in revenue to this day. (See list below.)
Last weekend in my hometown of Chicago, we experienced the biggest music festival of the year in America. 170 bands on 5 stages. From what I heard, a great time was had by all! My question for the week is thus:
Out of those 170 artists playing last week, will any still be making music in 40 years? 20 years? 10 years? I feel that this is a prime example explaining why the music business has completely shifted on it’s axis. Gone are the days of artist development, staying with an artist even if CD sales aren’t that great to start, and working with an artist to build a long and successful career. Seems that the system in the era we are in today is:
Sign as many bands as they can- throw them all out in the world and it back and see if any of them stick- and drop the rest of them! It also includes not cultivating or respecting the media, which can greatly help in breaking an artist. So we now see artists appear and a year later disappear into the where are they now files, to reappear 10 years later on “one hit wonders” compilations.
Oh well, times change and business models change!
Richie Havens Has about 60 dates booked into mid 2010
Country Joe McDonald Plays about 50 shows a year, down from 200 a year
John B. Sebastian Has 18 dates on his website through the end of 2009
Sweetwater Were playing with most of the original members as late as 1999
Incredible String Band A full reunion of the original three members took place in 1999. Since then, this line-up has been playing together regularly around the UK.
Bert Sommer Passed away July 23, 1990
Tim Hardin Passed away December 29, 1980
Ravi Shankar Has about 20 dates in 2009 on his website
Melanie Has about 20 dates in 2009 on her website
Arlo Guthrie Has about 20 dates in 2009 on his website
Joan Baez Has about 60 dates in 2009
Quill Disbanded in the Spring of 1970, going their separate ways, leaving a major asterisk in the history of the late ’60’s rock culture explosion.
Keef Hartley Band Band broke up in 1972. In 2007, Hartley released a ghost written autobiography, Halfbreed (A Rock and Roll Journey That Happened Against All The Odds)
Santana Tours extensively in arenas to this day
Canned Heat Plays an average of 100 shows a year with some original members
Grateful Dead Have grossed 26.4 million dollars this year
Mountain Leslie West is still touring and is releasing an instructional DVD this year. He was recently at my house giving me crap about my Costco buying habits!
Creedence Clearwater Band John Fogerty just released a new album this week with Bruce Springsteen guesting on an Everly Brothers song
Sly & The Family Stone Sly is still trying!
Janis Joplin Passed away October 4, 1970
The Who Still touring extensively
Jefferson Airplane Most members are still working and touring regularly
Joe Cocker Has about 20 dates in 2009 on his website
Country Joe & The Fish Plays about 50 shows a year, down from 200 a year
Ten Years After About 15 dates in 2009, with 3 original members
The Band Living members are still making great music and touring
Blood Sweat And Tears Still touring but with no original musicians
Johnny Winter Played a great set at the Chicago Blues Festival last year
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young Still touring solo and as a group
Paul Butterfield Blues Band Passed away May 4, 1987.
Sha-Na-Na In the middle of a 40 show tour as we speak.
Jimi Hendrix Passed away September 18, 1970