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woodstock 99

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After seeing the new woodstock 99 documentary on HBO (which by the way is fucking horrifying), I find myself wanting to learn more about the chems at woodstock.

I am currently watching the show on youtube, but I'm interested in learning more about the context. A lot of performers have spoken about their experience there - do we know anything about the kind of experience the chems had performing at the festival? Were any board members actually there?


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LOL, Jay Bauman of Red Letter Media tweeted basically the same thing this morning. Now you guys got me intrigued.

On a Coachella related note... Shakermaker, do you remember the late residential über hippy and self admitting pedophile, Colorado Ron? He was most certainly there.

Also, this exists: https://forum.thechembase.com/index.php/topic,134.msg27138.html#msg27138

(not sure if this is actually from Woodstock)
« Last Edit: Jul 25, 2021, 18:47 by Bosco »  


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I just caught the documentary. It was fun to see some old faces and stir up some old memories and was basically a reminder of how I remember MTV covering it at that time.

The abundance of exposed flesh (specifically, the encouragement of), molestation, and alleged cases of rape, was super YIKES. If you were a Woman, your well being was significantly more in danger than that of a Male attendee. Unfortunately, I suppose this kinda holds true to today for most festivals to some degree, but there was no where near as much accountability as there is today.

I cringed at the end when they contrasted it to Coachella, specifically in its inaugural year of 1999 and praising their execution. I think Coachella had ~1/10 of the crowd that Woodstock had in 1999. These festivals where worlds apart at that given time. To be honest, despite all of Woodstock 99's failures, those failures were a checklist of obstacles that had to be overcome and would be the precedent for the future major music festivals (Coachella, Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, etc.) in the United States.

Someone in the documentary makes mention about massive crowds that you can see at the main stages and being engulfed into a crowd and you're no longer yourself but part of a singular organism. That was spot on.

Hey Ed or Tom, and anyone from the crew please chime in with your experience, good or bad!
« Last Edit: Jul 30, 2021, 21:39 by Bosco »  


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I think it's BS that they blamed Limp Bizkit for the chaos. I watched the doc. Anything for the organizers to not take blame for their failures. It just showed how slimy the organizers are and refuse to take responsibility for their choices.

I'm not a Limp fan, but they put on a hell of a show. I'll give them that. That one song where they went back and forth with the crowd to get them to cheer, then jump when it kicked in. The energy was massive.

As for Chems, nice to see Flashback get played. Back in the day, we had illegal cable, which gave us all the PPV channels. I used to have entire Woodstock 99 on tape. I remember watching the Chems performance live.


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I think it's BS that they blamed Limp Bizkit for the chaos. I watched the doc. Anything for the organizers to not take blame for their failures. It just showed how slimy the organizers are and refuse to take responsibility for their choices. 

Agree. But was that the documentary's conclusion, or just social media's reaction to this documentary? That was a problem with this film, it had great footage but really wasn't focused and let journalists with agendas spout off. They really had it out for Nu Metal scene and young white men. There was festivals all over America celebrating Nu Metal in the form of Family Values Tour, OzzFest, Projekt Revolution, etc... all of them with large and aggressive crowds and none becoming the massive clusterfuck that was Woodstock 99.


edit: Also, wish Moby would stop speaking on these things. I like his music and he has good taste in music, but he comes off so damn desperate for attention.
« Last Edit: Jul 31, 2021, 01:51 by Bosco »  


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Agree. But was that the documentary's conclusion, or just social media's reaction to this documentary? That was a problem with this film, it had great footage but really wasn't focused and let journalists with agendas spout off. They really had it out for Nu Metal scene and young white men. There was festivals all over America celebrating Nu Metal in the form of Family Values Tour, OzzFest, Projekt Revolution, etc... all of them with large and aggressive crowds and none becoming the massive clusterfuck that was Woodstock 99.


edit: Also, wish Moby would stop speaking on these things. I like his music and he has good taste in music, but he comes off so damn desperate for attention.

The bands were being blamed way before this documentary. This doc goes full on and it just bullshit. The people behind the event booked these bands. They knew very well the type of energy their music has. This was not the soft rock music of 1969. To be honest, I think MTV has a huge part of the blame for the behavior of people at this event. The whole sexualization and objectification of women began with MTV's college Spring Break events. It was all that drunk white frat boy party vibe and having girls in skimpy outfits. It's as if MTV forgot they did all that and put that on TV and celebrated the drunken buffoonery. Every spring, it would be a huge event on MTV to celebrate drunken college kids going crazy. The generation of "white kids" they keep trying to blame were the very same kids MTV catered to here in the US. Hell, Limp Bizkit even performed at one of MTV Spring Break fashion events. I could only imagine the stuff swept under the rug at these MTV events. Every year, those Spring Break weeks got worse. But this kind of partying behavior, gawking at half naked women all stemmed from these college Spring Break events MTV went to, set up, and celebrated. Woodstock was a generation raised on that crap. I'm not sure this Spring Break stuff was a thing overseas.

Yeah, Moby is just so full of shit. "I knew something was wrong." What nonsense. He made sure to perform though so he could get paid. Perhaps if he really was so worried and knew what was wrong,he should've just said he was not performing. But he loves to set himself up after the fact as the wise one who knew there was an issue before everyone else. I can't stand him.

Also, from someone watching Woodstock 99 live on Pay Per View, people were breaking stuff before Limp Bizkit even started. Even before they played Break Stuff, people were already ripping the boards off the towers. Also, Limp made sure to take some breaks in between songs so the crowd could chill/calm down, even played some chiller songs throughout the set so it wasn't all just heavy stuff. Fred even said, "If you see someone fall, help pick them up." They made it like he commanded the audience to smash stuff when the audience were already doing it on their own.

There are only two sides to blame...
The organizers who put it all badly together, letting their greed win out. They should've booked more light, hippy bands if that's what they wanted. But we all know that wouldn't have sold as many tickets. Plus it doesn't seem like they did a good job with the security.

MTV, for celebrating and promoting the exact behavior seen at Woodstock all the years leading up to it. These drunken young people are the audience MTV helped create and catered to. Own up to it.

The bands were just doing what they do, performing the music they're all known for making. Nothing more. They're the least of that festival's issues.
« Last Edit: Jul 31, 2021, 18:46 by neorev »  


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But was that the documentary's conclusion, or just social media's reaction to this documentary?

Korn's Jonathan Davis said it years ago. Limp Bizkit already had lost control over the crowd, then they still went on and played Break Stuff - and all hell broke loose.
There happened so much more during this festival, but i think it was this exact moment where it had reached a point of no return. I don't know if LP realized it at the moment, because from stage you maybe just see the people have a big party - espacially when the crowd is so huge you can't see every spot.
On the other hand, nobody knows what could have happened if they stopped the show midway.
no idea, no idea


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Well done, Neorev. And thanks for taking the time to write that out. That's a great point with MTV and their spring break shenanigans.


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Also, all the fires and riots happened on Sunday.

Jonathan Davis has some nerve to blame Limp Bizkit, especially since Korn performed on Friday, which there was a gang rape during Korn's set. There was a rape during Limp Bizkit's Saturday set while 3 other rapes happened in the campgrounds.

But the messed up behavior was happening the day before Limp Bizkit took the stage. Limp Bizkit were easy targets to blame, just like they blamed Marilyn Manson for Columbine. I was 15 in 1999, growing up on MTV here in the US. All the signs were there. MTV wanna now pretend they were the enemy and had nothing to do with it, but it was MTV who created this generation. Yes, MTV decided to abandon them to chase the dollar of the boy bands. But that was crowd was exactly the same crowd MTV raised and promoted.

Here's a sexual assault story from 1990 involving Flea and Chad Smith of Red Hot Chili Peppers at an MTV Spring Break event...

Both also had to apologize in writing to the 20-year-old college student from Virginia who was attacked on the sand last March 14 during the taping of an MTV Spring Break broadcast

According to beach rangers, the woman was dancing on the sand when Balzary picked her up and swung her around on his shoulder. Despite her repeated protests and attempts to free herself, she was thrown onto the sand.

Balzary and Smith spanked her and tried to peel off her swimsuit bottom. The woman fell to the sand and Balzary knelt on her legs, yelling at her to perform a sex act, authorities said.


Source:
https://apnews.com/article/bbef0882ea5c9285a42499f7fdc34d2a

How interesting that Red Hot Chili Peppers would perform at Woodstock 1999. This was the type of shit going on at MTV Spring Break going back to 1990, culminating with Woodstock 1999. I also believe this led to the death of MTV. This was THEIR audience. They couldn't go back to that. So they went full on after boy bands to try and make it like MTV had a wholesale image of youth and innocence. But that was never gonna last because fans of boy bands grow up and grow out of boy bands.
« Last Edit: Jul 31, 2021, 19:11 by neorev »  


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Dang, I know it's impossible to be a rock superstar without some questionable moments but that is an extremely bad moment for Flea. Dude has spent most his life a goof, but it's hard to deny he's a very like-able person.

Anyways, we've gotten really carried away with the documentary and less how it's related to Chems. Mods, if you think we've gotten too far off topic, please feel free to move our mess to the "now watching" thread.


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Also, all the fires and riots happened on Sunday.

Jonathan Davis has some nerve to blame Limp Bizkit, especially since Korn performed on Friday, which there was a gang rape during Korn's set. There was a rape during Limp Bizkit's Saturday set while 3 other rapes happened in the campgrounds.

But the messed up behavior was happening the day before Limp Bizkit took the stage. Limp Bizkit were easy targets to blame, just like they blamed Marilyn Manson for Columbine. I was 15 in 1999, growing up on MTV here in the US. All the signs were there. MTV wanna now pretend they were the enemy and had nothing to do with it, but it was MTV who created this generation. Yes, MTV decided to abandon them to chase the dollar of the boy bands. But that was crowd was exactly the same crowd MTV raised and promoted...

Well he also DID climbed atop one of the wooden pallets they ripped off the stage and continued rapping, so it does kinda put LB under bad light since it did seem encouraging.
that and Red Hot Chili peppers performing Jimi Hendrix's Fire for the encore  which caused the crowd to make more fires (yes I know it was at the request of his sister so it was really wrong place wrong time).
"The music Gets Louder, The Lights swirl faster, the chap who freaks out hasn't passed the acid test... A surprising number of these youngsters don't even know who Timothy Leary is..."


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Honestly, the whole idea around Woodstock 1969 is a sham. It is an idealized version of events, brought to you by marketing and a movie to make you believe it was all peace and love. Meanwhile 69 had a couple deaths, as well as Woodstock 1994.

Woodstock 1994 had 2 on site deaths and overdoses...
https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-1994-08-19-9408190188-story.html

Maybe Woodstock was always a nightmare
https://www.washingtonpost.com/arts-entertainment/2019/08/13/riots-deaths-sexual-assault-maybe-woodstock-was-always-nightmare/

Honestly, Woodstock events were always on the brink of disaster.  Most people only remember Woodstock 69 by the movie.


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I have no problem with Woodstock 69 being romanced (particularly by Boomers) as one of the defying moments of its generation. Yes, with the help of retrospect we have the benefit of critizing it as a disaster in waiting, and fairly so, because some of the blunders are massive oversights. But it really was the first of its kind. Then add the fact that it included the culmination of some of the most influential rock musicians during a very convoluted era of culture change. And no denying the movie aided it's legacy.

Fast-forwarding to Woodstock 94 and 99. Is it a sham at these points? Yes. The mistakes are nowhere near as forgivable, and marketing yourself as an event with the idealism of 69 is terribly narcissistic.

I will say this about all 3 Woodstocks... They definitely weren't sterile. Unlike your run-of-the-mill summer music festivals out there, each one of these concerts took on a life of their own, for good or for worse.


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all good points. it was very much a culmination of a lot of things, not any one person's fault. (though John Scher really need to fucking take ownership of his part in it. fuck that guy so hard.)

having spent a bit of time since reviewing the rest of the festival lineup I feel like this particular documentary was very one sided. (not at all surprising.) so I'm very curious what the rest, less headline-worthy, side of the festival was like. in particular I noticed a much more diverse-looking audience watching the Chems' set when I later watched that on the 'tube. hence wondering what a Chems fan's experience might have been like - a better experience overall, or was their set a gem in the middle of a very unpleasant weeeknd? sounds like we don't have any first-hand accounts, though.


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Well it just so happens that I’m currently reading Michaelangelo Matos’ The Underground Is Massive - a dance-music history I’d definitely recommend, charting the scene from Detroit and Chicago up to the mid-2010s EDM boom through accounts of a bunch of landmark parties, threaded together with old Usenet posts not too dissimilar to what we get up to here - and it has a segment on Woodstock ‘99 that, while not documenting the Chems set directly, gives you a sense of what it was like to be on the ground for the dance-tent portion of the event. tl;dr a great lineup and residual PLUR-isms might’ve helped, but it’s not like dance music was going to be any less susceptible to the scary side of hedonism in an environment like this. Here’s the coverage in full:

Quote (selected)
Following Even Furthur ’96, David Prince had gotten into band management; he was done by 1999. He found a job in New York fact checking for Spin, where he became the go-to festival guy: “Everyone who worked there just wasn’t interested in getting in the mud.”
Prince wound up with tickets to Woodstock ’99, which featured a Rave Hangar—half-indoor, half-outdoor—headlined by Fatboy Slim and Moby. The dance acts were a damn sight better than all the leaden boomer worship (Bruce Hornsby, Rusted Root, Sheryl Crow) and nü-metal (Godsmack, Korn, Limp Bizkit); the lineup like eating tar before you even got there. Nevertheless, Prince was game: “I was not on assignment. I was just there.” Once again, he car-camped.
John Scher, one of Woodstock ’99’s promoters, was the head of Metropolitan Entertainment, whose corporate owner, Odgen Entertainment, sold the festival’s vendors their food and set the prices high. “Suburban amphitheaters—sheds—often pay the talent ninety-five percent of the door income,” says Gerry Gerrard, who booked the Chemical Brothers on the main stage. “They make their money on the food, alcohol, parking. I’ve never liked it. It feels to me like, ‘Get the audience in, take them by the ankles, and shake every penny out of their pockets.’ John Scher told me, ‘Well, Gerry, you’re fighting against the whole of the concert industry in America.’”
Concert prices were skyrocketing. “Three years ago, ticket prices of $50–$70 stood out like a sore thumb,” Pollstar editor Gary Bongiovanni told a reporter. “In 1998, those prices are not at all surprising.” Tickets for Woodstock ’99 were $180 at the door. When you arrived, there was no comfort to speak of—a former airstrip with nowhere to sit, no shade, and no free water anywhere but on the far perimeters—in the middle of constant July heat. More then ten thousand people received medical treatment that weekend, mostly for too much sun.
“The photo pit from day one was like a M.A.S.H. unit, people constantly being thrown over and carried out on stretchers,” says Prince. “It was chaos. The crowd was ugly. You could feel the security disappearing. Nobody was in charge.” The sanitation staff—underage, undertrained, underpaid, underfed, under-watered—was walking out en masse by midafternoon, after the porta-potties began to leak. “There were these gross mud puddles,” says Prince. Gerrard, with his wife and kids backstage in a motor home, recalls that the VIP campers’ tents “were in the runoff of the overflow from the porta-potties.”
The mook-rock that dominated the lineup had brought out a similarly boorish crowd—Lord of the Flies with backward baseball caps and cargo shorts. Everywhere, beefy men surrounded smaller women and chanted, “Show your tits!” until they were too intimidated to say no. Eight women reported being raped; eyewitnesses recounted more. It was even dangerous backstage. “The dressing room trailer was on [the end of] a scaffold,” says Marci Weber, there Friday for Moby’s performance. “It was a mini-RV. There were two doors, and the door to nowhere wasn’t locked.”
Moby played to a crowd of twenty-five thousand; an NYC-Raver, presumably familiar with the city’s club excesses, posted that the tent had “the most open drug usage I’ve ever seen.” Many shed their clothes entirely; cuddle puddles turned to outright orgies. The following night, with Fatboy Slim headlining, was even crazier. “It was truly one of the more wild things I’ve ever seen, especially for those kids,” says Prince. “They had never seen anything like it. People went fucking apeshit. It was great.”
But outside the tent was also an all-too-real demonstration of what people were starting to resent about big beat—its easy thrills and heavy whiff of testosterone made it a soundtrack to something far removed from the beat-geekery that set it in motion. “There were lots of jokes about ‘Frat-Boy Slim,’” says Cook, who concedes: “I suppose ‘Rockafeller Skank’ became an anthem for that sort of beer-boyish mentality. The whole big beat thing got out of hand. It had got a bit frat-boy: ‘Wheee! Let’s all get drunk and party!’”
At Woodstock ’99, the bonhomie that fueled Fatboy Slim’s DJ sets was in short supply, leaving only the aggression. “I [went on] the moment after the main stage was shut down,” says Cook. “It had been quite peaceful during the day. I didn’t notice any undercurrent.” That changed once he got on the decks. “It pretty much kicked off during my set, from what I can gather.” Early on, a fourteen-foot U-Haul carrying a half-pipe—intended as a skateboarding ramp elsewhere on the site—barreled in. “Somebody drove [it] right into the middle of the crowd,” says Cook. “The suspension collapsed. It was one of those proper Woodstock moments, like the brown acid [in 1969].” His voice switches to perfect American loudspeaker: “We have to get the van out. Fatboy Slim cannot play till we remove the van from the crowd.”
Typically, a post-show Cook was a garrulous Cook. Not at Woodstock. “When I got off the stage, they put me straight into the car, straight to the airport: ‘Don’t talk to anyone.’ It was very unusual. I figured they were telling me to get out of there because they just figured I’d stay there about another thirty-six hours and get lost in some field. My American agent could see what was going on and said, ‘Look, we’ve got to get out of here.’ I flew straight back to England. By the time I got home, I saw footage on the news of my dressing room on fire.”

(...Personally, my take has always been that if there was a compelling reason to throw another Woodstock in 1999, it was so the Surrender-era Chemical Brothers could play it. The recording of that set, if nothing else, has some magic to it.)
« Last Edit: Aug 03, 2021, 07:51 by Champiness »  
I need the Miguel version of the album


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Does the extended version audio only exist of this set? I’ve had Woodstock 99 audio of the Chems for years, but after watching this set I’ve realized my audio is a condensed version.


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https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-features/woodstock-99-anniversary-podcast-865490/

This is a Rolling Stone podcast episode from 2019 looking back at the festival. Within the discussion one of the journalist highly praises Chemical Brothers performance. Nice to hear from a neutral opinion.

Jump to 24:30(ish):

https://megaphone.link/STONE2256358958 (don't think it will embed properly)

The host kinda quickly turns the page pretty quick, but they kinda continue discussion of them back at 27:20(ish)

Listened to the whole discussion, and it's mostly everything that the documentary on HBO hit upon. Although, one interesting note that I did learn through this, the airbase which the festival was located at, was/is a federal Superfund site.
« Last Edit: Aug 20, 2021, 19:28 by Bosco »  


 

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