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For three world-famous days in August 1969, 500,000 people spontaneously gathered for a happening like nothing before or since. Peace and love, aromatic smoke and the sounds of the greatest rock n roll show wafted through the air to become the legendary event that’s never been duplicated. Forty years later, Woodstock is still celebrated for the spirit it represents.
As part of the Academy Award-winning “Woodstock” documentary team, still photographer Barry Z Levine captured it all. Arriving days before the crowd, when the site was still a grassy cow pasture and continuing to photograph long after the last of them had departed, when it had become a debris strew mud hole, Levine took so many pictures that he had blisters on his index finger and thumb from clicking the shutter and advancing the film. Over the course of that tumultuous week, the only time he stopped was for a 45-minute nap on the piano cover on stage during the Blood, Sweat & Tears performance.
Nearly 300 of Levine’s full color photographs, many never-before-seen, are together for the first time in his new book, THE WOODSTOCK STORY BOOK (Channel Photographics/Brunswick Institute Publishing/June 2009/$35.00). With text written by Linanne G. Sackett that resonates with the humor and charm of Dr. Seuss, the book presents a chronological account of the event and captures the performers, personalities, audience, excitement, mood, and action from the beginning–the conversion of Max Yasgur’s cow pasture into the world famous iconic site all the way through three days of fun, sun, and storms–to the muddy, garbage strewn aftermath.
THE WOODSTOCK STORY BOOK contains many exceptional, never-before-seen photographs of Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jerry Garcia, the Who, Joe Cocker, Jefferson Airplane, Joan Baez, The Band, Sly and the Family Stone, John Sebastian, Ten Years After, The Incredible String Band, Tim Hardin, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, and many more captured through the lens of a festival insider.
Along with a foreword by the Woodstock Clown Prince, Wavy Gravy, THE WOODSTOCK STORY BOOK includes perfect-for-framing 8” x 10” fine art prints of iconic rock legends Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jerry Garcia, and Joe Cocker and a free 24” x 36” full color poster. This rare volume is a must have for anyone who was at Woodstock, wish they had been, or for anyone wanting a bird’s eye view of a great historical event of the 60’s.
About the Photographer/Author
Barry Z Levine’s photographs have been included in several US and European television documentaries and books celebrating the 2009 anniversary including “Woodstock: Three Days That Rocked the World” as well as the re-release of the Academy Award-winning film ““Woodstock.” His color photos are featured in Barbara Kopple’s documentary film “Woodstock Now and Then” and in WDR’s “Woodstock Wie der Mythos entstand.” His photos are included in several collectible editions including “Woodstock Remembered” and “Woodstock ’69: The First Festival.”
His photos have been featured in books and on album covers, in international newspapers and magazines, on postage stamps, and have been on international tour at museums and galleries. His photographs are available through this website and Getty images.
Levine was honored as the “Celebrated Artist” of Italy’s 2009 Biografilm celebration in Rome, Milan, and Bologna. His photographs of Woodstock were displayed on gigantic billboards in the three major Italian cities, on major sports arenas and on the outside and inside of trolleys and buses thus creating a virtual Woodstock Village. He was designated Italy’s official “Woodstock Witness” and was featured on panels, broadcasts and in photographic exhibits in major bookstores.
In addition to photography, Levine has worked as a writer/producer in advertising and film, video, and theatrical production and was the director of a video production studio in New York City. He has been a long-time independent political activist and is one of the founders of The All-Stars Project, one of the largest and most successful anti-violence programs for urban youth. For more information and to read his blog please visit: www.woodstockstorybook.com
Linanne G. Sackett is a former cowpuncher, beauty queen, drag race champion, early childhood educator, and college VP. She was working with Head Start parents in the inner city in the summer of 1969 and has become a dyed-in-the-wool “Woody.”
Levine and Sackett met on-line, fell madly in love, and recently married. They live on a mountaintop, not far from the Woodstock concert site.
THE WOODSTOCK STORY BOOK
Text by Linanne G. Sackett
Photographs by Barry Z Levine
JUNE 30, 2009
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10.5″ x 10.5″ – 176 pp