Join Together!
Marley Brant
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Buy *Join Together!: Forty Years of the Rock Festival* by Marley Brant online

Join Together!: Forty Years of the Rock Festival
Marley Brant
Backbeat Books
296 pages
June 2008
rated 2 1/2 of 5 possible stars

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Everything you ever wanted to know about the music festival is here on these pages. Included are the historic events like Monterey Pop, Woodstock, Live8 and Ozzfest, and the not-so-famous but still worth knowing about get-togethers like Watkins Glen, Vortex 1, Heatwave, and the Texas International Pop Festival.

The author has done his homework in providing information on how and why and what each festival was. He's incorporated dozens of interviews with the very artists who performed at some of these shows, including Keith Emerson, Jack Casady, Thomas Dolby, John Mayall, and others.

But in tracking down his research, he did make some mistakes. On page 78, in describing the historic Woodstock Festival, he writes, "The Jeff Beck Group was scheduled to play, but the band broke up the week before the festival." This is not accurate. The band was still together, but through a series of stupid decisions, they decided not to appear at the three-day event. Jeff Beck himself was actually a supporter of not playing the gig.

It's still a fun book, and there are some great classic shots of Hendrix and Dylan and more contemporary photos of artists like Jewel and Matchbox 20.

Each chapter is tagged with short sub-sections titled:

  • In U.S. News
  • In World News
  • In Music News
  • Some of the Year's Most Notable Albums
  • Rock's Most Popular Songs

Some of the observations are a bit obvious and could have been a little more carefully investigated. For the first chapter titled 1967: Groovin', Mellow Yellow and For What It's Worth are listed under the latter category, Rock's Most Popular Songs. These are absolutely wonderful tracks by Donovan and Buffalo Springfield respectively, and while the first one reached #2 and the Springfield song came in at #7, there were certainly more popular songs released that seminal year.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at Steven Rosen, 2008

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