Customer Reviews for

Taking Woodstock: A True Story of a Riot, a Concert, and a Life

Average Rating 4.5
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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2008

    Great Memories

    Great book...ALMOST went to woodstock....lived in the area in the early 70's...time period brings back lots of memories....loved the book..a must read....just too funny!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2013

    Wonderful

    This was a very entertaining book. It just isn't about the history of the most famous outdoor rock concert, but it is also about Tiber's colorful life. Not boring. Very interesting and in some parts very funny. Highly recommended.

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  • Posted December 26, 2010

    From Underdog to Facilitator of one of the Greatest Rock Festivals of All Times

    This buoyant, upbeat memoir is a vivid record of one young man's emergence from relative obscurity to becoming number one facilitator of one of the greatest rock festivals of all times. Taking Woodstock tells of how Elliot Tiber worked his way up from being a much put upon youngster, subjected to his own mother's verbal abuse as well as to the prejudices of broader society, to using his leverage as President of the Bethel Chamber of Commerce to arrange for the translocation of the Woodstock Music and Arts Festival to his own home town, on the shores of White Lake in Napier County, upstate New York.

    Elliot's ability to triumph over the odds that so many times seemed stacked against him provides the backbone to the book. From a position as an underdog, feeling isolated and estranged, he tells of how his growing awareness that there were others like him in the world enabled him to express his pent-up rage in the Stonewall riots. He grows in stature throughout the book, from being a kid whose only form of close physical contact is being groped in a movie theater, through his encounters with such leading cultural figures as Truman Capote, Tennessee Williams and Robert Mapplethorpe, to becoming a leading Manhattan interior designer who is single-handedly able to rescue his motel, the El Monaco, from the brink of financial collapse through his own foresight and determination. His relationship with his Dad grows, too, to one where they come to view each other with an equal degree of love and respect.

    Exposing his vulnerabilities to his readership, Elliot succeeds in conveying an overall sense of purpose and meaning in his life, despite his tending to downplay the importance of his own actions. Encountering a myriad of obstacles, he shows how he was able to overcome each one in turn. But this is not a moral tale-in fact, the more conservative readership might even regard parts of the narrative as leaning towards the immoral, or even the amoral. And, oh boy, he certainly doesn't mince words about his exploits, including, above all, his penchant for S&M sex (one of the bungalows at his motel, he does not hesitate to tell us, was dedicated to the pursuance of such ends during the six weeks surrounding the Woodstock mega-event). The spirit wins out in all respects over the flesh, though, and this tale is a triumphant and joyous one.

    This edition of Taking Woodstock was brought out to commemorate the 41st anniversary of Woodstock and the continued popularity of the film by the same name, directed by the Oscar-winning Ang Lee, and which is based on Elliot's account of events. Taking Woodstock should appeal to all those who have empathy with the gay cause, as well as to all those who are interested in the iconic legends of the second half of the twentieth century.

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  • Posted August 17, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Fascinating Read

    I picked this book up a while back but haven't had time to read much lately. Among the 50-75 books I do have to read, I decided on this one. It was a fascinating look into the life of a young gay man unsure of himself in his youth and young adulthood, and suddenly, being in the right place at the right time (his parents hotel) the person who made Woodstock happen in Bethel NY, at Max's farm. One of the best, most original and interesting memoirs I have read in a while.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2007

    An Awesome Trip Back to Woodstock!

    Born Eliyahu Teichberg, poor Elli struggles to break what he calls the ¿Teichberg Curse¿ and changes his name to Elliot Tiber¿hoping that would break the curse. Always on the brink of financial ruin and trying to hide his deepest secret, he dreams of the miracle that would change his life. In 1969, he got that miracle. Manager of his Jewish parents' failing resort hotel El Monaco in White Lake, New York on the weekends, Elliot runs during the week to Greenwich Village where he can live the life he chooses as an interior designer and meeting the likes of Truman Capote, Tennessee Williams and Robert Mapplethorpe¿all the while keeping his gay life a secret from his family. That is, until June 28, 1969, when he finds himself at the Stonewall Inn and the famous 'Stonewall Riot' that would revolutionize the gay culture breaks out. With a newfound boldness, he finds out in July that the town of Wallkill has revoked the permit for the Woodstock festival. So he contacts Mike Lang, the concert¿s promoter, to offer his 15 acres for the concert. While Elliot hopes this is the miracle he has been waiting for, Mike Lang and his entourage arrive by helicopter but they end up feeling that the swampland of his resort hotel won't work for the concert. Tiber assures Lang and company that, since he has been the president of the Bethel Chamber of Commerce and has held a concert and art show for the past few years, he can get the necessary concert permit. Quickly, he calls his good friend Max Yasgur¿who supports everything Elli does and only lives four miles up the road¿and asks him to hold the concert. Elli explains to Mike that Max has a dairy farm on a hundred acres¿more than enough to hold a concert. Arrangements are made and, before he knows it, Elli is caught up in the magic that will change his life forever. He is introduced to the hippie scene where everyone is accepted no matter who or what you are and learns he can love himself. Whoa! Totally awesome and even far out and groovy! This book is absolutely amazing! This reviewer couldn¿t put it down¿in fact, read it twice before writing this review. If you¿ve ever dreamed of being at Woodstock or even if you were there, the author Elliot Tiber will take you back. The Sixties will come alive and you won¿t want the trip to end! But that is only part of the story, as Elliot takes you through the time of his troubled past and describes in perfect word pictures the struggles of his secret life, his childhood, the insanity of running the hotel resort, and dealing with bigoted locals who persecute him because of his Jewish heritage. In the end, you¿ll feel you know everyone and that you were there, too. See Woodstock through the eyes of someone who lived it, who helped bring it to life ¿ you¿ll never look at this period of history the same again. Don¿t pass this one by, as this autobiography guarantees to be one of the best reads of 2007 and is to be released just in time for the media's annual August remembrance of that great music festival. Also an awesome unique feature that this reviewer really likes is the reversible dust jacket¿one side conservative, the other psychedelic. This feature, according to Square One¿s publisher Rudy Shur in Publishers Weekly, represents ¿The notion of duality [that] has been a central theme throughout Elliot¿s life, and we wanted the book to represent that notion of difference in a very direct and colorful way.' So whichever trip you decide to take, this is one you¿ll never forget.

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    Posted July 23, 2009

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    Posted July 23, 2009

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    Posted August 19, 2009

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    Posted August 14, 2009

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    Posted November 30, 2009

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    Posted September 3, 2009

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    Posted August 4, 2009

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