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

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

4.2 19
by Elliot Tiber
     
 

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Taking Woodstock is the funny, touching, and true story of Elliot Tiber, the man who was instrumental in arranging the site for the original Woodstock Concert. Elliot, whose parents owned an upstate New York motel, was working in Greenwich Village in the summer of 1969. He socialized with the likes of Truman Capote, Tennessee Williams, and photographer

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Overview

Taking Woodstock is the funny, touching, and true story of Elliot Tiber, the man who was instrumental in arranging the site for the original Woodstock Concert. Elliot, whose parents owned an upstate New York motel, was working in Greenwich Village in the summer of 1969. He socialized with the likes of Truman Capote, Tennessee Williams, and photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, and yet somehow managed to keep his gay life a secret from his family. Then on Friday, June 28, Elliot walked into the Stonewall Inn—and witnessed the riot that would galvanize the American gay movement and enable him to take stock of his own lifestyle. And on July 15, when Elliot learned that the Woodstock Concert promoters were unable to stage the show in Wallkill, he offered to find them a new venue. Soon he was swept up in a vortex that would change his life forever.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

A humble motel owner and his parents become the heroes in carrying off the momentous 1969 Woodstock rock concert in Tiber's occasionally improbable yet thoroughly entertaining tale. Tiber, né Teichberg of Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, put on hold his personal ambition in the mid-1950s as an artist to help his aging Old World Jewish parents run their ramshackle resort motel in White Lake, deep in the Catskill Mountains. Hounded by the guilt that he can't live up to his parents' standards and riven by his own covert homosexuality, Tiber pokes fun at what he calls the Teichberg Curse, a scourge that won't allow the family to escape financial ruin. As head of the Chamber of Commerce in his small town, and possessed of the yearly permit to hold summer music concerts, Tiber gets wind of rock concert promoter Michael Lang's need for a venue to hold the Woodstock festival. A month of frenzied preparations ensues as Max Yasgur's farm is secured, the anticipated numbers swell, and tensions grow in the town. Yet the planning of the concert makes up only one part of Tiber's very human story, which includes affecting side chapters on brushes with artists (Mark Rothko, Robert Mapplethorpe) and standing defiant when the cops raided the West Village gay bar Stonewall. (Aug.)

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Kirkus Reviews
Think Woodstock was all peace and love? Sure, but it also involved lawyers, mobsters and a few assorted pieces of B&D gear. Tiber, ne Eliyahu Teichberg, lived two lives in the '60s: Although he was a well-regarded mural artist whose "paintings were also displayed in galleries and sold," by day, he helped his parents run a fleabag motel in the Catskills, and by night he haunted the gay bars of Greenwich Village, falling into the arms of the likes of Robert Mapplethorpe and other rough men. "People with whom I had sex always pretended that they didn't know me when they saw me in the light of day," Tiber sighs in a characteristically self-doubtful moment. To trust his account, he was on the scene when, faced with yet another police raid, a barroom full of gay men and women decided to fight back. Regrettably, Tiber's account of the famed Stonewall Riot is less than glancing. Just so, his reminiscences concerning the detour the Woodstock Festival of 1969 made from Woodstock proper to Max Yasgur's farm outside Bethel-the site of that fleabag hotel, coincidentally-are disjointed and sometimes incoherent. The storyline, though, is of great interest to collectors of rock trivia and history, and it speaks less to the power of flowers than to that of greenbacks: Yasgur's escalating demands for cash; festival organizer Mike Lang's beatific grooviness amid trips to the bank with satchels full of cash; and the arrival on the scene of shady characters with drugs to sell, among other parasites. Clearly, though, Tiber had a good time amid the logistical headaches of hosting a million-plus visitors, even if his momma caught him kissing boys ("I am ashamed of you and Woodstock," she says toward the end ofher life, to which he rejoins, "Some things never change.") and his neighbors threatened to kill him for ruining their bucolic and apparently inbred retreat. Indifferently written, but a tale worth hearing. First printing of 25,000
Midwest Book Review

"(Taking Woodstock) 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 New York Post

"The true story of Elliot Tiber, hero of the original Woodstock Festival . . . [a] snapshot of America Yesterday."

Foreword Reviews

"Gleefully candid and often hilarious . . . the story of a middle-aged gay man challenging bigotry, intolerance and the rural peace of Upstate New York's residents for the legal rights to sing, dance, and make love not war."

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780757053337
Publisher:
Square One Publishers
Publication date:
05/09/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
436,246
File size:
2 MB

Meet the Author

Elliot Tiber has written and produced numerous awardwinning plays and musical comedies. As a professor of comedy writing and performance, he has taught at the New School University and Hunter College in Manhattan. His first novel, Rue Haute, was a bestseller in Europe, and was published in the US under the title High Street.


A national best-selling writer, counselor, and teacher of natural healing methods,Tom Monte is a leading voice in


the natural health movement. He has written and co-authored more than thirty books and many hundreds of articles


on virtually every area of health. Among his bestsellers are Recalled By Life, Living Well Naturally, and NaturalProzac. Tom has lectured and conducted transformational programs throughout the United States and around the world. His eight-month Healer’s Program, based in New York City and Orval, Belgium, trains practitioners in the useof highly effective natural methods for healing body, mind, and spirit. The Healer’s Program is also an experience in personal transformation. Tom also conducts workshops that focus on healing the heart and personal relationships.He lives with his wife, Toby, in Amherst, Massachusetts.

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