After Woodstock: The True Story of a Belgian Movie, an Israeli Wedding, & a Manhattan Breakdown

After Woodstock: The True Story of a Belgian Movie, an Israeli Wedding, & a Manhattan Breakdown

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Overview

During the summer of ’69, Elliot Tiber (April 15, 1935–August 3, 2016) helped start the gay liberation movement and saved the Woodstock Festival from cancellation. But some of the best and most significant events of Tiber’s life did not happen until After Woodstock.

In this third volume of his memoirs, following the critically acclaimed Palm Trees on the Hudson and his breakout bestseller Taking Woodstock, Tiber chronicles his hilarious, madcap, and often heartbreaking adventures in the entertainment industry. Guided as much by chutzpah as by his creative drive, Tiber travels around the world, always looking to grab the brass ring. And everywhere he goes, from Hollywood to Brussels, Tiber makes his indelible, irreverent, unique mark.

Along the way, Tiber meets the celebrated Belgian playwright and director André Ernotte. Over the course of his decades-long relationship with Ernotte, Tiber realizes his potential as a humorist and writer, and finds a way to cope with his difficult mother, whose second wedding in the hills of Israel gives new meaning to the Wailing Wall. The relationship is tested by the AIDS crisis and a string of professional disappointments, but ultimately endures the test of time. With Ernotte, Tiber finally learns the true meaning of love.

A passionate and joyful evocation of a very different time, After Woodstock reminds us how the search for love and meaning drives us forward.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780757003929
Publisher: Square One Publishers
Publication date: 03/02/2015
Pages: 480
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

Elliot Tiber (April 15, 1935–August 3, 2016) was a gay rights pioneer who wrote and produced numerous award-winning plays and musical comedies. As a professor of comedy writing and performance, he taught at the New School and Hunter College in Manhattan. His first novel, Rue Haute, was a bestseller in Europe, and was published in the United States as High Street. The novel was made into a 1976 French-language feature film adapted and directed by coauthor and partner André Ernotte. As a humorist, Mr. Tiber appeared on CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS, BBC, and CNBC, as well as on television shows in Franch, England, Tokyo, Moscow, Berlin, Belgium, and elsewhere throughout the world.

Mr. Tiber's memoir Taking Woodstock, which he wrote with Tom Monte, was first published in 2007 and was soon after turned into a feature film by director Ang Lee. He is also the author of another memoir that explored his life before Woodstock called Palm Trees on the Hudson: A True Story of the Mob, Judy Garland, and Interior Decorating. In addition to his work as a writer, Tiber was a highly sought-after lecturer who appeared in many international venues. In his final years, Mr. Tiber lived in the Miami Beach section of Florida, where he continued his work as a writer; a painter; and a humorist.

Read an Excerpt

"[After Woodstock] is by turns a brave, hilarious, mortifying, and heartbreaking story. In this new book, we get to see Elliot Tiber just as he has always been—a gay man who has been unafraid to stand up for who he is. This is a man who lived through the Stonewall riots, the AIDS crisis, and the slow but steady legalization of gay marriage in the United States. But much of what makes Elliot's storyafterWoodstock so pure and compelling can be found in the figure of Elliot's longtime lover, the late Belgian actor and director André Ernotte.

"As presented by Elliot in the pages that follow, André stands as a gentle, brilliant, and often flawed counterpoint to Elliot. Without the love and respect that he received from André, Elliot might never have become the unapologetically free and confident man I met all those years later. We watch in this book as life with André helps Elliot become a better writer, a better brother, a better friend, and a better son to a mother whom he never truly understands . . . We witness how perilously close both Elliot and André come to that terribly harmful place within
—the dangerous terrain that all artists, gay or straight, must navigate during the creative process. Here, in After Woodstock, I feel that Elliot Tiber has both depicted and transcended that terrain masterfully. I remain proud to have already shared one of Elliot's real-life stories with the world, and I hope that the world will embrace these new stories as well." —from the Foreword by Ang Lee

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Foreword

1. Escape from White Lake
2. Hooray for Hollywood!
3. City of Angels
4. Oh My Poppa—and the Nine Italian Heroes
5. My French Connection
6. A May-September Romance
7. What I Did For Love
8. To TV or Not to TV
9. Getting Higher, Getting Hired, Getting High Street
10. Our Magical Black Leather Breakfast Meeting
11. Super Elli!
12. Summer of Shove
13. Culture Gaps and Assless Chaps
14. An Israeli Wedding and a Manhattan Split
15. Stevie Strong and the Magical Song
16. The Play’s the Thing
17. The Gay Plague
18. Woodstock Daddy vs. Riverdale Momma
19. All the World’s a Stage
Epilogue

About the Author

Preface

The movie Taking Woodstock, based on Elliot Tiber’s first book, came out of a chance encounter at 6 AM in a San Francisco television studio. I had just finished promoting my Chinese-language film Lust, Caution on Jan Wahl’s show on KCBS. (Because of her extravagant headwear, I will always think of Jan as the hat lady, and I am forever grateful to her for giving my film a four out of five hats rating.) On my way out, I bumped into Jan’s next guest. This was Elliot Tiber, then a very vigorous seventy-something, who cornered me and thrust a copy of his new book into my hands. I am rather shy, and Elliot is a nonstop talker, and an extremely funny one, so I had no choice but to mumble something polite and take the book on my way to the airport.

The book was Taking Woodstock, and it really stuck with me—mostly because I was traveling to promote my film, and simply didn’t get a chance to unpack. The book settled near the bottom of my suitcase. A month went by, and somewhere between Bombay and Naples, as luck would have it, a mutual friend of ours, Pat Cupo, urged me to read the book. So I did. The work came across much as Elliot himself had—as a bright, rushing stream of funny stories.

Lust, Caution had been a dark and difficult film for me, so Taking Woodstock came at exactly the right moment. It was full of light, love, and laughs, a memoir about the last days of American innocence. And strangely enough, it also fit in with the movie I had just made: both were coming-of-age stories, a genre that I have continued to explore with Life of Pi and my current project.

I had a great time making Taking Woodstock and getting to know Elliot a little better. And I am very proud of the film, even if it wasn’t always understood by viewers and critics. “Woodstock” makes people think of the concert and the music, but that really was not the point of my film. What Taking Woodstock offers is the experience of actually being at the festival—the wonderfully confusing, messy, and transforming journey (and trip) that took place far from the stage.

The book you now hold in your hands is a continuation of Taking Woodstock. It chronicles the events that brought Elliot from the quiet aftermath of the festival in 1969 to that morning TV show where I first saw him. It is by turns a brave, hilarious, mortifying, and heartbreaking story. In this new book, we get to see Elliot Tiber just as he has always been—a gay man who has been unafraid to stand up for who he is. This is a man who lived through the Stonewall riots, the AIDS crisis, and the slow but steady legalization of gay marriage in the United States. But much of what makes Elliot’s story after Woodstock so pure and compelling can be found in the figure of Elliot’s longtime lover, the late Belgian actor and director André Ernotte.

As presented by Elliot in the pages that follow, André stands as a gentle, brilliant, and often flawed counterpoint to Elliot. Without the love and respect that he received from André, Elliot might never have become the unapologetically free and confident man I met all those years later. We watch in this book as life with André helps Elliot becomes a better writer, a better brother, a better friend, and a better son to a mother whom he never truly understands.

At the same time, we also see through the prism of this decades-long relationship all that can rock and ruin your sense of identify and self-worth, and everything that happens whenever you let the outside world too close to the hidden comfort of your dreams. We witness how perilously close both Elliot and André come to that terribly harmful place within—the dangerous terrain that all artists, gay or straight, must navigate during the creative process. Here, in After Woodstock, I feel that Elliot Tiber has both depicted and transcended that terrain masterfully. I remain proud to have already shared one of Elliot’s real-life stories with the world, and I hope that the world will embrace these new stories as well.

—Ang Lee

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After Woodstock: The True Story of a Belgian Movie, an Israeli Wedding, & a Manhattan Breakdown 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
NatashaQ More than 1 year ago
As a woman born into the latter days of the Boomer set, I have watched our culture continually revise and often erode the true-to-life experiences of my generation. Imagine my delight, then, to read this remarkable new memoir by the gay man who saved the Woodstock Festival from cancellation back in 1969. Elliot Tiber has, in this poignant and profound new book, brought back to life for me a time and place in our world that I had begun to think perhaps never existed. With all the propulsive force of a space-bound rocket and the ambitious scope of a fine historical novel, Tiber has written a “stranger-than-fiction” story of life and love in the bright but dying embers of the past century. The book has a white-hot crackling wit at its core, and is never afraid to share freely the many persons and places and things that have passed through Tiber’s own brash and vibrant life. Tiber has enriched his considerable accomplishments as a memoirist here by sharing the deep pleasure – and despair – with which he found and tried to hold on to a man who was the love of his life. This is the story of two artists who worked as hard to discover and harness the passion in their work as they did to sustain it in their own lives. Having lost my own fair share of friends and beloved colleagues in the New York theater community to AIDS in the early ‘80s, I found myself once again left tearful and enraged by Tiber’s brutally honest reminiscence of what that terrible illness did to us all whether gay or straight. As I followed Elliot’s life from the early ‘70s into the late ‘90s, I came to feel that I was being guided along the way by a dear and tender friend. For those who want to know what life was like back then, or those who will find themselves fully reminded, AFTER WOODSTOCK is a rich and precious gem of a book that must be read.