Slideshow image

Joni Mitchell the songwriter of Woodstock (Back to the Garden) introduced the song this way on Dec 12, 1969 at a concert in Worcester, MA:

“Everybody knows about Woodstock. (applause) I started off to go there. I was playing in Chicago. And then…my manager…and the group…and, uh, we’d just finished playing in Chicago. They were on their way to the festival. And I was on my way with them, except I had to do a television show the following Monday.

So Sunday afternoon we arrived at the New York Airport and there were all sorts of hassles with helicopters and transportation into the festival. And, uh, so I got abandoned there; I got left behind, and I felt really terrible. I went back into New York City and turned on my television in my hotel room and watched the little bits of it that they put on the news and felt sorry for myself.

And then when I saw the magazine articles and pictures of them and everything, I really, really felt sorry for myself, because it’ll never happen again, of course. They’ll try and recapture it, you know, and it’ll just get worse and worse and worse. Well, maybe that’s a pessimistic way to look at it, but, I don’t know.

It was really something, that people could be so good to each other. Even if it was only for three days. All those people being good to each other for three whole days. Fantastic. (Laughter)

So I wrote a song for that group to sing. Actually I wrote it for myself to sing. And, uh, here I’m gonna sing it anyway. I hope everybody’s…

Woodstock has been recorded by 357 other artists