An Experience At Woodstock 99

Subject: Re: Amp feedback electronics, Woodstock, & other things!
Date: Wed, 28 Jul 1999 12:04:26 -0400
From: Rich Koerner <richk@timeelect.com>
Newsgroups: alt.guitar.amps

Scott & Kathryn Colborn wrote:
> Hello Rich,
>     I know this is a departure from this thread....but I would really like
> your sense and opinion of the Woodstock weekend.  I've heard a lot of
> negative press, and would like your opinion of the event, the music, the
> festival itself, and the people attending.  If you have the opportunity, I
> would like your opinion.  I bet the rest of the NG would like to hear from
> you as well on this.  Thanks and welcome back!
>     Walk in Beauty, Peace.  Scott

Thanks for asking and the welcome back Scott!

Hmmmm......?????   Where do I start.

Well, first I've been engineering for Bernie Worrell & the Woo Warriors
for the last 2 years or so, and when you work with him, you never know
who or what is going to effect your life.  On every gig you  never know
who is going to turn up for a guest appearance.

One night at the Wetlands, Stanley Jordan showed up and we had a Killer

Well, on one of our last times out Bernie tells me there is a chance of
doing Woodstock.

<Bernie and me conversation>

Pick me up off the floor!!!!  Man, that's off the hook!  It could
happen.  Really???? There's going to be one???  That's what I hear!  You
sure?  Yep.  OK, count me in!

Well, I guess things fell into place and I found myself Trucking to
woodstock with Bernie, his wife, Michael (Moon) Reuben, Gabe "Undi$co
Kidd" Gonzalez, Donna McPherson, Dawn Silva (one of the Brides of
Funkenstein), Steve Scales, and Amp Fiedler.  Later, Catherine Russell joined us up
there for the Big Show at the west stage.

We had been told we would be playing at George Clinton's Birthday Party,
and Bootsy was going to be playing at it too.

I had visions of our Ford van turning into a VW Micro Bus at any second
along the way.  We didn't hit much traffic as the party was on thursday
and we had left very early at 6:00 am.

When we got to the hotel it was like old home week meeting all the faces
I had met touring with Bernie.  A lot of the old and new P-Funk people
were staying at the same hotel.  I was introduced to some of the old
Funkadelic members along the way.  I wish I could remember the names
right now but, I just had a killer day and the brains are still fried
from the weekend...

I was told that a little of Funk History was going to be made as it
would be the first time in years that all three of the Funk Masters
would appear on the same stage since the old days.  Imagine Bernie,
Bootsy, and George together again!!!  We were all very excited!!!

I got my first taste of the scope of things when we took off from the
hotel following secret directions that would take us up to a check point
where we would be escorted to the site of the Birthday party.  We had
found our way down country roads coming to blocked  intersections where
there would be state troopers checking ID's.

When they saw we were appearing artists, they waved us through, and
blocked off traffic from the road we went down.  I never saw that many
troopers and rolling parking lots in my life!!!

We had finally arrived at a small airport where we would pickup our
escort to the secret birthday party location.  After another hour on the
road, we arrived at the site of the Woodstock Concert site, and followed
our escort through more check points than you can imagine.  Cars, tour
buses, trailers, equipment trucks, and people walking all over the
place.  It was then that the magnitude of things started to hit us!!!!!!

I have been on large tours before in my past, but this one was
different.  There was a vibe in the air that was different!!!!   It was
an Electric Excitement!!!!

After we got all the laminates and some food, we went off to the P-Funk
dressing rooms to stow our duds.  I had gone through all the Huggs and
^5's with everyone and I had to get to work.  I had to hook up with the
P-Funk crew and work things out with their FOH engineer and work out all
the details of our line lists and stage plot for our segment of the
birthday show.

God there was the biggest stage, sound system,
lighting, the Mother Ship, etc,... than I'd ever seen.  Bigger then some of the sheds
that I had been at on tours, and this was in Hanger 100.


BTW, Bootsy uses 15K of Crown power on the stage for his 4 SVT 8-10 cabs
and four sub cabs with 18"s in them.  Thought the bass guys would like
to know that.

<maybe I'll do a tech report at another time>

After a late start, I mixed Bernie & the Woo Warriors as they opened the
birthday party.

When we were done, P-Funk came out, and George Clinton turned on the
Funk.  Later on Bootsy came on and that 15K was smokin the bottom
end!!!!!!!!!  God what a night!!!!!

What a Birthday Party!!!!  <wink>


After a three hour un-escorted ride back to the hotel, I found my pillow
at around 5:00 am.  I tossed and turned wondering what the next day
would be like.

I had no clue when I finally fell asleep!

The first wake up call came for a short production meeting in the hotel
lobby for 11:00 am.  Then back to my pillow till the next wake up call
to go to the Fridays show site.  Another meeting at 3:00 pm in the lobby
then killed time hanging around till it was time to leave at 4:00 pm.
Again, with our secret road map directions!!!


Don't remember most of the ride to the concert site as I took my pillow
with me for the ride.  God I needed some sleep.  Just getting old I
guess.  Not a kid like I was in 1969.

I woke up at one of the check points and now notice just how much
TRAFFIC and Cars going to the site had grown to IMPOSSIBLE!!!   Every
road was bumper to bumper!!!!

Well, that is except for the ones we had to travel.  Lots of people were
having words with the troopers.  There were more of them all over the
place.  I never knew that NY had so many of them.  I could not help
wonder who was guarding the rest of the state!!!

We were being kept isolated from the general public all along the way.
But at times we could catch a glimps of the many Many MANY PEOPLE trying
to get to Woodstock!!!

As we got closer, I started to wonder just what the site would be like.
I was starting to get a little on edge thinking about it.  Well, it
can't be that bad I told myself, it's only the first day.  Some of us
speculated what it was going to be like.  To most of us, it was our
first time at something like this.  Yep, no vets on this van!

The check points and the troopers came closer together as we got to the
site.  We were kept away from the public and taken to a secure area
where that had trailers set up for dressing rooms.  We were told we were
to share George Clintons and Bootsy's dressing rooms.  After we stowed
our duds, we went to see if we could get a look at the crowds.


Off to the East stage we went.  God, was the security TIGHT!!!!!   They
were ALL Over the place.  As we walked through one check point, one
guard grabbed my laminates and almost ripped my head off!!!  He didn't
say a word, just grabbed them.  He never said, "Sorry Dude", all I got
was an "OK, keep movin."

That was the first sign of Attitude I got the whole time so far.  I had
no idea that, there would be More to come....



Well, we got to the stage finally and looked for a way to check out the
crowds.  All I can say is when I looked around the sound tower, the
blood ran down to my feet!!!

I had Never Seen Sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo Many people in one
spot in all my life!!!!!   Damn!!!!!!    You had to see it to believe
it!!!!!   I was in shock!!!

As I watch the crowd I noticed something after a while.  They were all
into the group that was playing, and having a Great Time too.  But there
was something different than what I had expected.  Anyone think they
know what I noticed???

Yep, you got it!  There were no Real Hippies out there!!!  REAL
Ones!!!   Some looked like them by the way they dressed.  But they
weren't acting like the hippies of my day.

It was maybe an attitude vibe thing I was picking up on.  Its not just
the clothes and drugs.  It's a State Of Mind thing!   Like, some of the
Music didn't match up with it either!!   Know what I'm trying to say???

On the way back to the dressing rooms I pulled a sheet that listed the
bands for the East Stage who were going to play.  I didn't know too many
of them and wondered what they were like.  I guess I'm a little out of
touch these days.

After a band meeting, a production meeting, a change into my blue silks
and Top Hat, with a handful of food we were on our way riding in a
shuttle van to the West Stage Area .

Again another case of hurry up and wait.  Well for the band that is.  I
had to go nuts checking to make sure our crew was not having any
problems with our gear, and that all the lines were properly assigned
for the FOH console.  I hate it when I get to FOH and find things are
not where they are supposed to be.  When things go wrong and have to be
fixed fast, you really find out who the Real Pros are!!!!

Well this was the first time none of the keyboards, or any of the amps
were having any problems.   Everything seemed to be going smooth so far.

Carl, the P-Funk FOH engineer found me in the staging area and said
they wanted us out at FOH NOW!!!!!

Nothing like being out there early I said.  Carl laughed and said, "We
have about a 100 yards of human sea to get through to get to the sound
tower.  We WOULD Need the Extra time to get there!"

"What, you mean we have no security escort to get us out there???"   Carl
laughs again, "nope, we're on our own Rich", as we look for the *Hole*
in the *Wall* to get to the crowd.

Well, at the *Hole* in the *wall* are four of the biggest dudes I ever
saw!  I asked one of them if he could escort us out there.  He said,
"you can do it no problem.  I can't leave my post."    So, here I go I
tell myself.  Well there were currents of human bodies moving across the
direction I have to go to get to FOH.

Carl is walking ahead of me and I follow as close as I can.  Well the
unthinkable happens.  A sudden current separates us as I'm being carried
off down stream from where I have to go.  This crowd is rough!!!!   I
got body blocked by a college Jock thinking it was funny.   Some JERK
thinks its cool to throw an empty water bottle to knock my hat off!  So
I figure I have to keep my eye open for this stuff and push on through.

Well, I arrived at the tower 10 min after Carl arrived.  Imagine that.

So, now its back to work finding out how to fly the space shuttle before
the show begins.  Yep, it almost seems that way with the level of gear
that I have to work with.

The Clair Brothers people were very helpful hooking me up with my needs
for the band and putting up with a out of date Freelance FOH engineer
like me.  I'm from the old school where we had none of those nice rack
computer controled doo dads!  :)


So, after a few more questions, some patching, and some last minute line
checks. We are ready to go.


Bernie Worrell and the Woo Warriors had a Great Performance!!!  And the
crowd loved them which made my night.  For me it was one of the
smoothest show I've had in a long time.  Only one line gave us trouble
during the opening song.  I don't get too many of those smooth ones too
often.  This was a very nice thing!!!

<System Power Tech Note>

96 Clair S-4's fpr a total of 192 18" speakers.
24 Crest amp racks of 15,000 watts each.  Total 370,000 watts.
24 MD system T-2 speakers, with 32,000 watts of Crown Power.

George Clinton fired up P-Funk, Bootsy Funked the Bass, Bernie Funked
the keys, and the rest is Funk History!

Dawn Silva
An Orginal Bride of Funkenstine.

Now it was time for another swim in the human sea of bodies again.  This
time I was more aware of what the deal is.  Yes, it was more of that
same Rough Attitude thing I had to put up with.  This is not the kind of
crowd that was at the 1969 Woodstock.  Not even close.


These people came to Woodstock 99 for something different than they did
in 1969.  They came bringing their ego driven attitudes.   They came for
the action.  They came to get Fucked Up on the drugs!!!   They came for
the mosh pits to fuck someone up!

Like this is what the first Woodstock was all about.

Now don't get me wrong. There may have been many with the spirit of
woodstock 1969's MUSIC and LOVE in their hearts.  But all I saw was
what I was limited to seeing.

Later on, back at the dressing rooms we started to hear some of the
stories of the $6.00 soda.  The $4.00 bottle of water.  The $30.00

I don't get it.  I really Don't.

It seems the Woodstock was the Happening of the Hippy, and Woodstock 99
was the happening of the Yuppie!!!!!  Hippies don't riot, rampage, and
set fires!!!

One guy got busted later on with $16,000.00 on him for selling
mushrooms.  Now that's a Yuppie!!!!

My life is Music, and I was there for the Music.  I would like to
believe that everyone was there for just the Music.  But somehow,  I
doubt it!!!

I have come to believe, you can't repeat an instantanious thing Twice!



Scott, thanks for asking me to re-live this for the AGA NG. There are some
flashbacks I really don't mind!


Rich Koerner,
Time Electronics.

Scott & Kathryn Colborn wrote:
> Hello folks,
>     Scroll down the posts on the NG until you get to "Re: Amp Feedback
> Electronics, Woodstock," for a commentary by Rich Koerner.  Great job Rich,
> thanks very much for the insight into the weekend.  I like your writing
> style and descriptive way of telling your story, and although I wasn't at
> the original Woodstock, I am a musician-member of that generation, and my
> assessment from the various news reports and interviews was close to your
> eyewitness report.
>     So many people have lost the connection to music, love and peace.  The
> mean and rough attitude of many at the just-past Woodstock is a path of
> peril and commensurate reward for the "people-of-no-vibe."  Thanks again
> Rich for the article.  Oh, by the way, did you hear any great guitar amps at
> the festival - like the Marshall stacks across the stage from the concerts
> of yesteryear???
>     Walk in Beauty, Peace.  Scott

Hi Scott!

Since I got back things have been a zoo over here.  I'm jacked up with
work and e-mail I can't keep up with.   I have taken some pictures and
have to get them developed yet.  I hope they come out.   If they do I
will have a place for them on my site, which I have little time to
update which is long over due BTW.

I have thoughts of putting a tech report on some of the things that I
had come across up there.

My problem Scott is just finding the time to get things done around
here.   Getting the work out of here has the highest priority right
now.  I just post here and answer e-mail on my rest breaks now.

In the next week or so I hope to have something of interest for the

Thanks very much for your kind words and support!   I really appreciate


Rich Koerner,
Time Electronics.

             Re: WOOdstock'99: Bernie WILL Perform
             Tue, 03 Aug 1999 01:17:32 GMT
             mike@coolsiteoftheday.com (Mike Corso)
             Cool Site of the Day

In article <378FA71A.22AD@erols.com>, nanlewis@erols.com wrote:

>PurpleWOO Productions
>        * * * NEWS FLASH * * *
>July 16, 1999  5:40PM --- PurpleWOO Productions is pleased to announce
>that Bernie Worrell - and Bernie Worrell & The WOO Warriors - will be
>performing at Woodstock '99.

Saw the show--was blown away.  Can you tell me the names of the songs Woo
played (especially the first one) and which albums they're on?


Cool Site of the Day

Red Hot Moma
Comin' Round The Mountain
Time Was(Events In The Elsewhere)

>'Red Hot Moma-From the Funkadelic LP,CD 'Standing On The Verge Of Getting It
On,it also is part of the Live Woo Warriors cd,I believe.

>Supergroovalisticlostifunkitification-Originally from Parliament's -Mothership
Connection LP,CD.What I consider' Funk 101'Mandatory listening.Also done live

>Comin' Round The Mountain-From the Funkadelic LP,CD,'Hardcore Jollies',and THE

>Time Was(Events In The Elsewhere)-From the Bernie Worrell CD'Blacktronic

        Thu, 29 Jul 1999 14:21:43 -0700

Rich, thanks for the e-mail - very interesting read! I'm glad you
made it back ALIVE.

Best regards, Don
Don Wiggins
Fender Authorized Service Center Coordinator
Fender Musical Instruments Corporation
7975 North Hayden Road Suite C-100
Scottsdale, Arizona  85258-3241 U.S.A.

             Re: Amp feedback electronics, Woodstock, & other things!
             Thu, 29 Jul 1999 14:30:13 -0500
             "Miles O'Neal" <meo@rru.com>
             Rich Koerner <richk@timeelect.com>
             1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5


Thanks for sharing that with us.

I'm just as happy to have not been in that crowd.

-Miles, ex-hippie but still free spirit

            Re: P-Funked at Woodstock
            Wed, 28 Jul 1999 08:16:31 -0600
            dave <dave@ced.utah.edu>
            Rich Koerner <richk@timeelect.com>
            1 , 2

hi rich,

<story snipped>

sounds like an amazing show. now if only they'd tour the west.

> You should check out the Woo Warriors.  Some of the old
> members are in that band too.  Go to my links page and click on
> Bernie Worrell link!

i saw bernie last winter in park city. a truly amazing show.
we talked with bernie for about a half hour after the show.
we got there in time for sound check and our only complaint
was when bernie's guitarist played about the first two minutes
of maggot brain at the end of sound check and then didn't finish.

> >From my years working with Bernie, I think I've met all of the
> Funk Family!
> Glad you are into the Funk!!!!   Greatest music there is!!!
> BTW, I will be putting up pictures of the band at Woodstock
> on my site as soon as I get them back from developing.

sounds great rich be sure to drop me a line or post it on

yours in funk,


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