Showing posts with label TAKING WOODSTOCK. Show all posts
Showing posts with label TAKING WOODSTOCK. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 09, 2009


WESTON and JULIA BLELOCK, whose Woodstock-themed book ROOTS OF THE 1969 WOODSTOCK FESTIVAL (Woodstock Arts) is due out next month, had hoped to include singer KENNY RANKIN at their live Woodstock-In-Woodstock show (being produced by STEVE WALTER) August 15th, but the singer passed away suddenly yesterday. "We had just spoken to his reps are things were moving along ... we're shocked and will dedicate the show to him," says Weston Blelock. The musician, who first gained acclaim as one of the guitarists on Bob Dylan's 1965 album, BRINGING IT ALL BACK HOME, was currently working on a new album produced by legendary producer PHIL RAMONE (Paul Simon; Paul McCartney; Billy Joel). "That he was still at the top of his game is one of the saddest parts of his passing for me," Denny Stilwell, president of Mack Avenue Records (his current record label), said in a statement. "He performed the new material in our office over the last few months and his voice was still in its finest form—he sounded absolutely amazing. Our hearts and prayers are with his family." Rankin wrote and recorded the pop standard "Peaceful" and also wrote "In The Name of Love," which was recorded by Peggy Lee, and "Haven't We Met," performed by Carmen McRae and Mel Torme. His own "The Kenny Rankin Album" was recorded live in 1976 with a 60-piece orchestra. According to Walter, singer/songwriter DAVE MASON is close to be tagged for the Woodstock event as well. Says Blelock, "This will be the Woodstock concert ... in Woodstock!"

Thursday, May 21, 2009




James Blunt And Steve Walter At Cutting Room

Weston Blelock, author and editor of WoodstockArts’ forthcoming Roots of the 1969 Woodstock Festival: The Backstory to “Woodstock,” has confirmed a rumored 40th anniversary concert to be held on August 15 at the Bearsville Theater in Woodstock. Blelock will co-produce the show with his sister, Julia, in association with Steve Walter, formerly of The Cutting Room in New York City. Walter, whose Cutting Room club hosted a series of top-notch music acts like Sheryl Crow, Stills and Nash, Paolo Nutini and Keane, notes, “I am booking bands that will evoke the original festival energy and bring it back home to Woodstock.” Blelock adds, “The town has long been at the epi-center of music festivals—from those on the Maverick beginning in the 1900s, to the Sound-Outs in the 1960s, and the mega-concert of 1969. Simply due to space constraints, some of these failed to happen in the town of Woodstock itself.” Part of the proceeds of the concert will fund the town’s Zero-Carbon Initiative, passed in 2007. The concert team is also in discussion with a media partner to film and record the event. According to Walter, “We want to mix sixties acts with the up-and-coming to connect with the Woodstock legacy, but also to embrace the cutting-edge vibe of tomorrow.”

Concert developments can be tracked at

About the Blelocks:

Weston and Julia Blelock have had a presence in the Woodstock area since 1956. During the sixties Weston was at school in the UK, but summered in Woodstock. He attended several Sound-Outs and the ’69 festival in Bethel. During the 1990s he was a radio journalist in Canada. More recently he co-founded WoodstockArts, a publishing and production company. He is currently Vice President of the Historical Society of Woodstock. Julia Blelock also grew up in Woodstock. She left town to pursue a marketing career in information technology, based in New York City and Los Angeles. She recently returned to Woodstock and has become an ardent promoter of area artists through her work for the Woodstock Chamber of Commerce & Arts and the Woodstock Arts Consortium. She is a co-founder of WoodstockArts.

About Steve Walter:

Managing partner and booker for The Cutting Room from 1999 to 2009, Walter is a graduate of Boston’s Berklee College of Music. He began his career as a lighting director at the Sunshine Inn on the Jersey shore, for acts like Procol Harum, Johnny Winter, Seals & Croft and Richie Havens. In 1999 he launched The Cutting Room, and within ten years it became one of New York’s top showcases for talent as diverse as Sting, Donovan, Melanie, Alanis Morrisette and Mary Wilson of The Supremes.

About WoodstockArts:

WoodstockArts is a publishing and production company based in Woodstock, NY. As a publisher it specializes in quality regional art books. A recent title, Woodstock History and Hearsay, is an award-winning art history of the town. As producers the company’s principals have worked on a number of local projects. One such was staging a guitar sculpture auction in conjunction with Sotheby’s/eBay in 2002 for the town’s Byrdcliffe Art Colony centennial celebration. Last August WoodstockArts produced the Roots of ’69 Woodstock Festival panel discussion and Contemporary Sound-Out. The firm is planning a July release of Roots of the 1969 Woodstock Festival: The Backstory to “Woodstock.”
Photo By: James Edstrom

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


Robert Funaro with Steve Walter, Elliot Tiber and Joe Franklin

Today is the 38th Anniversary of WOODSTOCK; the three-day festival of Peace and Love in 1969. Last night, at STEVE WALTER's CUTTING ROOM in Chelsea, author ELLIOT TIBER launched his new book TAKING WOODSTOCK; his first hand account of his life and role in the festival. He introduced MAX YASGUR to MICHAEL LANG, and was able to secure the necessary permits that enabled the music festival to go on. Tiber's parents owned the local El Monaco Hotel in Bethel, New York, and he soon found himself on the Chamber of Commerce ... which granted him his extraordinary access as well as putting him at the center of the history-changing event. Tiber also lived a closeted-gay life, journeying to New York on his weekends and dabbling with the likes of ROCK HUDSON; TRUMAN CAPOTE; and, TENNESSEE WILLIAMS, and, immersing himself in the burgeoning gay movement in NY, which culminated in his appearance at the Stonewall riots. With the band MOSTLY MOPTOP playing a dizzying array of classic-rock hits (the band's ANTHONY POMES doubles as the marketing-man for SQUARE ONE PUBLISHERS, who released the book), the dressed-for-the-festival crowd grew to maximum proportions. ROBERT FUNARO ('Eugene' on The Sopranos) showed, as did singer/songwriter LARRY STEVENS (whose new CD HEART OF THE FIGHTER is just out); former-FANTASTICKS-producer TONY NOTO; RUDY SHUR, the CEO of SQUARE ONE PUBLIHSING; BOBBY BANK, from WireImage; CHARLIE RUPPMAN, from The Daily News; and, the legendary JOE FRANKLIN, who, with JAMES EDSTROM of TIMES SQUARE GOSSIP, introduced Tiber and choose the 3-best outfits. Even Walter (and, PR-poobah DAVID SALIDOR, who put the event together), with The Cutting Room staff (including the extraordinary SUSAN HATHAWAY and PETE ABRAHAM) dressed up. A proper salute indeed for an extraordinary moment in time.
Supermodel Chloe with David Salidor

Taking Woodstock's Elliot Tiber and Rudy Shur

Photos By: James Edstrom

Friday, July 27, 2007


Chris Gilman and Elliot Tiber
Photo By: James Edstrom
TAKING WOODSTOCK's ELLIOT TIBER held court at NY's PALM WEST Thursday night, with Times Square Gossip(and pr-powerhouse DAVID SALIDOR), talking about his forthcoming launch party at Steve Walter's Cutting Room on Tuesday, August 14. Tiber's book, released by Square One Publishers, candidly details the efforts Tiber took to make the Woodstock festival happen. "I ran a hotel with my parents in White Lake, NY, the El Monaco, befriended Max Yasgur ... and, when the permit required to hold the festival fell through, I secured the proper notification, as I was on the Bethel Chamber of Commerce ... and, it went off."
All along, Tiber was living a closeted-gay-lifestyle; going into New York on the weekends and befriending people like Rock Hudson, Robert Mapplethorpe, artist Mark Rothko; and, Tennessee Williams. Tiber gradated from Hunter College with honors and slowly became enveloped in the burgeoning gay-lifestyle in NY. Then on June 28, Tiber walked into the Stonewall Inn, and witnessed first hand the riot that would galvanize the American gay movement. "It was something to see ... American-spirit in the best sense of the word and everyone at the Inn came together like never before. We were bonded ... forever!" The book is a compelling historical read on the event that changed everything. Engaging several passersbys outside the Palm West, Tiber did a quick market-research of the effects of Woodstock ... as he asked two young people about it, and they knew about, but only had limited knowledge. "If I didn't do it ... you'd probably be dressed somewhat differently," he said. Though he comments he'd like to be known as the gay man that made Woodstock happen ... he does realize the everlasting effects of the 1969 event and reflects on his life since. "I've done several plays, written several books, but this one, I think is the one that ties it all together. Everything I ever wanted to say bout Woodstock is here." Times Square Gossip is co-hosting the event at The Cutting Room, and, will be followed up with another event at Palm West.

Friday, June 29, 2007


Richie Havens with Elliot Tiber

During the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, there were a series of violent conflicts between the New York City Police and groups of gay and transgender people in New York City. The conflict lasted several days and was a watershed for the worldwide gay rights movement, as gay people had never before acted in such large numbers to forcibly resist police. ELLIOT TIBER, who's parents ran a small inn near Woodstock, was there and chronicles many of his thoughts in his new book TAKING WOODSTOCK (Square One Publishers), as well as his heroic efforts in making the Woodstock festival happen. Tiber lived by day working at his parents inn and by night, in new York City, a closeted gay existence. He came in contact with the likes of TRUMAN CAPOTE, ROCK HUDSON and, ROBERT MAPPLETHORPE. Says Tiber, "Stonewall was a life changing experience ... we all knew it the moment. I was the first to overturn a police car ... an amazing episode." Tiber adds that the entire moment is perhaps best chronicled in THE HIPPIES, currently running on the History Channel. Now, with the release of his book, The Cutting Room will host, on Tuesday, August 14, a launch party. PR-pasha DAVID SALIDOR, who is coordinating the event and Times Square Gossip will co-host. "Everyone will come dressed as if they were going to Woodstock ... the media too!"

Sunday, June 10, 2007


L-R: Steve Porpora, Verde Press, Anthony Pomes, Square One, author ELLIOT TIBER, Square One publisher RUDY SHUR, unidentified guest, and, consultant DAVID SALIDOR.

A new book, TAKING WOODSTOCK (Square One Publishers), coming out in August will literally blow the lid off the Woodstock-generation with an in depth behind-the-scenes story of how author ELLIOT TIBER rescued the original Woodstock Festival cancellation. Elliot, who owned along with his parents 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 and his community. Then on Friday, June 28, Elliot walked into the Stonewall Inn - and witnessed a riot that would galvanize the American gay movement and enable him to take stock of his own lifestyle. Then, on July 15, when Elliot learned that the Woodstock Concert promoters were unable to stage their proposed show in Wallkill -a town near the motel he ran- he offered them a new venue. Soon he was swept up in a vortex of social change that would change his life forever.TAKING WOODSTOCK is a vibrant and telling snapshot of America from not too long ago ... the story of a man who was living two separate and very different lives - one in the burgeoning gay movement in Manhattan, and one in a sleepy upstate town - until the Woodstock Concert altered forever his way of looking at the world and himself. Tiber exclusively appeared at this past weekend's BEA Book Expo in Manhattan.