They refused to play at Woodstock

We can safely say that Woodstock was a turning point in the careers of many artists - for example, for Santana, the festival became an incredible leap to the heights of the musical Olympus! But there were those who refused to speak ...

List of Artists Who Didn't Want to or Couldn't Play at Woodstock

"Woodstock" - one of the most significant festivals in the history of rock music. He took place in August 1969 of the year in rural New York State and lasted four days - from the 15th to the 18th. Despite the scale and historical value, Woodstock Music & Art Fair took place on one of the farms and did not differ in special prestige or competent organization. Nevertheless, he gathered under one sky half a million people and iconic stars of the time, including: Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Carlos Santana, Jefferson Airplane, The Who and many others!

These four days to this day it is considered to be one of the craziest, filled with illegal substances, love and tragedies ... We can safely say that "Woodstock" became turning point in the careers of many artists - for example, for Santana, the festival has become incredible leap to the heights of the musical Olympus! But there were those who refused to speak.

"The Doors"

The Doors in 1967. Photo: Bobby Klein/Doors Property, LLC/Rhino Entertainment
The Doors, 1967 Photo: Bobby Klein/Doors Property, LLC/Rhino Entertainment

"The Doors" they could easily set the Woodstock stage on fire and bring joy to hundreds of thousands of guests, but they refused to perform at the very last moment. The reason is simple: the group members decided that this event would be "a second-rate copy of the Monterey Pop Festival". Later they sincerely regretted. In one of the interviews Robbie Krieger will say:

“We were very stupid then. We refused to participate and later regretted it very much ... "

However, one member "The Doors", drummer John Densmore, nevertheless arrived at the festival. Densmore even got into a concert film: we can see John near the stage when it lights up Joe Cocker! Later, the musician shared his emotions:

“It was something… A huge crowd of people crowning the top of the hill, which was about a quarter of a mile from the stage! And The Doors didn't play. Well, I've been there!"

"Led Zeppelin"

Early Led Zeppelin
"Led Zeppelin"

In those years "Led Zeppelin" were not rock giants yet, but their superiority was already obvious.

The band was invited to Woodstock but turned down the offer to perform. Their manager Peter Grant decided that a solo concert was much more profitable, and therefore instead of Woodstock Music & Art Fair the group went in New Jersey. Grant later commented:

"I said "No". If we went to Woodstock, we'd be just another band on the list..."

The Beatles

The Beatles
The Beatles

The legendary Beatles were also invited to "Woodstock" and also withdrew. The true reason for the refusal to this day remains a mystery. It is known that the organizers contacted Lennon, but John answered their offer to speak sharply negative.

It is worth noting that during this period the group was on the verge of disintegration. Many argued that the cause of the discord was Yoko Ono, while others believed that Lennon had problems with immigration. One way or another, but one member of the legendary team still visited the festival - and this George Harrison!

The Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones early in their career...
The Rolling Stones early in their career

The Rolling Stones also deprived hundreds of thousands of fans of a moment of joy. The shooting was due to Mick Jagger in the movie "Ned Kelly". The picture was not crowned with great success, and today few people even know about it.

But there is another, more positive reason for the refusal - at about the same time, Keith Richards a son was born.

Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan

Unlike other stars Bob Dylan really intended to perform at the festival and go down in history forever "Woodstock". But at the very last moment, his plans were disrupted: his son suddenly fell ill and was hospitalized. Of course, there was no talk of any concert. Like a true loving father, Dylan stayed to look after the child.

But other versions have been put forward. For example, many believe that Dylan abandoned "Woodstock" due to hippiewhich he literally couldn't stand! However, just a few weeks later, the artist performed at another large-scale festival, which was held on the Isle of Wight.

Jeff Beck Group

Jeff Beck Group
Jeff Beck Group

Band of the legendary virtuoso guitarist Jeff Beck became another in the list of those who left fans without a memorable spectacle. But the reason is more than fair: the team broke up literally the day before! Just a few days before Woodstock, the line-up left Nicky Hopkins, and this was the impetus to end the story Jeff Beck Group.

At the same time, Hopkins himself nevertheless took the most direct part in the festival - he performed with Jefferson Airplane!


Group «Chicago»
Group «Chicago»

American rock band "Chicago" was determined to perform at Woodstock. But the plans of the young team, known in those years as "Chicago Transit Authority", were violated: their concert promoter simply took and transferred their performances to «Fillmore West» on the dates that Woodstock took place.

Later the band's then vocalist and bass player Peter Cetera will say:

“When we found out about this, we were beside ourselves with anger!”

"Iron Butterfly"

Band "Iron Butterfly"
Band "Iron Butterfly"

Another band that had to miss the festival through no fault of their own was "Iron Butterfly". Although ... To some extent, these guys are to blame for not getting on "Woodstock", because their rider included a rather interesting item - helicopter!

The organizers either could not afford it, or considered that Iron Butterfly were not such giants of the rock scene as to send a helicopter to them. In general, the group didn't wait your air transport. Later co-organizer Michael Lang will say:

“Probably the Iron Butterfly agent really thought these conditions were real for us. But we were already drowning in problems ... "

Joni Mitchell

Young and charming Joni Mitchell...
Young and beautiful Joni Mitchell

Charming Joni Mitchell wanted to perform at Woodstock, but the prudent manager convinced her. He advised Mitchell to conserve her strength before "The Dick Cavett Show", and the singer refused the festival concert.

The irony is that the song is about Woodstock, inspired by the experiences of her then boyfriend Graham Nash, became one of the biggest hits of Mitchell's career.

"Jethro Tull"

Band "Jethro Tull"
Band "Jethro Tull"

Perhaps the most interesting reason for refusing to participate in the festival is awarded to the group "Jethro Tull".

Participants were afraid to go to "Woodstock" due to naked womenthat they could see there. Having learned that there will be a lot of hippies at the event, the musicians came to this conclusion.

“I was told that there would be a lot of hippies, illegal substances, alcohol and naked women. I don't mind seeing a woman without clothes, but only in a more appropriate setting. So I said no. And I didn’t regret it: I think Woodstock could have been a negative experience for Jethro Tull, ”the leader of the group, Ian Anderson, shared his opinion.

Who else refused

Grace Slick (Grace Slick). 60s. Woodstock Festival
Grace Slick (Grace Slick). 60s. Woodstock Festival

In addition to all the artists and groups mentioned above, Woodstock was turned away Frank Zappawho got scared an abundance of dirt, "The Moody Blues"who have already been scheduled performance in Paris, "The Byrds"who considered him "primitive", as well as:

  • "Love"
  • "Tommy James & the Shondells"
  • Roy Rogers
  • Free
  • "Mind Garage"
  • "Procol Harum"
  • Spirit

The members of the latter team subsequently admitted that very sorry about their decision - supposedly they could not even imagine such the stunning scale of the festivalorganized in a muddy field on a farm. Well, if the influence "Woodstock" was known to everyone in advance, the musical history would obviously have been much richer. But it wasn't that interesting...

That song from "Bodyguard": the meaning is deeper

All about the song "I Will Always Love You": creation history, performance, success It often happens that between artists who perform the same song, but in different styles,...

Valery Didyulya was left without music

Valery Didiuli's Muse: how the musician's family broke up Often celebrity couples try not to give publicity to disagreements within the family. But sooner or later the stars also need ...

What I'd Say is a chic rock 'n' roll from Jose Feliciano that will cheer anyone up

Musician Jose Feliciano - discography of the great guitarist, creativity, awards Nowadays Latin American musicians are reaching a new level: they easily conquer the world stage and acquire...
Related Articles

Muddy Waters and Mick Jagger rock out on stage - the best collab in blues history

Bluesmen Muddy Waters and Mick Jagger: biography, collaboration, joint performance Collaborations between rock musicians are not a new phenomenon. The Beatles and Eric Clapton, Queen and David...

The story of a sweet-voiced beauty: Hope Sandoval

All about singer Hope Sandoval: youth, star rise and success Sometimes underground artists don't want to become famous because the big labels that find them after some...

The Residents - the most mysterious rock band in history

All about the band The Residents: the history of emergence, mystique and style In the music industry, there are quite a few musicians who have become popular due to their originality. Such performers are usually...

Lemmy Kilmister and his best movie roles

All about Lemmy Kilmister: band success, movie roles, biopic about the legend Rock stars who have made music their life and made huge contributions to the genre have shown...

The famous hit of the band "Zero," the clip to which everyone has seen

History of the song "I'm Coming, Smoking" by the band "Zero": interesting facts, clip "Song about unrequited love for the Motherland" is an album with unconditional hits, which is among the iconic...