Stealing Dylan From Woodstock – an organiser’s view of IOW 69
Amid the euphoria of the UK’s first great rock festival, there were cynical voices who believed the organisers were just a bunch of young businessmen on the make. Over forty years on, Ray Foulk sets the record straight with his account, selling at £22.95 and published by a leading advocate of friendly relations with Saudi Arabia.
It is important not to judge a book by its cover, but the title is a bit of a baffler: Dylan did not want to play Woodstock, nor were the two festivals in competition, at least not in the eyes of the punters. Both were seen as important counter-cultural events, though IOW 69 was to end in massive disappointment on that score as Dylan sought to distance himself as far as possible from his radical young image.
I hope to review Ray and Caroline Foulk’s book in due course: I’ve looked forward to reading Ray’s memoirs for five years since Caroline first mentioned the work in progress. She was emailing to question whether my father was festival electrician in 1969 as Ray had no memory of him.