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Blog Update (8/11/2017)

written by REO Speedwagon

Hi friends, on our way to the opening night of the third leg of the United We Rock tour, rolling through the Catskills Mountains in rural Upstate New York. Just drove past an old barn with a sign that read Yasgur’s Farm. The show tonight is on the site of the Woodstock Music and Arts Festival…how cool is that! I had just graduated from high school so I wasn’t allowed to be here to see Jimi Hendrix, Crosby, Stills, and Nash, Joe Cocker, The Who, and so many other amazing artists who played here back in the summer of 1969. I could never have imagined that some day I would actually be performing on this hallowed ground.
Here at the new venue Bruce and I met our new friend, Jim Shelley. Jim was here in 1969 and witnessed rock’n roll history as it was being made. I always thought it rained the whole time, but Jim tells us that the first two days were beautiful, sunny, and warm. Here we are in front of the plaque which memorializes the event. From where we are standing you could look down the hillside to where the original stage was located. Hard to image 400,000 people on their feet for Santana’s set, but Jim has the photos. I am in awe. Along with The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show, the Woodstock movie had such a profound impact on me as a young aspiring musician and songwriter. If not for Richie Havens’ solo acoustic version of “Freedom”, with his signature thumbing guitar style, I would never have written “Time For Me To Fly”. I had picked up an old Guild six string on my friend’s porch, after having driven from Chicago to Boulder, Colorado. I was delirious when I picked up that guitar and attempted to strum a chord. My friend David Drury had tuned the guitar to an open D chord, and I had no clue how to play in that alternate tuning. I thought of Richie Havens at Woodstock as I wrapped my thumb around the back of the neck, and next thing I knew I had written the verses for what would eventually become “Time For Me To Fly”. What an honor tonight’s show will be. I can hardly wait…kc
Photo: Bruce, Jim, and Kevin overlooking the venerable grounds of Woodstock