ForeWord Clarion Review
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
The Pied Piper of Woodstock
Spirit of the Woodstock Nation
Five Stars (out of Five)
More than a mere three days of peace, love, mud, and music, the 1969 Woodstock Music & Art Festival was a cultural landmark in a tumultuous decade. It was the brainchild of Artie Kornfeld, songwriter, music producer, and so-called “Pied Piper of Woodstock.” In his memoir, Kornfeld traces his life from early musical prodigy to organizer of the concert that changed the country.
Pied Piper begins when Kornfeld was a musically gifted child raised by a radical socialist mother and a union activist father. Kornfeld became the youngest VP at Capitol Records at the age of twenty-one, and by twenty-four he had written more than seventy-five songs that hit the Billboard charts. Kornfeld’s ebullient, swiftly paced prose takes readers nimbly through his pre-Woodstock years, portraying his achievements as formative steps on the way to his crowning glory—Woodstock.
Pied Piper details every step in the development of the momentous festival. From booking the acts to securing a venue, each piece of the process is described in a casual, intimate tone that draws in the reader. The meat of the book comes in long chapters each devoted to one day at Woodstock, with subsections for each performer that include lively character sketches. True to activist form, Kornfeld expounds on the Woodstock ethos of “peace and music” and why it was so important.
Kornfeld’s book is more than a simple memoir of one of the most important concerts in U.S. history; it is also a detailed, personal account of the 1960s’ rock culture, music, and personalities. The text contains historical photographs and news clippings about key players on the Woodstock scene. Also included are lyrics from Kornfeld’s rock songs and full-color reproductions of dreamy, pacifist paintings by Jim Warren. Pied Piper provides a panoramic, comprehensive collage of the times and people (complete with a detailed index at the end).
With a highly personal and chatty style, Pied Piper uses a wealth of detail to create excitement as the intricate concert preparations come to fruition. A constant stream of anecdotes brings to life the personalities of the festival without becoming bogged down in minutiae or confusing the reader. This is one book that really makes readers feel like they were there.
As a valuable historical document of an important concert and a joyful paean to the revolutionary spirit of an era, The Pied Piper of Woodstock will engross historians, rock lovers, and casual readers alike.
Elizabeth A. Allen
I wanted to like this book. I wanted to learn a lot. I suppose I did, but what I learned was a lot about Artie Kornfeld and how wonderful he is. Read morePublished 6 months ago by L. Newman
Get it!! You will not be dissapointed and it is a great book to keep and read again and again!Published 11 months ago by Dennis marcotte
Reading this book is like watching an all-pro tackle dance. There is a certain fascination that keeps you involved; a perception of talent, power and perseverance, but nothing like... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Alan D. Geller
The authors vanity seemed to leak over into what he was writing- initially a huge turn-off for me. I'm sure his parents were wonderful people, too. Read morePublished 15 months ago by OLD-GUY
One of the best books I have read about music history, a man that lost much by many that greedily took started long agoPublished 16 months ago by The Reviewer
one of the best books I have read. Artie Kornfeld takes us on a journey of a dream and a few friends that turned into history. It is a must read.Published 19 months ago by trish williams
I've been booking bands and have always had a passion for music. I was a little to young to attend Woodstock, but I have seen the movie & listen to the music which will have some... Read morePublished on January 10, 2011 by DeMarco Productions
This tells the Woodstock story from behind the scenes - and begins way before 1969: This is a book about life, about passion, hopes; fears. Read morePublished on December 16, 2010 by Matthew Fernandes WILKINSON
This book is the written by and about Artie Kornfeld a remarkable individual. This book is the Holly Grail of how the most historic peaceful three day gathering of over 500,000... Read morePublished on November 7, 2010 by Michael J. Soltis