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The Pied Piper of Woodstock Paperback – October 19, 2009

4.7 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


ForeWord Clarion Review



The Pied Piper of Woodstock

Artie Kornfeld

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

About the Author

Artie Kornfeld is a music industry icon. He has been a hit songwriter, performer, producer, publisher, label executive, manager, and promoter. Best known as the cocreator, producer, and promoter of the Woodstock festival in 1969, Artie embodies the spirit of the greatest musical and social phenomenon of our time. He has personally known the rock stars, lived the dream of the Woodstock Nation, soothed the egos of anxious musicians, written the songs that propelled them to the top of the charts, and arranged the deals that made them famous. From childhood through his days at the Brill Building and Capitol Records, through good times and bad, "The Pied Piper of Woodstock" leads us on his tumultuous journey to Yasgur's Farm and beyond. He gives us the inside scoop on what Woodstock meant to his generation, and what it continues to mean to all who appreciate what occurred during those three magical days in August 1969.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 196 pages
  • Publisher: Spirit of the Woodstock Nation, LLC (October 19, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0615325998
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615325996
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.5 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,513,707 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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