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Ten Songs From Woodstock That Would Have Served As Great Encore

Updated on August 19, 2019

Arlo Guthrie's Classic About L.A. Would Have Been A Great Way To Close Out Woodstock


Jimi Hendrix Closed Out The Festival, But There Were Other Options

The third Sunday of fifty Augusts ago is still celebrated as the final show of the Woodstock festival, the most famous outdoor rock concert of all time. After twenty different artists had performed sets since Friday, August 15, the most anticipated act of course was called in to close out the festival.

It turned out to be a bittersweet farewell, and not just because it was the end of a historical weekend. Jimi Hendrix, who sent the multitude out of the farm with a set that included "Hey Joe" and "Foxy Lady" and "Purple Haze", would be taken from us exactly thirteen months after he left the stage at Woodstock.

Even though Hendrix has postthemously become a guitar legend, after fifty years we can look back and see that other acts might have been better choices to close out Woodstock. The most obvious pick would be Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, who could have used any of three great songs for the encore.

The quarter's set list included "Suite:Judy Blue Eyes", "Helplessly Hoping" and "Mr. Soul." Here are ten other songs played at the festival that would have served as great encores.

Mr.Tambourine Man by Melanie
Bob Dylan may not have performed at Woodstock, but nearly half a dozen of his songs were played. The most famous is probably this one, even though the folk songstress omitted a stanza.

Sweet Sir Gallahad by Joan Baez
Dylan's longtime sidekick, who did not cover any of his tunes for her set, wrote this ballad for her sister Mimi's late husband.

Younger Generation by John Sebastian
He had already disbanded the Lovin Spoonful, but Sebastian provided a more mature presence with this tongue in cheek song.

Mama Tried by the Grateful Dead
Merle Haggard was associated more with the anti-Woodstock in Muskogee, Oklahoma, but the Dead covered this autobiographical tune during their set.

Somebody To Love by Jefferson Airplane
Grace and her gang helped establish the Summer of Love a few years before making the trip from San Francisco all the way across the country to the farm in New York.

The Weight by the Band
Again, there may have been no Dylan there in the flesh, but Robbie Robertson and his other favorite collaborators certainly were.

Spinning Wheel by Blood Sweat and Tears
Had anyone been riding a painted pony, as David Clayton Thomas suggested in this hit, the equestrian would very likely have proceeded unnoticed by the crowd.

And When I Die by Blood Sweat and Tears
Thematically, this hit would have been the most appropriate way to end the festival.

Get a Job by Sha Na Na
Most of the crowd appreciated this Fifties cover as a parody of the three word advice they had been hearing from the old man for years.

Coming In To Los Angeles by Arlo Guthrie
The city may have been thousands of miles away, but the drug allusions probably made the crowd feel right at home.


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