Woodstock co-creator Michael Lang dies aged 77 – Billboard

Michael Lang, legendary co-creator of Woodstock Music & Arts Fair, dead. He is 77 years old.

Lang passed away Saturday night (January 8) from a rare form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma at Sloan Kettering Hospital in New York City. His agent and family friend Michael Pagnotta confirmed the news to Billboards.

Lang worked with Capitol Records partners Joel Rosenman, Artie Kornfeld and John P. Roberts for the 1969 festival held at Max Yasgur’s 600-acre dairy farm in Bethel, New York. The three-day lineup includes icons like Richie Havens, Santana, Janis Joplin, Grateful Dead, Sly and the Family Stone and The Who, among others.

“I booked three of the hottest bands at the time — Jefferson Airplane, Canned Heat and Credence Clearwater Revival,” says Lang. Billboards in 2019. “That gave us instant credibility and that word came out and then suddenly the stone rolled downhill. Then we start adding the left and right strips. I remember when David Geffen walked into our office with the Crosby, Stills, and Nash pressing test. He put it on the turntable and made a deal on the spot. Same thing with Joe Cocker. We heard his voice and booked him pretty quickly.”

After Woodstock, Lang started a record company in 1971 called Just Sunshine Records, which first signed Karen Dalton, then Billy Joel. Lang then became a manager, working primarily with Cocker for about 15 years. In 1994, he helped promote Woodstock’s 25th anniversary with Woodstock ’94. In 2019, Lang planned to host Woodstock 50 – which he said Billboards he worked for two years – with a lineup that included Miley Cyrus, Dead & Company, Jay-Z and others. The event was eventually canceled after a series of licensing and production issues, location transfers, and artists withdrawing.

Three years before co-creating the original Woodstock in 699, Lang opened his first business: a main store in the Coconut Grove neighborhood of Miami. He said it had become “the unofficial headquarters of the underground counterculture”, previously said Billboards that David Crosby and Joni Mitchell often visit. “It became famous – and it’s over. I decided it was time to go back to New York. I love living in a small creative town. I know about Woodstock, I was there as a kid and it has a big music scene with crazy artists and good people A Midsummer Night’s Dream. ”

“In 1969, people came for three days of peace, music and community experience,” he continued. “That’s what made it so special… One thing people always tell me when they approach me about how Woodstock has changed their lives is that it has changed the way they relate to other people. ”

Lang is survived by his wife Tamara, their sons Harry and Laszlo, and daughters LariAnn, Shala and Molly.

https://www.billboard.com/music/music-news/woodstock-co-creator-michael-lang-dead-1235016940/ Woodstock co-creator Michael Lang dies aged 77 – Billboard

Dais Johnston

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