See Declined Invitations: http://www.digitaldreamdoor.com/pages/music0_woodstock.html
See Cancelled Appearances http://the60sofficialsite.com/Woodstock_Rock_Festival.html
It was Tuesday, August 5, 1969 and we had just finished playing a noon time concert in Trinity Church on
This is what happened. Cossie came into the church and said there is big deal "something" going on in upstate NY. He said "do you guys want to play there?" We learned after the fact it was not just "something", it was Woodstock. The Mind Garage had played before with many of the bands who were at Woodstock, such as Canned Heat, Sly and the Family Stone and Paul Butterfield Blues Band, also with Lighthouse and Iron Butterfly who were supposed to be there but didn't make it. We were signed to RCA, the same as Jefferson Airplane, abd Elvis, the King, so the offer to play at "something" with a lot of big names, or that someone might be pulling strings to get us on the bill didn't seem unusual. We were always being asked to do promo gigs and this was just one more.
I'm not sure who issued the invitation to Cossie, and I'll probably never know. Artie told me he didn't directly do the hiring and of course Cossie had nothing to do with hiring for Woodstock. But we weren't going to be "hired", so the invite might have originated via an agent, or a record company executive who was owed a favor and wanted to get some promomotion to increase our record sales. Cossie was seriously ready to get us there so it was the real deal and not a joke. We weren't thrilled with another promo gig and turned it down. No one knew it would turn out to be as big as it did, to become WOODSTOCK!!! not even Artie. We made a life changing decision that day and took a gig in Cleveland with the Dick Clark Teenage World's Fair.
What is so personally daunting is that while we were in Cleveland we were actually asked to go to Woodstock again as regular festival goers on a privately chartered bus. But we turned it down. By then we knew it was 'woodstock' but it still wasn't apparent it would become "WOODSTOCK" !!! And as if that wasn't bad enough, it seemed fate was really rubbing it in, or trying desperately to get us there. We were asked for a third time by a friend to go in a private car and for the third and last time we said no. It was enough to make Beethoven roll over.
There are critical moments in every life, crossroads where decisions you make will forever change your life. Sometimes you just don't know until later. How can we ever know what might have been. We are presented with so many doors, some open, some closed. We may desperately try to go through a closed door but no matter what we do it can't be opened. Or the door may be open and we decide not to enter, no matter how hard events try to push us through. If there is no such thing as destiny, when things are all over and done, history looks very much like destiny, and Woodstock was not our destiny.
I'm reminded of an anecdote. An elderly woman heard on the radio there was a terrible storm coming and the possibility of flood, and everyone should evacuate. She wouldn't. She put her faith in God to save her. The Sheriff came and ordered her to evacuate and she wouldn't, putting her faith in God once more. The floods came and still she wouldn't evacuate even when the national guard came in boats. She put her faith in God to save her. At last a helicopter came and still she wouldn't evacuate. She died and went to heaven. When she saw God she said, what went wrong? Where were you? Why didn't you save me? God answered, I warned you on the radio, I sent the Sheriff with a message, I sent you a boat, I even sent you a helicopter. Why didn't you listen to me?"