By August 15, 1969, hundreds of thousands of people had flocked to upstate New York to attend Woodstock, the epic 3-day music festival that was said to be the capstone of a cultural movement. The world had never seen anything like it. Sam Yasgur convinced his father Max to allow the event to be held on their 600 acre farm in Bethel, New York. The biggest and best bands of the era played day and night to the lucky folks who made history just by being there. 20-mile traffic jams, heavy rain, mud, and insufficient food and accommodations did nothing to mar the collective, peace-loving spirit of the happening. The world still hasn't fully recovered, and probably never will.
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Joe Sia was a shooting star, a genuine, hands-down, everyone-agrees-on-this star at shooting [photographs], and his departure from this planet in 2003 at the tender age of 57 was too soon for a man of his talent. Born in the Bronx and a committed Yankees man, Joe loved music and gravitated around the Fillmore East and the flower-power youth-culture rock scene from whence he set out to capture some of the most incredible sounds of the last half-century. How could Joe capture sounds on camera film? He did it by focusing on the faces of the performers and the woozing-oozing crowd and by giving the background, whether simple or wild, the importance it deserved in defining the artist and event. Sia's entire archive consists more than a quarter of a million photographs that document almost 35 years of music genre and giants.