Canned Heat at Woodstock
|Performed on||Day 2|
|Started at||7.30 pm, Saturday, 16th|
|Played for||60 min.|
|Festival Day Chronology|
|Prev. artist||The Incredible String Band at 6.00 pm|
|Next artist||Mountain at 9.00 pm|
Canned Heat turned to audience favorites after their Woodstock gig. In 1969 they had already added psychedelic elements to their blues influenced songs and their Boogie Rock kept the people dancing. They hit the stage on Saturday, the 16th at about 7.30 pm. The gig took place during sunset which occurred at 7.56 pm. The sky was cloudy so it was a little bit darker than usual.
- Alan "Blind Owl" Wilson - guitar, harmonica, vocals
- Bob "The Bear" Hite - vocals, harmonica
- Harvey "The Snake" Mandel - guitar
- Larry "The Mole" Taylor - bass
- Adolfo "Fito" de la Parra - drums
- I'm Her Man
- Going Up the Country
- A Change Is Gonna Come / Leaving This Town
- I Know My Baby
- Woodstock Boogie
- On the Road Again
The setlist was wisely chosen, and featured their greatest hits: "Going Up the Country" and "On the Road Again", the last one as the encore. The song "Woodstock Boogie" is basically an almost 30-minute jam, including a drum solo. On their album Boogie With Canned Heat (1968) the song is called "Fried Hockey Boogie".
"A Change Is Gonna Come" was not recorded in the studio, and only two live versions exist in audio form online; the Woodstock version, and one recorded at the Fillmore West (also from 1969). The Fillmore version has a lighter blues sound, as opposed to the heavier, grittier version played at Woodstock.
In the movie, during the song "A Change Is Gonna Come", you can see a man from the audience climbing on stage but instead of kicking him off, singer Bob Hite shares a cigarette with him.
"I Know My Baby" resembles John Lee Hooker's "Rollin' Blues" which again is a version of the Blues traditional "Rollin' and Tumblin'" . Canned Heat recorded their version of "Rollin' and Tumblin'" (which has hardly any similarities to "I Know My Baby") on their first self-titled album from 1967. They also recorded and performed with Hooker, so it is not unusual that they played one of "his" songs at the festival.
Only two days before the Woodstock gig guitarist Henry Vestine left the band because of a fight with bassist Larry Taylor, who refused to do another show with him due to the fighting. Harvey Mandel replaced Vestine. Further drummer Adolfo de la Parra complained that they couldn't rehearse for the festival, so he also left the band. But only for a short time: manager Skip Taylor gained access to de la Parra's locked room, and managed to fly the band via helicopter to Woodstock. They arrived just in time .
The Woodstock performance was Harvey Mandel's third gig with the band.
Some songs are a patchwork of official sources and audio tapes / film outtakes. Their important songs are available in perfect quality from the following commercial sources:
- 1970: Woodstock I
- 1971: Woodstock II
- 1994: Woodstock - Three Days of Peace and Music
- 1994: Best of Woodstock
- 2009: Woodstock: 40 Years On: Back to Yasgur's Farm