The 40th anniversary of Woodstock will be get a West Coast
celebration later this year at San Francisco's Golden Gate Park.
The free concert should attract a sea of mellow humanity to look back
and, shall we dare to say, groove in fond remembrance of a festival
and a time that really rocked the planet. Guitar player Leigh
Stephens, whose music was a big part of those times, has been invited
to perform and has passed word to Media Life that he'll either be
riffing with his old band Blue Cheer or making super-charged sounds
with much the same group that he played with and wowed at the
Summer of Love tribute concert in late 2007.
Stephens, who's best known for some sizzling fretboard frenetics on
1968's "Summertime Blues," is on Rolling Stone magazine's list of Top
100 guitar players. He's also an Auburn resident.
Stephens is anticipating a good crowd and good weather. About 70,000
people showed up for the 2007 tribute to music impresario Chet Helms.
And the Indian summer is going to likely be washing the City by the
Bay in sunshine and moderate temperatures.
The event will be Oct. 25 at Speedway Meadows in the park. It's being
produced in association with Artie Kornfield, the original producer
for 1969's Woodstock in upstate New York.
The whole high-powered hootenanny should draw a who's who list of
prominent musicians from the area but also a large contingent of
guitarists in the audience. The event will be held in honor of Jimi
Hendrix, a Woodstock headliner, and plans are to gather 3,000 guitar
players together to form the world's largest guitar ensemble to play
"Purple Haze" in honor of the auspicious occasion.