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Under the Hood: Harvey Mandel on Playing at Woodstock

It was 1966 at the Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco.  Backstage, the band Canned Heat was getting ready to play when an argument broke out and their lead guitarist quit.  Turns out two other guitarists both happened to be in the dressing room – Mike Bloomfield and Harvey Mandel.  So Mike played with the band on the first set and Harvey on the second. They had so much fun, Harvey Mandel sat in on a couple more gigs.  The third one turned out to be Woodstock. Harvey remembers, not so much what they played, but what came after…

“Once you’re there, once the helicopter drops you off, you’re history, you’re done playing, you gotta wait just like everyone else to get, it took like three days to get out of there cause it was a mess with the mud and the weirdness and the cars, but once you were there it was a party. You weren’t going anywhere.” – Harvey Mandel