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Viewing Ang Lee’s “Taking Woodstock,” we recalled that Joni Mitchell, who’s not in the film, wrote the Woodstock song. Even though she dropped out from making that festival scene in upstate New York in 1969. Why? Her manager insisted she appear on the Dick Cavett Show. All the same, Joni immortalized the event with her lyrics, as did singers Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, who scored a hit on Billboard’s Hot 100 with the Woodstock single from their album, Deja Vu. “By the time we got to Woodstock,” go the lyrics, “we were half a million strong, and everywhere there was song and celebration …”
“She captured the feeling and importance of the Woodstock festival better than anyone who’d been there,” reflected David Crosby. Joni wrote the song in a Manhattan hotel room, while watching the events unfold on her television. Not being there, she claimed, gave her an intense perspective on what was happening during the landmark folk-rock concert of “peace and victory.”
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