40 years after the legendary rock festival was held on a farm in Woodstock, it was admitted today by many of the top performers of the 1960s that rather than being the groundbreaking and culturally significant event in American history it had claimed to be for decades, it was basically a dreadful bore that most of those top stars at the time refused to perform at.
The Doors keyboard player Ray Manzarek said 'Sure, we were invited to play there, but the embarrassment of appearing at the same festival as people like Joan Baez and Arlo Guthrie, you know ...'
And Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant agreed, saying 'We'd never heard of most of the acts at Woodstock, and still haven't! Only Janis and Jimi and The Who were any good, but who'd want to sit in a sea of mud for three days just to see them?'
'And as for the cool idea of being free, that was simply an accident, not any peace-loving hippy idea. The organisers always planned to make a profit from the festival, but couldn't afford enough fencing, so just gave up and let everyone in. Woodstock was diabolically bad!'
But Joan Baez herself disagreed. Miss Baez, once famous for knowing Bob Dylan in the 1960s, said 'OK, the way I murdered 'Joe Hill' at Woodstock was criminal, I sounded and looked like a raccoon that had just inhaled a bottle of helium, and as for Sly and the Family Stone ... man, they were like some crap disco soul band on acid!'
'But apart from the terrible bands, the mud, the boring interviews with stoned drop-outs, and the complete and utter boredom of the entire event, it was groundbreaking and, er, historic. Well, it was historic for me, the only time I ever played in front a of a large audience, mainly because they were a captive one.'
Pete Townshend of The Who added: 'It was unbelievably dull, all those American kids sitting there with their mouths open as we trashed our instruments and the stage, they were shocked! They wanted lots of nice smiling singers and musicians being all nice and smiling, not wild rock'n'roll. The most boring gig we ever played.'
'If Woodstock had been groundbreaking and historic it would have had The Doors, Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan, The Velvet Underground, The Beatles, Otis Redding and Black Sabbath. At least Janis was good, but we had to go on before Jimi Hendrix, as we heard he was planning to copy us and smash his guitar on stage. Boring ...'
Next week, the fortieth anniversary of Joan Baez's last singing lesson.