In 2020, what could be more comforting than wearing Steve Gold’s “Peace of The(1969 Woodstock) Stage” around your neck?
In the summer of 1969, fifteen year old Steve Gold was on top of the world. He had just spent three days at the Woodstock festival. This was before VIP lists backstage passes and beefed up concert security. Having grown up in Sullivan County, Steve didn’t have to wait in miles long traffic jams to get to the concert site. He knew the back roads well and went back and forth to the concert with ease all weekend. For Steve, the highlight of Woodstock 1969 was meeting Janis Joplin- not bad for a 15 year old kid from upstate NY.
A few weeks later on Labor Day Weekend, Steve’s girlfriend Robin had a request. Her father, Alex, needed help on a backyard project. Trying to get in good with his girlfriend’s father, he agreed to help. Alex owned an 100 acre Catskill bungalow colony and had several cottages on his property. After Labor Day, most colony owners would start fixing and renovating for the
following summer season.
“He asks if I would help him unload wood from his pickup truck. I say O.K. They’re these plywood panels. He says, ‘I bought these panels at Yasgur’s farm because they were selling everything from the concert, and this was the stage. I bought part of the stage.’
And there- recalibrated into a paddleball court- the Woodstock stage sat for almost 50 years, slowly deteriorating in Woodburne, NY.
Then, out of blue, in 2017, Steve woke up in the middle of the night and remembered.
At age 62, he got a the car with a friend and drove back to his girl’s old family Bungalow. When they got there Steve barely recognized the place now that Mother nature had reclaimed it and saturated the grounds with lush and untamed plants and weeds. The paddeball court was not where Steve remembered it to be.
As he was about to give up and head back to the car his friend called him over to look a pile of overgrowth deeper into the woods.
And there it was. The Woodstock stage still stood. They removed some planks and immediately Steve recognized the purple and green spray pay paint that he saw researching the state before driving down. He also recognized the triangle logo from Weyerhauser lumber company that sold the lumber to Woodstock Inc. to make the stage with. After getting a few planks, Steve brought samples to Wood Science Consulting in Millbrook, NY to confirm that the wood Steve had was indeed the Woodstock stage.
After careful examination, WSC did in fact validate that the wood Steve recovered was the Woodstock stage. This was not just a bunch of old rot wood. This was wood that Jimi Hendrix stood on when he played the Star Spangled Banner- some say the high water mark of the 1960’s. It was where Richie Havens, Sly and the Family Stone and Santana made his first major live performance.
Steve donated a few chunks to the Smithsonian, the Woodstock museum as well as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland and in Long Island.
He also had a jeweler make them into circular necklaces surrounded with a peace symbol made from bronze and sells them on line for just under $100. Steve sent a few to Black Star News recently and we were blown away how stunning and beautiful they are. It may sound corny, but the necklaces we got came with a real, tangible Woodstock vibe that you can feel when holding them. They also come with a letter and serial number documenting that the wood in your necklace is in fact authenticated wood from the Woodstock stage.
So, if you’re shopping for that old hippy in your family or maybe you are one yourself, Steve Gold’s Peace of the Stage necklace is the ultimate counter-culture knick-knack. If the necklace is too pricey, don’t worry! You can grab an anthicated Woodstock Stage jar of sawdust for just under $20!
Go to Peace of the Stage below:
Special thanks to Steve Gold- and that amazingly unique Woodstock story and experience.