John Fogerty Says Grateful Dead “Sabotaged” CCR at Woodstock

"At Woodstock, they were just a bunch of drugged-out hippies," according to Fogerty

John Fogerty Says Grateful Dead "Sabotaged" CCR at Woodstock
John Fogerty performs during the 2014 New Orleans Jazz Heritage Festival. (Scott Legato/WireImage)
By Evan Bleier / August 15, 2019 10:12 am

Though artists like the Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin and Neil Young played at Woodstock, their performances were left off the original album documenting the tunes of “three days of Peace, Love and Music.”

The primary reason for the omission was that many of the acts felt they didn’t play very well at the festival, according to The Los Angeles Times.

Another band that played but opted out of the album was Creedence Clearwater Revival and CCR frontman John Fogerty told The Times why.

According to Fogerty, the Grateful Dead, high on LSD, played too long and ran over their allotted set time by quite a bit. By the time CCR followed them onstage, it was after midnight.

“We ran onstage ready to rock ’n’ roll, but everybody was just lying there in front of the stage asleep,” Fogerty said. “That’s why I didn’t want it on the record or in the film. I figured at best it wouldn’t help, and at worst it might hurt us for people to see that … They sabotaged our chance in the limelight. But over time, I have developed quite an affection for the Dead. They mumbled their way through a career and they outlasted the Man. They changed the paradigm by doing it their own way, and they made it work. But at Woodstock, they were just a bunch of drugged-out hippies.”

Carlos Santana, who also played at Woodstock and was featured on the original album chronicling the festival, had a much more positive impression of Garcia and the Dead.

“When we landed, the first person I saw was my brother and friend Jerry Garcia,” Santana told The New York Times. He looked like one of those yogis in a cave in the Himalayas. He had that beatific, everything is all right already look. For me, he was like assurance, confidence and a sanctuary.”

Garcia then gave Santana some mescaline — which led to him hallucinating onstage while playing one of the best sets of the weekend.

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