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Taking Woodstock: A True Story of a Riot, a Concert, and a Lifeby Elliot Tiber and Tom Monte
Synopses & Reviews
Before there was a Woodstock Concert, there was Elliot Tiber working to make a go of his parents' upstate New York hotel, the El Monaco. It wasn't easy. The Jewish clientele who had returned to the Catskills year after year had discovered Florida, and the upstate hotel business was dying.
To save his family's livelihood, Elliot put on plays, musicals, and local festivals. In the process, Elliot became the area's official issuer of event permits — not that anybody else wanted that position. Elliot even worked weekends as an interior design artist in New York City, all in the hopes of helping his family.
In the summer of 1969, Elliot Tiber's life changed in a way he never could have foreseen. Greenwich Village had become the mecca for gays in America. There, Elliot had socialized with the likes of Truman Capote, Tennessee Williams, Andy Warhol, and a talented young photographer named Robert Maplethorpe, and yet had managed to keep his gay life a secret from his family. Then on Friday, June 27, Elliot walked into the Stonewall Inn — and witnessed the riot that would galvanize the gay movement in the United States. And on July 17, when Elliot read that the Woodstock Concert promoters had lost their license to stage the show in Wallkill, he called to offer his help in finding a new venue. In the days that followed, Elliot found himself swept up in a vortex that would change his life forever.
The events that unfolded during that hot New York summer have come to be recognized as major turning points in our cultural history. Few, however, have enjoyed Elliot Tiber's unique view of those events. Taking Woodstock is the funny, touching, and true story of the man who enabled Woodstock to take place. It is also the personal story of one man who took stock of his life, his lifestyle, and his future. In short, Taking Woodstock is like no history of Woodstock you have ever read.
"A humble motel owner and his parents become the heroes in carrying off the momentous 1969 Woodstock rock concert in Tiber's occasionally improbable yet thoroughly entertaining tale. Tiber, n Teichberg of Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, put on hold his personal ambition in the mid-1950s as an artist to help his aging Old World Jewish parents run their ramshackle resort motel in White Lake, deep in the Catskill Mountains. Hounded by the guilt that he can't live up to his parents' standards and riven by his own covert homosexuality, Tiber pokes fun at what he calls the Teichberg Curse, a scourge that won't allow the family to escape financial ruin. As head of the Chamber of Commerce in his small town, and possessed of the yearly permit to hold summer music concerts, Tiber gets wind of rock concert promoter Michael Lang's need for a venue to hold the Woodstock festival. A month of frenzied preparations ensues as Max Yasgur's farm is secured, the anticipated numbers swell, and tensions grow in the town. Yet the planning of the concert makes up only one part of Tiber's very human story, which includes affecting side chapters on brushes with artists (Mark Rothko, Robert Mapplethorpe) and standing defiant when the cops raided the West Village gay bar Stonewall." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
This is the funny, touching, and true story of the man who enabled Woodstock to take place. It is also the personal story of one man who took stock of his life, his lifestyle, and his future. This book is like no history of Woodstock you've ever read.
About the Author
Elliot Tiber has been a professional creative writer for over thirty-five years. He has written and produced numerous award-winning plays and musical comedies for the theater, television, and films around the world. He was also dramaturge for the National Theater of Belgium. He was a semi-finalist in the Academy Awards for best film. As a professor of comedy writing and performance, he has taught at the New School University and Hunter College (CUNY) in New York City. Mr. Tiber is also a best-selling author. His first novel, Rue Haute, was an instant bestseller in Europe, and was published in the US as an Avon Paperback under its English title, High Street. As a humorist, Elliot Tiber has appeared on CNN, NBC, CBS, CNBC, and 20/20, as well as on television shows in France, England, Tokyo, Moscow, and Berlin. Tiber has also performed his standup one-man show, Woodstock Daddy, for clubs, theaters, and TV. He currently resides in both New York City and California.
Tom Monte has written more than 30 books and many hundreds of articles for such magazines and newspapers as Life, Saturday Evening Post, Natural Health, and the Chicago Tribune. Among his many works are The Way of Hope, about the AIDS crisis in New York City. Tom is also the co-author with Dr. Anthony Sattilaro of the best-selling books Recalled By Life (Houghton Mifflin, 1982) and Living Well Naturally (Houghton Mifflin, 1984). For the past twenty years, Tom has lectured and provided workshops on healing and personal transformation throughout the United States and Europe, including the University of Massachusetts and Yale University. In May 2005, he was the keynote speaker for the American Cancer Society's Living With Cancer Conference in Augusta, Maine. He and his wife, Toby, live in Massachusetts and are the parents of three adult children.
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