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The Yardbirds, Over Under Sideways Down. Album: Over Under Sideways Down (1966)

“Over Under Sideways Down’ was about the situation of having a good time – a bit of decadence, really – in the ’60s. Cars and girls are easy to come by in this day and age, and laughing, drinking, smoking, whatever, till I’ve spent my wages, having fun.”

The Yardbirds, who were one of the most famous British bands of the ’60s and employed at various times Jeff Beck (who played on this), Jimmy Page and Eric Clapton, certainly did enjoy some rock and roll hedonism, but as McCarty explains, it wasn’t all fun. He told us: “It’s very much up and down. Yeah, it was very much like a microcosm of a life, really. Very extreme, because we’d go from being on top of the charts and going to fantastic places and traveling to places like California that were just our dream after being in a sort of post-war London, which was rather dismal and rather miserable. Suddenly we were going to sunny California where things were happening and things were rich and there were lovely girls and cars and everything. From that to sitting all night in a bus driving to a gig and not being able to stop and feeling absolutely wretched from being so tired. And getting on each other’s nerves and arguing. (laughing) So it’s very much the extreme life.”

Three of The Yardbirds hits were written by Graham Gouldman “For Your Love,” “Evil Hearted You” and “Heart Full of Soul”), but most of their songs were group compositions, including this one. McCarty told Songfacts: “On ‘Over Under Sideways Down’ I think we all put in our bit. I put in a tune, somebody else said, ‘How about the state of things at the moment, it’s all over the place, so it’s sort of over, under, Sideways, down.'”

Psychedelic Lunch

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All Them Witches is an American rock band from Nashville, Tennessee. The band consists of drummer Robby Staebler, vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Charles Michael Parks Jr., and guitarist Ben McLeod.

This song, Charles Williami s by All Them Witches and appears on the album Lightning at the Door (2013).

Psychedelic Lunch

Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch” series where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore psychedelic tunes from the 60’s to today. Weekdays At Noon EST. Enjoy the trip!

By the time Eric Clapton formed Cream in 1966 with Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce, he had already logged high-profile gigs with the Yardbirds and British bluesman John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers. But his new power trio was bigger, louder and way more popular than either earlier gig. He scored his first No. 1 and first platinum-selling LPs with Cream. Though they released only four albums during their short two-year existence, those records serve as solid cornerstones to blues- and psychedelic-inspired rock of the ’60s.

In their short lifespan, Cream were one of the top album bands on the British, and indeed the world, rock scene. But they also amassed quite a sequence of hit singles, and in the chart week of 14 January 1968, they debuted on the US bestsellers with one of their signature songs, ‘Sunshine Of Your Love.’

‘Sunshine of Your Love’

Before “Sunshine of Your Love,” Cream were basically an album act. The handful of singles they released failed to even dent the charts in the U.S. And then “Sunshine of Your Love” hit in late 1967, and everything changed. The song raced into the Top 10, reaching No. 5 and becoming the band’s biggest hit. But more than that, it anchors Disraeli Gears, one of 1967’s milestone albums.

Psychedelic Lunch

“Candy apples and razor blades, little dead are soon in graves / I remember Halloween / This day anything goes, burning bodies hanging from poles / I remember Halloween!”

Thus cried Glenn Danzig in the classic Misfits song named for today’s hellacious, hallowed holiday, recasting Halloween as a day of purest evil instead of the plastic-pumpkin candy-grab it really is. The song itself is a gory little gem — a great song from a collection of accidentally brilliant songs — but it’s not good enough to make this list. Fuck it — Halloween is here! What better way to celebrate than a collection of the absolute best graveyard classics from the masters of unintentional comedy and gore-spattered punk ‘n’ roll? You know the Misfits, and you love the Misfits because they’re the fucking Misfits. You can’t hate them without hating fun itself.

For the uninitiated (for shame!), the Misfits crawled out of New Jersey way back in 1977 with a new take on punk rock: They took boring, comparatively straitlaced New York punk for a hell-ride, fashioning themselves after undead greasers with corpsepaint and trademark devilocks. The songs were sped-up ’50s rock played terribly with an evil-Elvis impersonation on top that almost masked the genius of the vocal hooks Danzig was able to pull from god knows where. For a band that could barely play their instruments, these guys could crank out the hits like no other. Lyrics fell between horror-fueled fantasies of violence and nonsensically sexualized celebrity obsessions, but they came off like alternate-dimension radio classics — Danzig’s croon easily sold lines about killing babies, inseminating little girls, and being, uh, 138.

Sadly, the Misfits came to an unfortunate end in 1983, due to the usual shitty reasons that cause young punk bands to break up. Glenn Danzig immediately moved on to heavier, less-punk sounds with his next band, Samhain, which would eventually morph into Danzig (the band). The remaining members, led by bassist Jerry Only, eventually (and unfortunately) won the rights to use the Misfits name and hired one Michale Graves to replace their irreplaceable singer. Several tours happened, countless T-shirts were sold, and a few terrible records were released before Graves split to leave the frustratingly persistent Jerry Only to front the band. No late-period Misfits will appear in this list, rest assured. 

Which leads me to the task at hand: I will do the impossible here by attempting to select a measly 10 Misfits tracks to help us celebrate this most haunted holiday and most excellent band. One production note: The Misfits’ catalog gets messy as all hell — songs were re-released and re-recorded, repurposed from live recordings, and sometimes unceremoniously overdubbed by an angry Danzig (see: all of Legacy Of Brutality) — so we’re not including original release dates this time around. Suffice to say, all these songs (and many more great ones!) can be found in varying shapes on The Misfits (also called “Collection I”), Collection IIWalk Among UsStatic Age, and Legacy Of Brutality, as well as the four-disc box set that collects all relevant Misfits goodness from the Danzig era. With a catalog full of classics, it’s inevitable many favorites will be overlooked. Trust me, I love them all — I just love these more. Feel free to unleash the hounds in the comments section and tell me exactly why “Rat Fink” should be on here.

10. “Mommy Can I Go Out And Kill Tonight?”

For all the talk of hooks and ’50s crooning, the Misfits also made for a hell of a hardcore band. They’d dive deeper into hardcore with the Earth A.D./Wolfs Blood album, but they’d never outdo the filth and fury of “Mommy, Can I Go Out and Kill Tonight?” Released smack dab in the middle of studio album Walk Among Us, “Mommy” is a live track that kicks ass by simply kicking ass. Your typical deranged Danzig rant leads into one of the best Misfits moments ever when the song lurches to a sudden stop. Everything hangs for a second before Danzig screams the title — “Mommy? Can I go out and … kill tonight?” — and we bash our way through the song in double-time. For a song about a bullied kid murdering the world, they nail the tone. As a teenager, this was the soundtrack for head-banging and trashing my room.

9. “Horror Business”

The Misfits’ third single, released in 1978, “Horror Business” is a perfect case of the absurd legends that arise from vague, violent lyrics. With lines like “You don’t go in the bathroom with me” and “I’m warning you, I’ll put a knife right in you”, folks have long theorized it was about Sid and Nancy (she was stabbed to death in a bathroom, quite possibly by Sid), or that it’s a warning to gay fans not to follow Glenn into the shitter. In reality, it’s a clear reference to the movie Psycho, with the line “Psycho ’78” meant to transpose the timeframe of the original story to the year they recorded the song. As we all know, Norman Bates, the titular pyscho, stabbed Janet Leigh in the bathroom in Hitchcock’s classic. Misfits lyrics are rarely deep, just awesome. Also of historical note: the “Horror Business” single marked the first appearance of the impossibly cool Misfits mascot, the Crimson Ghost.

8. “Astro Zombies”

One of Danzig’s best tricks is his ability to sing a line about the extinction of the human race like he’s belting it out to his girlfriend, Betty Sue, as she drives off into the distance, leaving sad Glenn to weep mascara into his devilock. He imbues so much charisma and heart into every single line, you’d be forgiven for thinking he’s singing about something real — and that’s what makes it so magical. All that feeling paired with this melody, and you’ve got a classic Misfits banger fit for the end of the world.

7. “Bullet”

“Like a dry desert soaking up rain, soaking up sun.” It sounds like a nice enough line out of context. In this case, Danzig is singing about Jackie O licking up … semen. Barf as you see fit. “Bullet” retells the story of the assassination of JFK by fixating on nauseating details: the president’s bullet-ridden body in the street, his shattered head hitting concrete, and most curiously, the mental state of his wife. After shouting about JFK for half the song, Danzig shifts gears and suddenly belts “You gotta suck, suck, Jackie suck.” The rest of the song becomes a singular, morbid vision of Jackie O masturbating the dead president for his vital fluids with which to (presumably) sustain her gold-digging lifestyle. Naturally.

6. “Hybrid Moments”

“If you’re gonna scream, scream with me / moments like this never last.” That’s the opening line to “Hybrid Moments,” a song about creatures raping faces and crying girls and other nonsense, but Danzig might as well be singing about the song itself. Misfits songs are short — painfully short. Brief little bursts of gore and joy that rock so hard you bang your fist and scream along straight through till the end, which usually hits after 90 seconds of ecstatic bliss. “Hybrid Moments” roars in like a banshee and tears out of there before you know what hit you — it’s a roller coaster of melody that stops short and leaves you hanging, hungry for more.

5. “Where Eagles Dare”

How can a perfect song be such a lyrical mess? Only Danzig knows. With a rumbling bass from hell holding down the bottom, we get batshit lines like, “An omelet of disease awaits your noontime meal / her mouth of germicide seducing all your glands” before the chorus drops the classic hook: “I ain’t no goddamn son of a bitch!” Reading through the theories at songmeanings.net reveals that (A) this has nothing to do with the classic World War II movie of the same name and (B) most folks think it’s a song about prostitutes. In which case “an omelet of disease” is suddenly twice as gross. But there’s no question the song is gold, to the point where the phrase “goddamn son of a bitch” has become indelibly linked with the band. When metal/hardcore/whatever band Trap Them snuck the line into a song last year, there was no question from whence it came.

4. “London Dungeon”

For a band mostly known for whoa-oh vocals and huge choruses, it’s refreshing to hear a song with such a delicious riff. The band as a whole finally deliver at the same level as Danzig, which is a rare occurrence in the Misfits canon. The stuttering snare, the ominous bass, and that infectious, near-metal, goth-baiting guitar — every piece setting the stage for the perfect chorus. Despite their origins and the roughshod execution of most of the songs, the Misfits were capable of serious songcraft, as proven here. For once the song’s lyrics are no mystery: Upon visiting the UK for an ill-fated tour with the Damned, Danzig and then-guitarist Bobby Steele attempted to do battle with skinheads and wound up in jail for a few nights. Danzig, sassy bitch that he is, turned a feather-ruffling experience into one of the best punk songs ever written.

3. “Skulls”

Ask me my favorite Misfits song, go ahead. It’s “Skulls”! It’s hard to quantify exactly how and why “Skulls” rips so fucking hard, but I suppose we’d better try. The song itself is simple four-chord punk, nothing fancy. Lyrics? Practically retarded. But when the chorus hits, all I want are skulls. It’s all in the delivery: When Danzig sings that he wants your skull, it’s like he’s never wanted anything so badly. Yet there’s something tugging at the back of his heart, something in the way he holds back during the verse: He almost feels bad about it. Not so bad as to NOT sever your head and mount your skull on the wall, leaving your body to seep out its precious blood like devil’s rain (his words), but still: Danzig feels some modicum of sorrow for his insatiable need. It’s essentially a wistful, yearning love song for your severed head. Complex shit. This is my favorite Misfits tune without question, though it’s hard to call it their “best” when the next two are pretty much untouchable ….

2. “Last Caress”

It’s the big one — the one everyone knows. The one with the nastiest lyrics ever set to an anthem meant for fist-pumping sing-alongs. Metallica covered it and made it legitimately famous without even touching on the quality of the original. AFI covered it and we’re better off forgetting they tried. By this point, “Last Caress” is practically played out, but the song still stands as one of the best the Misfits would ever produce. Heck, it’s one of the best songs ever produced by the punk genre. “Sweet lovely death, I’m waiting for your breath ….” Danzig’s final, “One … last … caress!” is as timeless and classic as anything to come out of the ’50s, just as melodic, and a million times deadlier. Which is why it’s almost the best thing they’d ever do

1. “Die, Die My Darling”

This — the sixth and final Misfits single ever released before the painful-to-watch, even-worse-to-hear Michale Graves/Jerry Only period — is about as good as it gets. The band had broken up by the time it came out in 1984, though “Die, Die My Darling” was actually recorded in 1981 for the Walk Among Ussessions, and — somehow, amazingly — left off that album. By Misfits standards, the 3:11 running time is an eternity — but that’s part of the magic. Never once does the energy flag. The stomp that launches the song out the gate carries through the entire running time, building up to stomp even harder before crumbling to chaos at the end. An insistent single-note guitar lead ratchets the tension as high as it can go while Danzig howls his way through a song about killing his unnamed darling. It’s single-minded and nasty, pissed as fuck and perfect. “I’ll be seeing you in hell.” Released when it was, it’s easy to picture Danzig aiming the sentiment at his former bandmates, or even the band itself. Then again, Misfits lyrics are rarely deep. Either way, it was the perfect sendoff for one of the best punk bands of all time.

The 10 Best Misfits Songs

The young art director’s idea to photograph as many of the luminaries of the New York jazz scene as possible together for Esquire’s 1959 Golden Age of Jazz edition began his career as a photographer. Police closed the road to all but residential traffic, and 57 musicians duly assembled in Harlem between Fifth and Madison Avenues. The group included Dizzy Gillespie, Art Blakey, Thelonius Monk, Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, Charles Mingus, Gerry Mulligan and Count Basie.

A Great Day In Harlem

Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch” series, “Valentines Day” Edition where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore psychedelic tunes from the 60’s to today. Weekdays At Noon EST. Enjoy the trip!

Happy ❤️Valentines Day ❤️From Vinyl Lair

10 Romantic Rock, Blues & Metal Love Songs

1. Peter Frampton, Im In You, Album: Im In You 1977

I’m in You” was written by Peter Frampton after returning to New York City from touring to record his live album Frampton Comes Alive! in 1976. The song is about Frampton being recently separated from his first wife, the model Mary Lovett.

Despite what one might at first think from the title, Frampton meant being “in” somebody in the spiritual sense. Sort of like the “I am he as you are he as you are me…” part from “I Am The Walrus.”

2. Pig Destroyer, The Girl in The Slayer Jacket. Album: Phantom Limb 2007

We know what you’re thinking: “Is Pig Destroyer really appropriate for Valentine’s Day?” This track recounts the “Girl in the Slayer Jacket” giving someone their first kiss in seventh grade, but after the opening lines, it all goes south, describing the girl’s eventual suicide and how Slayer nearly took the blame. But it was a beautiful relationship… while it lasted.

Her parents / Tried to sue Slayer / They blamed her boyfriend and PCP / But the truth is her eyes / Had been dead since she was five / She just hadn’t disposed of her body

3. The Beatles, Something. Album: Abbey Road 1969.

This seemed to be inspired by Harrison’s wife, Pattie, but he claimed he did not have anyone in mind when he wrote it. George was really into his studies of Krishna Consciousness when he wrote the song, and its original intent was as a devotion to Lord Krishna. In fact, the lyric was “something in the way HE moves,” but George ended up changing it because he didn’t want to be perceived as a “poof.”

Pattie did inspire “Layla” when Eric Clapton realized he loved her a few years later. She and Clapton were married from 1979-1988 (he also wrote “Wonderful Tonight” for her).

In her 2007 book Wonderful Tonight: George Harrison, Eric Clapton, and Me, Pattie Boyd wrote: “George wrote a song called ‘Something.’ He told me in a matter-of-fact way that he had written it for me. I thought it was beautiful and it turned out to be the most successful song he ever wrote, with more than 150 cover versions. George’s favorite version was the one by James Brown. Mine was the one by George Harrison, which he played to me in our kitchen. But, in fact, by then our relationship was in trouble. Since a trip to the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s ashram in India in 1968, George had become obsessive about meditation. He was also sometimes withdrawn and depressed.”

4. Etta James, At Last. Album: At Last! 1960.

The songwriting team of Mack Gordon and Harry Warren wrote this in 1941 for the film musical Sun Valley Serenade. The following year it was rearranged and re-recorded and used in the film Orchestra Wives. It was performed in both movies by Glenn Miller and his Orchestra with vocals by Ray Eberle, and the song became a major big band hit in October 1942. Gordon and Warren composed other hits together, including “Chattanooga Choo Choo,” “Serenade in Blue,” “You’ll Never Know,” and “There Will Never Be Another You.” Many of their songs were for musical motion pictures, including at least one written for Shirley Temple. Before teaming up, they were successful composers on their own and wrote numerous other songs with other partners. Gordon wrote the lyrics and Warren wrote the music.

Etta James recorded this in 1961 shortly after signing with Chess records. Leonard Chess thought James was a classy ballad singer and saw pop crossover potential in her; it was his decision to back her with violin orchestrations for the song. Her version went to #2 on the R&B chart.

With lyrics about finding that one true love and a classical feel, this is a very popular wedding song.

5. Pantera, This Love. Album: Vulgar Display Of Power 1992.

This moody rocker seems to explore the turbulent dynamics of love, with the singer making a painful detachment from the relationship for his own good. The inspiration was far more primitive, however: It is a message to what lead singer Phil Anselmo calls “clingy women.” 

“I was young, and thought, ‘Let’s not make more of this relationship than need be,'” Anselmo said in an interview.

6. Journey, Faithfully. Album: Frontiers 1983.

Journey keyboard player Jonathan Cain wrote this song about the challenges of being a married man on the road in a rock band:

Always another show
Wondering where I am
Lost without you


At the time, he was married to his first wife, Tané, a singer who had a #37 hit in 1982 called “Holdin’ On,” which Jonathan co-wrote and produced. He and Tané divorced a few years later, despite him pledging in this song to be “forever yours… faithfully.”

In an interview Jonathan Cain said, “God gave me that song,” as he wrote it so quickly. “I started it on the bus heading to Saratoga Springs,” he said. “I woke up the next day with a napkin on the side of my nightstand and I looked at the lyrics, ‘Highway run into the midnight sun.’ Then I got this supernatural download: This is the rest of the song.

I wrote rest of it down, almost frantically. I’d never had a song come to me so quickly that it was anointed, supernatural. Literally, in 30 minutes I had written that song. I had the napkin in my pocket and I put it on the piano. I had a big grand piano there by the orchestra. I played through it and I thought, ‘Man, this is good.’

The Lord gave me permission to finish it. Normally I would go to Steve Perry or somebody and say, ‘Help me finish this song.’ No. God gave me the mind to finish it, and the rest is history. That would be a love song to God, absolutely.”

7. Prince And The Revolution, Purple Rain.

The album was actually the soundtrack to the first movie Prince made. He went on to make three more: Under The Cherry Moon, Sign O’ The Times, and Graffiti Bridge. Purple Rain won Prince an Oscar for Best Original Song Score (not to be confused with the Best Original Score category, won that year by A Passage to India).

The song “Purple Rain” was the centerpiece of the film and a key plot point. In the movie, the female members in Prince’s band, Wendy Melvoin and Lisa Coleman, write a song that Prince ignores, prompting a tirade from Wendy (“Every time we give you a song you say you’re going to use it but you never do. You’re being paranoid as usual…”). At the end of the film, Prince’s crew is in a heated rivalry with another band (The Time), who do a blistering set that Prince must follow. When Prince takes the stage, he introduces “Purple Rain” as being written by Wendy and Lisa, then tears down the house with it.

Wendy and Lisa were real members of Prince’s band until 1987 when they left to record as a duo. This song, however, was composed solely by Prince. It’s a love song, with Prince singing about his devotion to a girl, but it also serves as a catharsis, releasing the pent-up frustrations that had been building throughout the movie. The “Purple Rain” is a place to be free.

8. The Pretenders, I’ll Stand By You. Album: Last Of The Independents 1994.

Chrissie Hynde wrote this with Tom Kelly and Billy Steinberg, who have written many hit songs, including “True Colors,” “Eternal Flame” and “Like A Virgin.” Steinberg told us how they met:

“Tom and I never had a publisher, we both published ourselves. Jason Dauman was somebody who, for a commission, was willing to provide some of the service that a publisher would. He once said to me, ‘Who would you like to collaborate with?’ and it was sort of an annoyance to me. I didn’t take him all that seriously, but almost facetiously I said, ‘Prince, Bruce Springsteen and Chrissie Hynde.’

I said those names because they were three of my favorite songwriters and he sort of took it seriously. He went off and I just thought, ‘Well I got rid of him, didn’t I.’ Then a little while later he called me up and he said, ‘Chrissie Hynde wants to write with you and Tom,’ and I thought, ‘Right.’ So anyway, I get a phone call and this woman said, ‘Billy, this is Chrissie Hynde,’ and I thought somebody was playing with me or something. I couldn’t imagine it, but then in a minute it was quite clear that Chrissie was on the other end of the telephone.

Chrissie is a very complicated person, a very no-nonsense person especially when she doesn’t know you. She was a little intimidating on the phone. The butterflies in my stomach were fluttering so much I could barely speak because I love The Pretenders. She said she’d like to get together and write some songs with Tom and me, and I went, ‘Woo Hoo!’ She came to Los Angeles and she was so determined. She said, ‘I want to write a hit.’ Over a period of about two weeks Tom and I wrote a handful of songs with her. The first one we wrote together was called ‘Love Colors Everything.’ Then we wrote ‘Night In My Veins’ which was also a hit single, and we wrote ‘977,’ ‘Hollywood Perfume’ and ‘I’ll Stand By You.'”

9. Deftones, Change (In The House Of Flies) Album: White Pony 2000.

There aren’t too many songs that send chills through your body, but “Change” by the Deftones is hauntingly atmospheric and breathtaking and gets you there. Though it’s a little darker than some of the ballads on this list, but it’s a song you need to listen to when you’re vulnerable and intimate with your partner.

10. Elton John, Your Song. Album: Elton John 1970.

This was one of the first songs John wrote with Bernie Taupin. They met after a record company gave John some of Taupin’s lyrics to work with. Eventually, they both moved into John’s parents’ house, where they started working together.

The song was written in 1967, when Bernie Taupin was 17 (“hence the extraordinarily virginal sentiments,” he has said). Elton has said that this song is not about anyone in particular, so Taupin has refused to reveal the identity of the person – if such person exists – who inspired this song. He explained in a 1989 interview with Music Connection: “It’s like the perennial ballad ‘Your Song,’ which has got to be one of the most naïve and childish lyrics in the entire repertoire of music, but I think the reason it still stands up is because it was real at the time. That was exactly what I was feeling. I was 17 years old and it was coming from someone whose outlook on love or experience with love was totally new and naïve.

Psychedelic Lunch

Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch” series where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore psychedelic tunes from the 60’s to today. Weekdays At Noon EST. Enjoy the trip!

Jefferson Airplane: Somebody To Love, Album: Surrealistic Pillow (1967)

This was written by Grace Slick’s brother-in-law, Darby Slick, in 1965. They were in a San Francisco band called The Great Society, which also included Jerry Slick, who was Grace’s husband and Darby’s brother (Jerry played drums; Darby played guitar). The Great Society released the song as a single in late 1965 with another Darby Slick composition, “Free Advice,” on the B-side.

The single went nowhere, and when Darby started exploring Indian music in 1966, the group broke up and Grace joined Jefferson Airplane, which was already established. When she arrived at her new group, she came bearing hits: they recorded a new version of “Somebody To Love” and also did “White Rabbit,” which she wrote as a member of The Great Society.

With royalties he earned from writing “Somebody To Love,” Darby Slick spent years learning Indian music.

San Francisco in the mid-’60s was the epicenter of free love, but Darby Slick saw a downside to this ethos, as it could lead to jealousy and disconnect. This song champions loyalty and monogamy, as the singer implores us to find that one true love that will nurture us and get us through the tough times.

Jefferson Airplane’s first hit song, “Somebody To Love” was also one of the first big hits to come out of the US West Coast counterculture scene. Over the next few years, musicians flocked to the San Francisco Bay area to be part of this scene.

The original version of this song that Grace Slick sang with The Great Society is more subdued. With Jefferson Airplane she sounds far more accusatory and menacing when she belts out lines like “Your mind is so full of red” and “Your friends, baby, they treat you like a guest.”

Jefferson Airplane performed this at Woodstock in 1969. One of the most popular bands on the bill, they got the headlining slot on Day 2, but ended up taking the stage at 8 a.m. the following morning, going on after The Who.

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