The live music has not stopped due to the pandemic, it has just been altered with much of it online


By Mark Fenichel

Mark Fenichel

Mark Fenichel

It has been 51 years since I laid out a blanket behind nearly 400,000 people to experience the greatest bands of the 1960s.  It is hard to believe that so much time has passed since the legendary Woodstock Music and Art Fair took place. I still have vivid memories as well as forgotten moments from those amazing magical days of the most historic music festival ever.

Seeing the many documentaries, photos and videos over the years jars one’s brain. But even without all the visual and audio aids available, I think I will always have vivid memories of those three days of peace, love and true happiness.

Yes, there were drugs and lots of drinking and so many free-spirited folks frolicking in the fields. Speaking for myself as a 16-year-old, I too had a free-spirit and was open to anything that came my way. Skinny-dipping in the lake, cheese sandwiches on white bread served up by Max Yasgur’s kids, dancing, singing and partying freely with my new friends.

But it was the music that kept it all together throughout that legendary  weekend with a pure dose of some of the best bands of the day. Of course, I hardly remember all the bands but the ones I do recall will always play in my head. From Richie Haven’s never-ending opening set to Country Joe’s famously altered  “F” cheer, and my lucky moment standing 20 feet from the stage when Jimi Hendrix blew everyone away with his chilling version of the Star Spangled Banner.

I was lucky to spend five days there and will always have fond memories of the two girls I met as the rain began covering the meadow.  Local girls who knew all the back roads with a car nearby. We drove to their hotel room in Monticello spending a dry night out of the rain.

Instead of getting soaked and muddy, I enjoyed an evening inside a dry hotel room with a room full of new friends putting quarters in the vibrating bed all night long. I never did get their contact information and after dropping me off, that was the last I ever heard from them. I often to this day think of their kindness and generosity and wish I could again connect with them just to say thanks but I am afraid it will be one of my lifelong mysteries that will never be solved.

On another note, the world of live local music has certainly changed in the past six months. Local music teacher Heather Faulhaber has gone to online music lessons which she says at first seemed challenging.

“How could I help adjust hand positions on the keyboard? How could I hear the subtle overtones in a singer’s tone? These concerns helped me be more attuned to watching more closely and listening harder. Aside from the occasional computer glitch or cats jumping on keyboards, the time is concentrated on the work in a new appreciative way. In the end these lessons are very intensive but they leave everyone with a good feeling and a sense of accomplishment all around.

“My voice students were invited to provide the National Anthem for this year’s Morgan Hill Freedom Fest virtual celebration. My students prepared individual clips singing the anthem and the Freedom Fest’s video editor made a fun, eye-catching video. Projects like these are so important for students to stay motivated and involved in their art at this time.” To view the video, visit www.morganhillfreedomfest.com.

During the past several months she has seen her piano and voice students shift from active performers on stage to diligent dreamers juggling multiple devices. Where they had once excitedly huddled backstage before a performance, now they sit in the same Zoom waiting room anticipating their part in an online recital or class. They still have butterflies in their stomachs as they sing online auditions for college and competitions. Despite the pandemic, local live music is still being played. Heather is a popular, highly-qualified music teacher and is accepting students. Reach her at (650) 868-0214.

On another note, the live music has not stopped due to the pandemic, it has just been altered with much of it happening every day online. While some wineries are offering socially distanced private live music concerts exclusively for their members most have cancelled their 2020 music events. 88 Keys Café is one of the few restaurants in Morgan Hill with live music for all on their patio nightly.

Finally, congratulations to Roy Froom on his decision to retire as tasting room manager and music coordinator at Clos La Chance Winery. You have done so much for the community. Good luck, Roy, and stay safe.

Mark “Fenny” Fenichel is the marketing director for Morgan Hill Life and the music columnist. Got a music tip? Email him at [email protected]

Mark Fenichel