Guest Bios by Episode
Episode 006: Michael Lang
“My father always taught me to be self-reliant. That was his thing — just take care of it, no matter what. Early on he gave me a strategy for getting out of tough situations.: Take charge and keep moving; step back just enough to think clearly; and trust your instincts.”
"I guess by Saturday, when everybody had arrived or everybody who was gonna get there arrived, we knew that this was going to be a historic moment. Nobody ever thought about whether it would resonate or not, or how it would resonate, but we knew that this was extraordinary."
-- Michael Lang
From Michael's Facebook Page, in his own words:
I am a musical concert promoter, producer and artistic manager who is best known as the co-creator of the Woodstock Music & Art Festival in 1969. In 1967, I left NYU and moved to Coconut Grove, Florida to open a head shop. In 1968, after promoting a series of concert events in the Miami area, I produced the '"Miami Pop Festival", probably the largest music festival of its time. It drew 80,000 people over two days with such acts as Jimi Hendrix, Santana, Janis Joplin, Mothers of Invention, John Lee Hooker, Arthur Brown, and Blue Cheer.
Soon after, I moved to Woodstock, NY and met Artie Kornfeld. He and I developed the concept for a major festival event to celebrate the '60s social movements, and planned to open a recording studio in the town of Woodstock. Along with Kornfeld and partners John P. Roberts and Joel Rosenman, I set into motion the Woodstock festival, which was eventually held on Max Yasgur's farm in Bethel, New York, from August 15 to August 17, 1969.
I owned and operated Just Sunshine Records, which produced and released more than 40 albums by a huge mix of artists such as: Billy Joel, Betty Davis and Mississippi Fred McDowell. I also managed several successful international recording artists, including Joe Cocker, Ricki Lee Jones, Willie DeVille, Tarkan, and Spanish recording artists El Ultimo de la Fila.
My newest endeavor is The Michael Lang Organization (MLO). The organization encompasses live event production, film production and artist management. Projects that MLO has been involved in include a 50th anniversary event for the Lincoln Center featuring the French Theater company Royal Delux, a 40th anniversary event for Woodstock in summer 2009, a movie version of the cult classic novel, "The Master and Margarita" and theater projects in Turkey and South Korea. In August 2005, MLO produced sold out Festival event for Heineken at Randall’s Island called Amsterjam which featured mash ups from artists such as Snoop Dogg, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Wyclef Jean. MLO also has worked with the following artists: Outkast, Prince, Missy Elliott, Snoop Dog, Steely Dan, The Fugees, Wyclef Jean, Tarkan, Shakira, Madonna, Norah Jones, Marc Anthony, Twista, Dave Matthews, Bruce Springsteen, Alicia Keys, Kid Rock, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Christina Aguilera, Linkin Park, and Avril Lavigne.
In 2009, my company Woodstock Ventures, which was started by me, Joel Rosenman, and the John Roberts estate formed a joint venture with Sony Music Entertainment and launched a new woodstock.com. The site celebrates the history of the original Woodstock Festivals and serves as a live music social network.