Saturday, August 8, 2009

A Sitcom, Venture Capital, Music, and a Piranha: Financing Woodstock

Peter Aspden, who writes the Culture column at the Financial Times, takes a look back at Woodstock. Being the FT, he focuses on how it was financed. I'd never heard this, but apparently a couple of guys wanted to write a sitcom about venture capitalists, but they needed material. So they put an ad in the paper for people with crazy ideas for new businesses, and met a guy named Michael Lang who wanted to put up a recording studio in upstate New York. The rest, as they say, is the history of one hell of a party. Aspden compares Hendrix's "Star-Spangled Banner" with Guernica, which is certainly a thot-provoking idea. This, however, is my favorite part:
“We had a pretty conservative banker who was not used to lending to rock ’n’ roll festivals. Next to his desk was a fish tank containing a piranha and another tank containing goldfish, and as he put a goldfish into the piranha’s tank, he’d say, ‘Everybody repays their loans here at the National Bank of North America.’”
Not really an image you associate with the whole peace-and-love vibe at Woodstock . . .

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