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Facts behind Woodstock myths

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Throughout the years, the original Woodstock Music & Art Fair has been subject to myth and legend.

While it's been rumored that there were three births during the multiday festival, only one has been confirmed.

And contrary to popular belief, mostly thanks to a mention in the 1991 Oliver Stone film "The Doors," the band was not left off the Woodstock invitation list.

The Doors agreed to play Woodstock but cancelled its appearance a few days before the event.

Here are some facts (confirmed by various news sources over the years ) about the original Woodstock Music & Art Fair.

1. The Woodstock Music & Art Fair took place in Bethel, N.Y., 43 miles southwest of Woodstock, N.Y.

2. The festival was suppose to last three days, Aug. 15, 16 and 17, but it actually ended on Monday, Aug. 18, when Jimi Hendrix wrapped up his set around 10:45 a.m.

3. Other artists that performed in the early morning hours on Aug. 18 include Blood Sweat & Tears, Johnny Winter, Crosby Stills Nash & Young, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band and Sha Na Na.

4. Bob Dylan lived in Woodstock, N.Y., at the time but didn't go to Bethel to play the original festival. Rumors say he was disgusted with the hippies that flocked to his home. Others say that one of his sons was ill.

5. Joni Mitchell, who penned the song "Woodstock" didn't attend. Her manager booked her on the "Dick Cavett Show" instead.

6. Led Zeppelin, the Beatles and Jethro Tull were top draws that didn't accept the invitation.

7. The group Iron Butterfly was stranded at LaGuardia airport and the band's manager conveyed to the Woodstock organizers a list of demands: "You will send helicopter to pick us up, bring us back. We will go immediately on stage, in front of everybody else, and then we will be given a helicopter and flown back." Organizers left the band at LaGuardia.

8. United States Army helicopters were called in to airlift bands and artists to the gig, even though one of the reasons the show was produced was to show the world that peace is better than fighting in Vietnam.

9. Organizers originally planned for an audience between 50,000 to 100,000 people, but more than 500,000 showed up.

10. Cost of a ticket was $8 a day.

e-mail: scott@desnews.com