51° Good Morning
51° Good Morning
EntertainmentMusicBilly Joel

Billy Joel recalls his Woodstock experience

Billy Joel about 1970.

 Billy Joel about 1970. Credit: Getty Images/Michael Ochs Archives

Billy Joel went to Woodstock, but didn’t end up staying for the whole festival because, well, he didn’t really like it.

He told Howard Stern in 2014 that he really disliked Country Joe & The Fish. “You start to compromise the music when you use it to deliver propaganda, I think,” said Joel, adding that after hearing their “I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin’-to-Die-Rag” he thought, “This song sucks.”

Joel, then 20 years old, says he did like Santana’s set, but that after seeing them, he thought it was time to go. “I wanted to see Hendrix and the Who,” Joel told Entertainment Weekly in 2015. “But after a day and a half with no real toilet facilities . . . what am I, a bear? I have to go in the woods? . . . I was dirty and itchy and covered with poison ivy and I thought, ‘Just get me out of here! I’ve got to use a bathroom.’ ”

Joel told Stern, “I think you had to do acid if you stayed there for three days.”

Exclusive subscription offer

Newsday covers the stories that matter most to Long Islanders. We dig deep to uncover the facts, hold the powerful in check and keep a watchful eye on Long Island.

Your digital subscription, starting at $1, supports local journalism vital to the community.



We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.

More Entertainment