It has been over 40 years since the Woodstock Festival took place. It was 1969 and the world’s best musicians were gathering for what would become one of the most talked about concerts in history.
This was a time of free love, peace, drugs and most importantly, music! Young adults gathered from coast to coast in Woodstock, New York to take part in the multi-day festival. The weather conditions were horrible, grass turned to mud, rain fell on concert goers and the unsanitary conditions only added to amazing story of Woodstock.
During this time, photo’s and video were taken of the festival. Out of the thousands of photo’s and videos however, one special photo will always stand out in peoples minds.
The photo of Nick and Bobbi Ercoline. Nick and Bobbi had their photo taken as Nick was holding his girlfriend Bobbi tight to his body as the two were wrapped in a warm blanket, while concert goers laid around them in the mud ridden field. The photo offered the idea of love, care and protection. The photo was so powerful that it made its way to the cover image of the official Woodstock vinyl LP. That LP made its way into million of homes and became the face of Woodstock.
40 plus years later, Nick and Bobbi are married and the pair never left one another’s arms. They married two summers after the fabled weekend, and they still live less than an hour’s drive from the original concert site of Bethel, N.Y., and within spitting distance of where they both grew up.
(The Follow Excerpt Written By Jim Farber, New York Daily News)
They say they remember nothing of the original shot, taken by Burk Uzzle. “We weren’t striking a pose,” Nick says. “We were as surprised as everybody to see that photo on the album cover.”
They discovered it while at a friend’s house listening to the album and passing around the gatefold jacket. First, Nick recognized the famous yellow butterfly staff in the left corner. “It belonged to this guy Herbie,” Nick says. “We latched on to him that day because he was having a very bad experience. He was tripping pretty heavily and he had lost his friends. After I saw that staff I said, ‘Hey that’s our blanket.’ Then I said, ‘Hey, that’s us.'”
Bobbi, then 20, wasn’t overly impressed. “Woodstock was over and done with at that time,” she says. “It didn’t seem like a big deal. The only thing was that then I had to tell my mother I had gone. She didn’t know. But by then, she didn’t mind.”
The two had arrived in the middle of the weekend, a rare feat given that all main roads were closed by then. “We were local kids, so we knew the back roads,” Nick says. “About 5 miles away we abandoned this big white 1965 Chevrolet Impala station wagon.”
The two didn’t realize the impact their photo had until Woodstock’s 20th anniversary, when the world’s media began seeking them out. In fact, their memories of the original event have more to do with the scene than the music, because they were too far away to hear or see much.
“I remember the rain, the lack of toilets and the body odor,” Bobbi says.
“I also remember an orange haze from the glowing lights of the stage. It was everywhere, lighting up the sky.”
The pair had met only three months earlier, over Memorial Day weekend, at the bar where Nick worked. “This waiter brought this beautiful blond in one day and said, ‘This is my girlfriend; keep an eye on her,'” Nick explains. “Every night she stood in front of me and we got friendlier and friendlier. Then one weekend he made the mistake of leaving her home while he went to the shore with the guys and he never told her. That was the end of that. And the beginning of this.”
Despite all the time gone by, Nick says they still get recognized. “We were in Germany, and right when we walked into the hotel they knew who we were.”
As to why their photo was chosen, Nick has a theory. “It’s peaceful, which is what the event was about,” he says. “And it’s an honest representation of a generation. When we look at that photo I don’t see Bobbi and me. I see our generation.”
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