Next week’s fourth annual Woodstock Revival event at the Kraft Stadium will
offer Anglos, and similarly musically infused Israelis, another opportunity to
shake a leg or two, and revel in those long-lost Sixties vibes, when free love,
flower power and anti-Vietnam protests dominated the younger generation’s
consciousness in most of the western world.
Each year since 2009 the
event has attracted close to 2,000 people of all ages, and from all walks of
life and religious leanings, to catch live acts that do their utmost to capture
the sounds and vibes of some of the artists that made the 1969 three day
festival on Max Yasgur’s farm such a watershed experience.
While most of
the artists who will appear at the Kraft Stadium on August 2 are far too young
to remember those halcyon days, let alone the event itself, Libi not only
remembers Woodstock, she almost joined the other close to half million faithful
who made the long trek to Bethel, New York to catch the likes of Crosby, Stills
& Nash, Jimi Hendrix, Joe Cocker and Janis Joplin.
“I bought a ticket
to the festival and put in my drawer and then, one day, I found it had been
replaced by an El Al plane ticket,” says the 60-year-old Boston-born
grandmother-of-two who goes exclusively by her given name, and will perform a
program of Janis Joplin numbers at this year’s Woodstock Revival, along with her
Libi’s parents evidently thought it would be more
beneficial for their 18-year-old daughter to come to this part of the world, for
the first time, than to head off for the landmark pop-rock extravaganza. And it
turned out to be a half-decent idea after all.
“I remember, on the plane,
I sat next to another girl whose parents had also sent her to Israel and she
cried all the way there,” recalls Libi. “But when we landed and got off the
plane she kissed the tarmac.”
Libi was similarly taken with her first
impressions of Israel.
“There was something about the air, the smell of
the air, that got to me. I was overwhelmed.”
On that occasion the
teenaged Libi came here for a few months of studies, and to soak up some of the
vibes of a country that was still caught up in the euphoric aftermath of the Six
Day War. Ten years later she came back to stay, and to leave her indelible mark
on the Israeli rock scene.
“I was around doing my thing in the Eighties,”
she says. “We were the first loud heavy rock and roll band with a female
Twenty-five years ago this was a far more conservative country
than it is today, and the sight of a scantily-clad female singer putting out
sensuous vibes by the bucket-load on stage must have been quite a shock to the
national system. Quite simply, Libi caught Israel unawares.
“Oh my God,
it was a real shock for everyone!” Libi notes with a chuckle.
start we were the only people doing Rolling Stones songs on stage, and crazy
stuff like AC-DC and Led Zeppelin.
I remember once I was getting ready
for a show, and a fan of mine took me back to his house and his mother, this
lovely Mizrahi woman, who was very provincial, had made a fantastic spread for
us but, as I walked passed her in the hall, if she could have pressed herself
further into the wall she would have done that. For her, I was so
But things have caught up with the then-bombshell
“Now, I’m like white bread. Back then the material we did, with
the [original] Flash band, was so controversial that we were not allowed to be
on the radio. Supposedly a blacklist was made to put us on it.”
wasn’t just the musical side of the act that ruffled the Establishment’s
feathers, there were some esthetic logistics to be navigated too.
went to look for show clothes, I either had to make them myself or go to a sex
shop, to get fishnet hose or something that I could make look like something I
wanted to wear on stage.”
But the shock parameters have been
“Now, to do something that’s considered crazy, you’ve really got
to think hard. But I’m not going to change the way I do things. Anyway, these
days, retro is the thing.”
As any marketing executive will tell you, if
you hang around long enough you come back into fashion.
concurs, “right now I’m in style.”
After strutting her stuff here for a
couple of decades Libi headed back Stateside when her mother became seriously
ill. She came back for good, with her daughter, son-in-law and twin
grandchildren, a year ago.
“Four days after I got off the plane I was on
stage at last year’s Woodstock revival. That was great,” she
Her show at this year’s Revival will be a blast from the past,
in more ways than one.
“I was asked to do Janis [Joplin],” says Libi,
“and I am happy to do so.”
It will be her first return to Joplin material
since 1968, and she will have singer-songwriter Yael Deckelbaum on hand to ramp
up the vibes even further.
“I am so excited about doing Janis
again. I never do Janis Joplin, because she’s the only one, and I never
want to attempt even getting near that, because she’s ‘that’ and there’ll never
be another ‘that.’” In the end Libi was ready to revive Joplin’s
“I was told to do it for the Woodstock and I’m doing her, and Jimi
[Hendrix]. I get to do the two best musicians in the world. It’s a great
It will, surely, be a privilege to catch Libi do her
inimitable thing at the Kraft Stadium on August 2, too.For more
information about the Woodstock Revival: www.woodstockrevival.com