Arts & Entertainment

Montclair Rotary: Producer of the Original Woodstock Festival to Speak, Jan. 2

MONTCLAIR, NJ - All are invited to attend the meeting of the Montclair Rotary club on January 2nd at The Greek Taverna.

Starting at 12:15 pm, guest speaker Dick Gersh, one of the producers of the original Woodstock festival and a long-time area resident, will address the group.

From an article about Mr. Gersh: "Every highway was at a complete standstill.  The sheer volume of humanity, peaceful as it was, had surged through the fences taking down any notion of a paying customer. The backers stood to lose $2 million.  To make matters worse, the crowded highways made it impossible to get the talent to the stage. That’s when Glen Ridge resident and seasoned publicity agent Dick Gersh became involved in three actions that helped save the Woodstock Festival and preserve its place in history for generations to come.

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He suggested transport helicopters, large enough to hold the performers and their equipment.  He got into a conversation with his friend and well-known record executive, Ahmet Ertegun about a live concert album and about something else.  Ertegun brought into Gersh’s office a skinny kid full of enthusiasm named Martin Scorsese who would become assistant director even though his only official credit is for editing on the film, Woodstock: Three Days of Peace and Music.  

Gersh, the consummate publicity agent, had the helicopters fly talent to a heliport downtown right after each performance.  Limousines were waiting to drive the artists directly to his NYC office, where sandwiches from the Carnegie delicatessen and phone call interviews from journalists all over the globe – from Australia, Japan, Germany, France — awaited.

The cost to attend the Montclair Rotary Club meeting is $20 and this includes a lunch entrée, beverages and dessert.

For more information, visit the Montclair Rotary Club’s website ( or call 973-744-1702.


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