On this day in 1969 at around 9pm EST at the #Woodstock Music & Art Fair, Mountain performed a song that would become a core of hip-hop production.
Mountain were a heavy rock band known for their loud volumes, as big and bold as their guitarist and vocalist, Leslie West. The band would eventually perform a song called “Long Red”, highlighted by their drummer, Norman “N.D. Smart”. While the song was just a casual performance, its opening drums would become an important part of countless hip-hop songs as a drum break/sample of interest 10 years later, not only for DJ’s to use at basement parties, but also in the music production. It would eventually become used in R&B and pop songs as well.
I had inquired if Woodstock director Michael Wadleigh had any existing film footage of them performing “Long Red”, since the song is now a part of hip-hop history as well. Unfortunately, Mountain was not considered “high priority band” at the time, so Wadleigh’s camera crew only captured about three complete performances of Mountain’s set. Their performance of “Long Red” was not filmed. A year later, Mountain would gain their first and only big hit, “Mississippi Queen”, thus pushing them to the forefront as a band that wasn’t just “for the freaky hippies”. By then, drummer N.D. Smart had left the band, but not without creating a simply drum pattern that would influence a generation of young kids to dance and rhyme over.
UPDATE: I was aware there’s a man by the name of Carl Simring who had taken footage from the side of the Woodstock stage using a Sony Portapak CV220, considered to be the first mobile video camera. It shot solely in black and white, but the footage he had taken was used in a few Woodstock-related projects over the years, so after discovering his website at WoodstockTapes.com, I decided to go directly to the source. His website stated that he captured 12 minutes of Mountain, so sending him a link to “Long Red”, I asked if it was one of the songs he was able to capture. He replied and stated that it was not, so no moving footage of “Long Red” performed at Woodstock exists.