23. The Woodstock On Wheels

In 1970 Warner Brothers had a surprise hit on their hands when they released the documentary/concert film Woodstock. Having spent less than a million dollars on it, the film would eventually gross 50 million at the box office. The question for the suits at the WB was, how do we make lightning strike twice?

Medicine Ball Caravan Poster

That’s where the Medicine Ball Caravan comes in. A tour across America in tie dye buses stuffed with hippies, bands, counterculture clown Wavy Gravy, and more drugs than a Walgreen’s warehouse. Free concerts staged with major acts like Van Morrison, Joni Mitchell, Hot Tuna, and Alice Cooper! Hippies in middle America freaking out those squares who just don’t get it! Add in Academy Award winning documentarian Francois Reichenbach to film it all and it’s gold right?

Of course not. Reichenbach’s French film crew ended up just as high as any hippie on the trip resulting is terrible footage, the caravan was labelled a sellout by the exact audience it was trying to cultivate, and the squares in middle America turned out to be mostly nice people.

In this episode of The Industry we explore what went wrong for this forgotten movie by talking to the people who know what went down and who were there when it happened.

Lobby card with the alternate title We Have Come For Your Daughters

Guest Links

Get Michael Oberman’s book Fast Forward, Play, and Rewind. https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/fast-forward-play-and-rewind-michael-oberman/1135880500

Read Rick Ouellette’s Reel and Rock blog on the Medicine Ball Caravan. https://rickouellettereelandrock.com/2013/03/03/the-strange-forgotten-saga-of-the-medicine-ball-caravan/comment-page-1

Visit Sean Howe’s website http://seanhowe.com

Visit Jackie Weisberg’s photography website. https://www.jackieweisberg.com/

Listen to the Pretend podcast. http://pretendradio.org/

Sources

Rosenbaum, Ron. Hog Farm;s Wayward Bus. Village Voice, September 10, 1970. https://www.villagevoice.com/2005/10/18/hog-farms-wayward-bus/

Ouellette, Rick. The Strange Forgotten Saga of the Medicine Ball Caravan. Reel and Rock. March 3, 2013. https://rickouellettereelandrock.com/2013/03/03/the-strange-forgotten-saga-of-the-medicine-ball-caravan/comment-page-1

Oberman, Michael. Fast Forward, Play, and Rewind. October, 2020. Backbeat Books.

Mastropolo, Frank. Revisiting Medicine Ball Caravan; The Woodstock On Wheels. Ultimate Classic Rock. August 5, 2015. https://ultimateclassicrock.com/medicine-ball-caravan/

Till, Chris. Yellow Springs in the ’60s and ’70s: Medicine Ball Caravan. A Yellow Springs Blog, November 7, 2011. http://ayellowspringsblog.blogspot.com/2011/11/yellow-springs-in-60s-and-70s-medicine.html

The Tom Forcade Story: Medicine Ball Caravan. Directed by Steven Hager. YouTube. June 24, 2009. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MnKWfJaeY5U

3 thoughts on “23. The Woodstock On Wheels

  1. Dan Delgado got everything right with this podcast of the Medicine Ball Caravan. His editing, interviewing skills, set-ups and humor are all spot on. Perfectly produced, funny, interesting, and very entertaining. Surprisingly enough, the story of the Medicine Ball Caravan holds up, after all these years. It’s like the reality show before there was a reality show. Kudos to Dan, and Congratulations.

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s