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50 years ago there was the Satsop music Festival, the ‘Woodstock’ of Pacific Northwest

Somebody Else’s Dream: Dakota, The Buoys, & “Timothy” by rock journalist Maxim W. Furek celebrates the 50th anniversary of the 1971 song “Timothy” and the legendary Satsop River Fair & Tin Cup Races Festival. Although banned by radio stations and called “the worst song ever recorded,” “Timothy” was a huge hit in the Seattle/Tacoma area, selling 6,000 copies in one day. The Buoys, who recorded the song, were the opening act at the Satsop festival, located in the foothills of the Olympic Mountains.

The Seattle Times reported that 150,000 spectators attended the four-day concert, “the first legal festival in Washington State.” Satsop included respected rock royalty of the day, Delaney and Bonnie and Friends (including guitar sideman Eric Clapton in his post-Cream, Blind Faith period), Eric Burdon, Flash Cadillac, Albert Collins, John Hammond, Charles Lloyd, Steve Miller, Billy Preston, Jimmy Weatherspoon, Wishbone Ash, War, and The Youngbloods. Satsop had its share of problems. It rained for much of the four days, and Buoy’s drummer, Chris Hanlon, recalled, “They brought the bands in by ambulance. They couldn’t afford to pay for the helicopters.”

Finally, Satsop ran out of money. These groups refused to play: Ike & Tina Turner, Derek & The Dominos, Quicksilver Messenger Service, War, Earth Wind and Fire, Leo Kottke, The Everly Brothers, and Captain Beefheart.

After hearing “Timothy,” attendee Irven Lorance wrote a song about an 1899 mine disaster in Carbonado, Washington, called “Black Diamonds,” and “the reflection of coal in the eyes of a mule.” Local photographer and attendee John Caldbick said that losses were estimated at $300,000, including $100,000 from ticket counterfeiting.

Somebody Else’s Dream depicts a cautionary tale of substance abuse, the pitfalls of fame and the actual price of the rock and roll fantasy—right here in the Pacific Northwest!

For more information or advance copies, contact Sunbury Press at 855-338-8359.


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