Elliot Tiber, the Greenwich Village interior designer who helped facilitate the legendary Woodstock rock festival in 1969 and whose story was told in the film Taking Woodstock, has published a 'prequel' to the memoirs that formed the basis to that film.
Tiber talks to Publishers Weekly about Palm Trees on the Hudson:
"Maybe I’m too cranky now at 75, but it seems that many younger members of today’s gay/lesbian community take their current freedoms for granted. I always knew I was gay, but there was really no “choice” at all for many of us in the 1950s and ’60s. We often had to remain closeted just to remain safe. Coming out in the summer of 1969 was the most dangerous yet liberating thing that ever happened to me. That summer lit a fire in my head, and the flame has never gone out. But that epiphany does not happen for me in this new 'prequel' book. Instead, I take time to show all readers—gay, straight, whatever—just how painful and often unbearably lonely it was for American gay men in those years. I also write about my frustrating experiences with psychotherapy during those years. Back then, it was either 'Story Time with Dr. Freud' or the ingestion of any number of pills designed to make you feel better for being who you were. If so many people hadn’t been hurt back then by the misguided theories and practices of shrinks, it would actually be funny. I put a lot of humor into those memories throughout the book—it has always been easier for me to deal with life by turning tragedy into laughter. As for the New York Times recognizing me as a 'gay rights icon,' I figure it’s about time! [laughs]"
More of the interview HERE.