Elliot Tiber

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Elliot Tiber
Elliot Tiber.jpg
Eliyahu Teichberg

April 15, 1935
DiedAugust 3, 2016 (aged 81)
Alma materBrooklyn College
Hunter College (BFA)
Pratt Institute (MFA)

Elliot Michael Tiber (born Eliyahu Teichberg; April 15, 1935 – August 3, 2016)[1][2] was an artist, professor, and screenwriter who wrote a memoir about the Woodstock Festival held in Bethel, New York in 1969. He claimed responsibility for the relocation of the festival after a permit for it was withdrawn by the zoning board of a nearby town.

Tiber's 2007 memoir Taking Woodstock, written with Tom Monte, was adapted into a movie of the same name by Ang Lee. The film opened in the United States in August 2009. In the film, Tiber is portrayed by comedian Demetri Martin.

Early and personal life[edit]

Tiber was born as Eliyahu Teichberg, in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, New York.[3] His family moved to White Lake in Bethel in 1955 where they acquired a rooming house that they expanded into a motel, called the El Monaco Motel, at the intersection of New York Route 17B and New York Route 55 near the southeast shore of White Lake. He was Jewish. He changed his name before enrolling in college.

Tiber graduated from Midwood High School in Brooklyn,[4] and attended Brooklyn College and received a BFA from Hunter College. He was in the MFA program at Pratt Institute.

Tiber died at the age of 81 in Boca Raton, Florida from complications of a stroke.[5]

Taking Woodstock[edit]

In his book Taking Woodstock, Tiber says he was present at the Stonewall Riots on June 28, 1969, and that he had a part in bringing the Woodstock Festival to Bethel, New York on August 15–17, 1969.[6]

Tiber said he led a closeted life in Bethel in the early 1960s as he spent time managing his parents' El Monaco Motel, serving as president of the Bethel Chamber of Commerce, and, at the same time, participating in the gay scene in New York, where he lived.

According to Taking Woodstock, Tiber read that Wallkill, Orange County, New York had on July 15, 1969–30 days before the music festival was to start—pulled the plug on the planned Woodstock Festival at the Mills Industrial Park northeast of Middletown, New York.

Tiber says in the book that he had a permit for the White Lake Music and Arts Festival, a planned chamber music event at his motel. He contacted Michael Lang on or about July 18 and pitched the idea of having the festival on 15 acres (61,000 m2) along the edge of White Lake by the motel.

According to Taking Woodstock, when Lang said the motel property was too small, Tiber introduced the Woodstock festival producers to dairy farmer Max Yasgur, and helped facilitate the deal.[6]

Lang, however, says that Tiber referred him to a local real estate salesman, and that the salesman drove Lang, without Tiber, to Yasgur's farm. Sam Yasgur, son of Max Yasgur, agrees with Lang's version, and said that his mother, who is still alive, said that Max did not know Tiber. Artie Kornfeld, a Woodstock organizer, has said he found out about Yasgur’s farm from his own sources.[7][8]

The motel later became an Italian restaurant before being torn down in 2004. It is now marked by a clock tower welcoming people to White Lake.[9]

Tiber left Bethel shortly after Woodstock and soon moved to Los Angeles, where he became a movie set designer.


His 1970s book, Rue Haute, was made into a French-language film directed by his domestic partner, André Ernotte. It was Belgium's entry for the 49th Academy Awards Best Foreign Language Film in 1977. The book was released in English in the United States in 1977 under the name High Street.

Teaching career[edit]

He taught creative writing at New School University, fine art at Hunter College, and art design history at the New York Institute of Technology.[10]


  • High Street, Avon (1977)
  • Knock on Woodstock: The Uproarious, Uncensored Story of the Woodstock Festival, the Gay Man Who Made It Happen, and How He Earned His Ticket to Freedom, Joel Friedlander (1994), ISBN 0-9641806-1-8.
  • Taking Woodstock (with Tom Monte), Square One Publishers (June 15, 2007), ISBN 0-7570-0293-5.
  • Palm Trees on the Hudson (2010)
  • After Woodstock , Square One Publishers (March 2, 2015), ISBN 0-7570-0392-3.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Review of Taking Woodstock". Foreword Reviews. Retrieved 30 October 2018.
  2. ^ Grimes, William, "Elliot Tiber, Who With a Permit Unleashed Woodstock and Himself, Dies at 81, The New York Times, August 8, 2016, page A20
  3. ^ Limnios, Michael (2012-04-18). "Elliot Tiber: Be yourself, love your life". www.blues.gr. Retrieved 2012-10-19.
  4. ^ Grimes, William (2016-08-08). "Elliot Tiber, Who with a Permit Brought Forth Woodstock, Dies at 81". The New York Times.
  5. ^ Grimes, William (2016-08-07). "Elliot Tiber, Who With a Permit Brought Forth Woodstock, Dies at 81". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-08-13.
  6. ^ a b Tiber, Elliot; Tom Monte (2007). Taking Woodstock. SquareOne Publishers.
  7. ^ Bleyer, Bill (2009-08-08). "The road to Woodstock runs through Sunken Meadow State Park". Newsday. Retrieved 2009-08-25.
  8. ^ Bloom, Nate (2009-08-27). "Revisiting Woodstock, Other flicks, His son, the rabbi". Jweekly.com. Retrieved 2009-08-27.
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-10-11. Retrieved 2008-10-26.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ Elliot Tiber Resume - Retrieved October 25, 2008

External links[edit]