During the summer of ’69, Elliot Tiber (April 15, 1935–August 3, 2016) helped start the gay liberation movement and saved the Woodstock Festival from cancellation. But some of the best and most significant events of Tiber’s life did not happen until After Woodstock.
In this third volume of his memoirs, following the critically acclaimed Palm Trees on the Hudson and his breakout bestseller Taking Woodstock, Tiber chronicles his hilarious, madcap, and often heartbreaking adventures in the entertainment industry. Guided as much by chutzpah as by his creative drive, Tiber travels around the world, always looking to grab the brass ring. And everywhere he goes, from Hollywood to Brussels, Tiber makes his indelible, irreverent, unique mark.
Along the way, Tiber meets the celebrated Belgian playwright and director André Ernotte. Over the course of his decades-long relationship with Ernotte, Tiber realizes his potential as a humorist and writer, and finds a way to cope with his difficult mother, whose second wedding in the hills of Israel gives new meaning to the Wailing Wall. The relationship is tested by the AIDS crisis and a string of professional disappointments, but ultimately endures the test of time. With Ernotte, Tiber finally learns the true meaning of love.
A passionate and joyful evocation of a very different time, After Woodstock reminds us how the search for love and meaning drives us forward.
"Tiber writes about [his] life with unvarnished intimacy . . . His political and literary high points are balanced by the low points of breakups and the AIDS epidemic, captured with dazed immediacy. Tiber squeezes life for all it is worth, ringing out the last quarter of the 20th century with the offbeat, at-times twisted humor of a survivor."—Kirkus Reviews
"A hugely entertaining story . . . [After Woodstock] is a very funny memoir that has a deep emotional core . . . Familiarity with [Tiber's former book] Taking Woodstock isn't necessary to enjoy this well-written, very personal story, but it would add another layer to the experience."—Booklist
"[A] bittersweet memoir . . . Tiber delivers a wonderful account of survival while wrestling with creativity, loss, tragedy, and disconnection from traditional family values. Foreword by noted film director Ang Lee."
“There is something intrinsically appealing about Tiber's storytelling. He is a smart aleck with a zany sense of humor, full of quips and one-liners . . . this memoir will draw in anyone who picks it up.”—Library Journal
"A remarkably rich series of life encounters that, quite simply, provides a rollicking good read; especially for prior fans of Tiber, who will appreciate even more depth and action in this latest addition to his ongoing life story." —Midwest Book Review
"Tiber writes in an easy, comfortable style which lulls you into hypnotically following his story . . . the story is hilarious . . . If you’re looking for a good read, pick up a copy of After Woodstock. You’ll find it hard to put down." —Out in Jersey
"Delightful . . . If, in fact, you like a little madness with your memoir, find After Woodstock and you'll have it all."—The Bookworm Sez (nationally syndicated review columnist)
"Rapturous in tone and immense in detail . . . There are shades of Kerouac . . . a slightly freer and more discursive prose style than we have seen from Tiber before . . . Tiber recalls the trajectory of his life with sparkle and pizzazz . . . From the descriptions to the crisp and often hilarious dialogue, the narrative is a relentlessly-paced witches’ brew of highs and lows; of wit and despair . . . One of the most unexpected delights of this book is, when all is said and done, it is essentially a warm and beautiful love story . . . will very nearly devastate anyone who has ever loved and lost . . . After Woodstock stands proudly as this often erratic but brilliant man’s heart-filled masterpiece. —Blogcritics.org
"The third volume of Tiber's memoirs . . . [After Woodstock] stands as a tribute to a relationship that endured and deepened up until the moment of [its] last breath . . ." —Vinton Rafe McCabe, The New York Journal of Books
"After Woodstock starts after the  festival, and thoroughly, exuberantly, and exhaustively tracks Tiber through every high, low, and high again of his prodigiously creative life . . . a combination of raucous chutzpah and endearing self-sensitivity . . . this is a mammoth memoir . . . visceral and pleasurable . . . [and] liberating . . . Read this for the sake of following a life well lived, a reminder that the old Woodstock spirit is alive and well in many forms."—Jana Martin, Chronogram
“Tiber writes in an easy, comfortable style which lulls you into hypnotically following his story . . . hilarious (and sad) . . . [he] expertly leads us along his Candide-like journey which lasted the nearly four decades covered by this book . . . [Tiber’s experiences are] enough to bring tears to the reader’s eyes. If you’re looking for a good read, pick up a copy of After Woodstock. You’ll find it hard to put down.” —Philly Gay Calendar
must-read if you’re looking for a great, rollicking firsthand account of [the
Sixties], and what happened next . . . bold and maximalist . . . As this exuberant memoir continues,
there’s an incredible sense of a life well lived. [Tiber’s] relationship with
longtime partner, Belgian playwright and director André Ernotte, was turbulent,
intense, and productive, resulting in a bestselling novel in Belgium (Rue
Haute) and a film adaptation directed by
Ernotte. The love between these two veers from serene to tumultuous and back
again, a roller-coaster of attachment and need. As one succeeds, the other
struggles, and Tiber writes with great perceptivity about the dynamics of two
brilliant, vulnerable, ambitious people trying to be one. Suffice to say that
the title delivers on all of its promises, with great expansiveness and energy.”—Medium.com - Medium.com
"As narrated by Edwin Wald, an actor who has a gift for accents and great conversational timing, the epic and the raucous sides of Tiber’s memoir [After Woodstock] really come out . . . The story is just what the title promises: it’s true, it includes a whole lot of transcontinental moves, and it’s packed with life . . . The bold and maximalist prose of the book becomes a highly enjoyable, listenable tale when narrated out loud, conveying a stronger sense of Tiber’s own state of mind in the way Wald takes readers along the journey . . . an epic of its time that takes you along on a journey . . . a great reminder that life is for living — and stories are for telling." —Medium.com
Elliot Tiber(April 15, 1935–August 3, 2016) was a gay rights pioneer who wrote and produced numerous award-winning plays and musical comedies. As a professor of comedy writing and performance, he taught at the New School and Hunter College in Manhattan. His first novel, Rue Haute, was a bestseller in Europe, and was published in the United States as High Street. The novel was made into a 1976 French-language feature film adapted and directed by coauthor and partner André Ernotte. As a humorist, Mr. Tiber appeared on CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS, BBC, and CNBC, as well as on television shows in Franch, England, Tokyo, Moscow, Berlin, Belgium, and elsewhere throughout the world.
Mr. Tiber's memoir Taking Woodstock, which he wrote with Tom Monte, was first published in 2007 and was soon after turned into a feature film by director Ang Lee. He is also the author of another memoir that explored his life before Woodstock called Palm Trees on the Hudson: A True Story of the Mob, Judy Garland, and Interior Decorating. In addition to his work as a writer, Tiber was a highly sought-after lecturer who appeared in many international venues. In his final years, Mr. Tiber lived in the Miami Beach section of Florida, where he continued his work as a writer; a painter; and a humorist.
Excerpt from book
"[After Woodstock] is by turns a brave, hilarious, mortifying, and heartbreaking story. In this new book, we get to see Elliot Tiber just as he has always been—a gay man who has been unafraid to stand up for who he is. This is a man who lived through the Stonewall riots, the AIDS crisis, and the slow but steady legalization of gay marriage in the United States. But much of what makes Elliot's story after Woodstock so pure and compelling can be found in the figure of Elliot's longtime lover, the late Belgian actor and director André Ernotte.
"As presented by Elliot in the pages that follow, André stands as a gentle, brilliant, and often flawed counterpoint to Elliot. Without the love and respect that he received from André, Elliot might never have become the unapologetically free and confident man I met all those years later. We watch in this book as life with André helps Elliot become a better writer, a better brother, a better friend, and a better son to a mother whom he never truly understands . . . We witness how perilously close both Elliot and André come to that terribly harmful place within —the dangerous terrain that all artists, gay or straight, must navigate during the creative process. Here, in After Woodstock, I feel that Elliot Tiber has both depicted and transcended that terrain masterfully. I remain proud to have already shared one of Elliot's real-life stories with the world, and I hope that the world will embrace these new stories as well." —from the Foreword by Ang Lee
Table of contents
1. Escape from White Lake 2. Hooray for Hollywood! 3. City of Angels 4. Oh My Poppa—and the Nine Italian Heroes 5. My French Connection 6. A May-September Romance 7. What I Did For Love 8. To TV or Not to TV 9. Getting Higher, Getting Hired, Getting High Street 10. Our Magical Black Leather Breakfast Meeting 11. Super Elli! 12. Summer of Shove 13. Culture Gaps and Assless Chaps 14. An Israeli Wedding and a Manhattan Split 15. Stevie Strong and the Magical Song 16. The Play’s the Thing 17. The Gay Plague 18. Woodstock Daddy vs. Riverdale Momma 19. All the World’s a Stage Epilogue
About the Author
Introduction or preface
The movie Taking Woodstock, based on Elliot Tiber’s first book, came out of a chance encounter at 6 AM in a San Francisco television studio. I had just finished promoting my Chinese-language film Lust, Caution on Jan Wahl’s show on KCBS. (Because of her extravagant headwear, I will always think of Jan as the hat lady, and I am forever grateful to her for giving my film a four out of five hats rating.) On my way out, I bumped into Jan’s next guest. This was Elliot Tiber, then a very vigorous seventy-something, who cornered me and thrust a copy of his new book into my hands. I am rather shy, and Elliot is a nonstop talker, and an extremely funny one, so I had no choice but to mumble something polite and take the book on my way to the airport.
The book was Taking Woodstock, and it really stuck with me—mostly because I was traveling to promote my film, and simply didn’t get a chance to unpack. The book settled near the bottom of my suitcase. A month went by, and somewhere between Bombay and Naples, as luck would have it, a mutual friend of ours, Pat Cupo, urged me to read the book. So I did. The work came across much as Elliot himself had—as a bright, rushing stream of funny stories.
Lust, Caution had been a dark and difficult film for me, so Taking Woodstock came at exactly the right moment. It was full of light, love, and laughs, a memoir about the last days of American innocence. And strangely enough, it also fit in with the movie I had just made: both were coming-of-age stories, a genre that I have continued to explore with Life of Pi and my current project.
I had a great time making Taking Woodstock and getting to know Elliot a little better. And I am very proud of the film, even if it wasn’t always understood by viewers and critics. “Woodstock” makes people think of the concert and the music, but that really was not the point of my film. What Taking Woodstock offers is the experience of actually being at the festival—the wonderfully confusing, messy, and transforming journey (and trip) that took place far from the stage.
The book you now hold in your hands is a continuation of Taking Woodstock. It chronicles the events that brought Elliot from the quiet aftermath of the festival in 1969 to that morning TV show where I first saw him. It is by turns a brave, hilarious, mortifying, and heartbreaking story. In this new book, we get to see Elliot Tiber just as he has always been—a gay man who has been unafraid to stand up for who he is. This is a man who lived through the Stonewall riots, the AIDS crisis, and the slow but steady legalization of gay marriage in the United States. But much of what makes Elliot’s story after Woodstock so pure and compelling can be found in the figure of Elliot’s longtime lover, the late Belgian actor and director André Ernotte.
As presented by Elliot in the pages that follow, André stands as a gentle, brilliant, and often flawed counterpoint to Elliot. Without the love and respect that he received from André, Elliot might never have become the unapologetically free and confident man I met all those years later. We watch in this book as life with André helps Elliot becomes a better writer, a better brother, a better friend, and a better son to a mother whom he never truly understands.
At the same time, we also see through the prism of this decades-long relationship all that can rock and ruin your sense of identify and self-worth, and everything that happens whenever you let the outside world too close to the hidden comfort of your dreams. We witness how perilously close both Elliot and André come to that terribly harmful place within--the dangerous terrain that all artists, gay or straight, must navigate during the creative process. Here, in After Woodstock, I feel that Elliot Tiber has both depicted and transcended that terrain masterfully. I remain proud to have already shared one of Elliot’s real-life stories with the world, and I hope that the world will embrace these new stories as well.