‘Woodstock’ Album Cover Star Bobbi Kelly Ercoline Dies
Bobbi Kelly Ercoline, the woman who appeared alongside her then-boyfriend and later husband, in one of the best-known photos from Woodstock died on Saturday.
According to her husband Nick Ercoline, who announced the news in a Facebook post, Bobbi died after a lengthy illness. "She lived her life well and left this world in a much better place," he wrote. "If you knew her, you loved her. She lived by her saying, 'Be kind.'" No cause of death or age were named.
Bobbi and Nick Ercoline appeared on the cover of 1970's Woodstock: Music From the Original Soundtrack and More, a live album comprised of performances from the iconic 1969 music festival. The couple, both 20 at the time, had been dating only a few months when they heard about the festival on the radio in Middletown, N.Y., which is about an hour south of Bethel, where the concert was being held. On a whim, they decided to check out the music festival. "We just got to thinking we were never going to see anything like this the rest of our lives, ever," Nick told Smithsonian Magazine in 2009.
"It was a sea of humanity," Bobbi noted. "Someone with a guitar here, someone making love there, someone smoking a joint, someone puking his brains out, the din of the music you could hear over all of this — a bombardment of the senses."
Also present at Woodstock was photographer Burk Uzzle, who had declined an assignment from Newsweek to cover the concert but was at the festival anyway. On the morning of Saturday, Aug. 16, during Jefferson Airplane's performance, Bobbi and Nick stood up and embraced. Uzzle captured the moment.
The Woodstock album was released in 1970, and Jim "Corky" Corcoran, a friend who was with the couple at Woodstock, brought the LP to their attention. "Corky was a two-legged music bible," Nick Ercoline told AARP in 2019. "He had to be one of the first to buy the album when it came out, and we all got together, six or eight of us, to hear it. We were passing the jacket around when someone pointed out the staff with the orange and yellow butterfly. That belonged to Herbie, a guy from Huntington Beach, Calif. He was lost and having a bad trip, and we hooked arms with him until he was clearheaded. Then we saw the blanket. Oh, my lord, that's us!"
A year after that, Bobbi and Nick married; they celebrated their 54th anniversary in August. "I feel fortunate that we're part of such an historic event," Bobbi Ercoline told AARP in 2019, the 50th anniversary of the Woodstock Festival. "The farther we get away from Woodstock, the more we realize how significant it was and what a big impact it had. It's part of who we are."