John Gourley writes for Clash...
Portugal. The Man

John Gourley was helping clear some of his parents' stuff when he found an old, faded concert hub.

Looking down, he realised he was looking at living history - it was a ticket to Woodstock, perhaps the pinnacle of the 60s counter-culture.

Returning to his band-mates in Portugal. The Man, he asked them to halt work on their new record, and search a little deeper inside themselves.

Finding renewed purpose, the group began allowing their social consciousness to manifest itself in new material.

New album 'Woodstock' is out now, and it features contributions from Beastie Boys' Mike D and Danger Mouse.

Here, John Gourley opens up about a few of the Influences that form the spine of this new record...

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Richie Havens - 'Freedom (Motherless Child)'

Richie Havens' Woodstock performance is something that we've all bonded over. Growing up with a VHS copy of the Woodstock film, I watched him shred that acoustic and scream his soul into that microphone so many times that the tape got warped. Just an unbelievable demonstration of power.

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Beastie Boys - '(You've Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party)'

I think we were all the perfect age for the release of this perfect song. It still feels like it was made just for me. It's a rule-breaker in every sense, and it inspires me to go out and find some rules to break of my own every time I hear it.

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Dead Kennedys - 'California Uber Alles'

Growing up in Alaska, punk wasn't something you could find on the radio or TV. Luckily, we had a pretty free exchange of skate videos and mixtapes being shared between friends, and this was absolutely one of the standouts from those exchanges, and it became THE guitar riff to learn. So sneering and viscous, and it still gets me wanting to break shit.

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Otis Redding - 'Try A Little Tenderness'

There's a 1967 live performance of this (Reelin' The Years Archives) that just slays. He goes from zero to 1000 by the time that last repeated chorus hits. That voice is untouchable. He wasn't a natural dancer but I'll be damned if he's not the greatest stomper of all time.

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Nirvana - 'In Bloom'

None of us thought we could actually be in a band until Kurt Cobain showed us the way. This is the heaviest riff on one of the heaviest albums of all time, but there's nothing metal about it. Growing up small-town style, metal was king, but all of a sudden there was a new punk-as-fuck way to scream your guts out. There is absolutely no way that we would do what we do without Nevermind.

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Portugal. The Man's new album 'Woodstock' is out now.

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