Former councilman Steve Knight dies

knight SQSteve Knight, Woodstock councilman from 2000 through 2007, died on January 19, in New York. A man whose modesty matched his great musical talent, he may be best remembered outside of Woodstock as the keyboardist for the rock group, Mountain, even performing with them at the 1969 Woodstock Festival, an experience he would laughingly refer to as “glitziest, ultimately most meaningless” period of his career. In Woodstock he will be remembered as a deeply thoughtful, generous and courteous townsman who enlivened many public occasions with his ability to play just about any musical instrument put into his hands.

Born in 1935 to parents who had arrived in Woodstock in the early 1920s, Steve grew up here, but spent many years of his adulthood in New York before returning to town in the 1980s. He won election to the Woodstock town board in his first political endeavor in 1999, and reelection in 2003. His tenure was characterized by temperance and evenhanded attempts to reconcile the passionate rifts that characterize local politics.

For a 2002 community play to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Byrdcliffe Arts and Crafts community Steve wrote “Valley Finale,” which went on to become the Town’s official song. The words, included below, explain why so many Woodstockers loved Steve as much as he loved them.

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Steve is survived by his daugter Zoe Knight, son-in-law Stuart Wolferman, and grandson Jasper Knight Wolferman.

Steve’s ashes will be interred in the Woodstock Artists Cemetery after a private ceremony. His family will host a public celebration of his life at a time yet to be determined. In lieu of flowers or other expressions of condolence, Steve’s wish was consideration of a donation to the Woodstock Land Conservancy.

Jeremy Wilber

There are 4 comments

  1. John

    I just learned of Mr. Knight’s death yesterday. Like most, I first knew of Steve through his membership in Mountain. Unlike most, I discovered that his fine contributions to that band were only a small part of his long musical career. My condolences to his family.

  2. Anita Tsakiris

    Just learned of Steve’s death. I knew him when we were growing up in Woodstock. His parents and my parents were friends.
    He was a noble man and an excellent musician.
    My condolences to his family.

  3. Giorgio

    Ho ascoltato la musica dei Mountain dall’età di 11 anni quando da noi in Italia questo gruppo era pressoché ignoto, e mi capita di ascoltarla ancora adesso che ne ho 57. Ho appreso solo ora della dipartita di Steve e ho provato un senso di vuoto, lo stesso provato quando appresi della morte di Felix Pappalardi o di Jim Morrison dei Doors.
    Per noi, questi amici che ci hanno regalato tante ore di gioia con la loro musica, sono sempre giovani nella nostra mente, come appaiono nelle foto dei loro album, e sapere che di quando in quando vengono a mancare ci riempie di tristezza.
    Posso dire che Steve appariva il ragazzo buono del gruppo rispetto agli altri molto più “hard” di lui (ve la ricordate la foto di copertina di Flowers of Evil?). Comunque, la sua musica era più che ok quando riusciva a farla emergere dal fragore prodotto dai suoi compagni di gruppo.
    Grazie Steve per la tua musica!

    Giorgio

  4. Ruth Cohn Howard

    I’m so sorry to learn of Steve’s death so long after the fact. We were very close in our younger years, when he spent summers in Woodstock, and then when I moved to New York City. We renewed our acquaintance briefly a number of years ago when I was in Woodstocs trying to revisit my youth (a futile task!). He was always a gifted musician and an extremely intelligent man. I’m sure he is much missed by his family, his community, and, yes, by me. I can’t imagine Woodstock without him.

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