was 59 years ago today Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play, so
that makes this the summer of 2006 the 37th anniversary
of the original Woodstock. A lot of boomers (hate that term, sounds
like something you'd name a dog. "Come here Boomers, come
here girl.") Take two: many members of the Woodstock Nation,
i.e., middle-aged folk, have romantic yet foggy memories of the
event, but in truth the original was not exactly three days of
peace, love and music either. A lot of people over 50 seem to
have the actual festival confused with the poster that advertised
it. Look, I like a good myth the same as the next guy (I'm still
waiting for Walt Disney to be defrosted. "Pretty Woman was
about a what!?"), but in fact, the original Woodstock was
has it that Woodstock was a mystical and cosmic gathering of the
tribes that ushered in the age of Aquarius, and altered the course
of history. The facts are: a group of incompetent businessmen
put on a concert. They presented the music, but provided hardly
any other amenities for the audience. Parking was in the mud three
miles from the site. It rained. A lot of kids showed up and got
smashed out of their young minds. They didn't riot. They didn't
overthrow the government. Hell, they were so stoned they could
hardly stand up.
there was to eat was that horrid organic rice the Hog Farmers
passed out in Dixie cups. There wasn't one sign in a Port-O-San
saying, "Hog Farmers must wash their hands before serving
granola," if you smell what I'm cookin'. The only thing that
would have made the meal perfect would have been a tall glass
filled with ANYTHING TO DRINK!
Hoffman was the only guy who had a realistic handle on things.
Upset that John Sinclair was in prison, he grabbed the mike during
The Who's set and announced, "This festival is a bunch of
shit." Pete Townshend kicked him in the groin and off the
stage. This moment of peace, love, and understanding never made
it to the movie.
wasn't even in Woodstock, it was in Bethel. After the locals realized
that The Grateful Dead and Joe Cocker were involved in this "Arts
Fair" they figured the whole deal would frighten their cows,
corrupt their daughters, and in general, ruin their weekend. So
they had a judge issue a court order blocking the entire event.
up Andy! This is big!"
this wait till tomorrow Barney? It's 3 o'clock in the morning."
Ange! I just looked at these surveillance films that the FBI sent
to Mt. Pilot. These hippie promoters are planning to bring in
this fellow Jimi Hendrickson! They say out in Monterey he actually
set his instrument on fire and led the youth in a satanic voodoo
ritual, and get this, he's a Negro!"
out of Woodstock, the producers moved down the road to Max Yasgur.
A year earlier he had leased his farm out to The Boy Scouts of
America for their National Jamboree.
imagine the Boy Scout Jamboree only instead of campfire songs,
not sure. Last year my pasture got pretty messed up. I don't want
the crowd to ruin my grass."
worry, they'll bring their own."
Max, did we tell you that we'll be presenting a new opera?"
right! Wow! That's so far out that you knew that. Now listen Max,
here's the bottom line, fifty grand and a guaranteed spot in the
movie. Joplin won't even be in the flick."
of the stage announcements were made by a guy named Chip Monck.
He had that voice of God thing happening. It wasn't, "HEY!
HEY! WHAT ARE YOU DOING ON THAT LIGHT TOWER? ARE YOU NUTS? GET
THE HELL OFF OF THERE!! Some guy on acid hears that, becomes the
diving horse and takes out the medical tent and the fat guy from
was mellow, "IF I MAY HAVE A MOMENT OF ATTENTION FROM THE
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN WHO ARE FORNICATING ON THE LIGHT TOWERS.
KINDLY PUT IT AWAY AND CAREFULLY DESCEND TO THE GROUND. THANK
wow man, who was that?"
think it was Charlton Heston."
man, I think it was God!"
it was Charlton Heston playing God."
wow man, maybe it was God playing Charlton Heston."
THE COUPLE ON THE LIGHT TOWER KINDLY REFRAIN FROM STONED OUT PHILOSOPHICAL
CONVERSATIONS AND CAREFULLY CLIMB TO THE GROUND. THANK YOU."
only person who wasn't stoned at the festival was the Port-O-San
guy. The funny thing is the kids who were there would never use
a Port-O-San if they weren't stoned out of their minds. Imagine,
you're in a Port-O-San on a bad acid trip and the aroma has a
face. I never understood LSD. Acid was very strange because when
you took it sometimes it was a good trip and sometimes it was
a bummer. Sort of like visiting your parents on Thanksgiving.
a suggestion for keeping your kids off drugs, rent the Woodstock
film. Show the kids a family photo and say, "These are your
parents." Then turn on the film and say, "These are
your parents on drugs." The truth is Woodstock was what being
young in 1969 was all about a disorganized mess, a horror
show with a great soundtrack and a few laughs.
Country Joe once said . . . "Gimme an F . . . ."