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Showing 1-18 of 18 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 7, 2009 1:52:48 AM PDT
I was 19 back in '69 and drove up with a few friends, in a VW bus, to "see and hear" the show. Even bought tix! We were so damned far away from the stage and we couldn't hear a thing due to the very basic sound systems back then. Since we couldn't get anywhere near the stage we just hung out and partied. We couldn't get out, even if we tried as every road was packed and parked cars were just abandoned everywhere, with no rhyme or reason to sane parking. We were tired, hungry, filthy and wasted. I got insect bites everywhere. The best part was we all HAD to talk to each other as there were no boom boxes, headphones, walkmen, iPods, blackberries, pagers, cell phones or any means of communication available, except by verbal skills. That was the joy. WE ALL TALKED TO EACH OTHER! We would be the last generation who would acquire social skills. It was great. One of these days I'll go back to Yasgur's, with a shovel and pick, and try to find my underwearl...lol

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 10, 2009 11:04:40 AM PDT
Fascinating, isn't it, that in spite of all our advances in global communication and technology, we find actual social interaction awkward, friendships increasingly harder to make (and maintain), and true intimacy virtually unattainable! We sure could use a Woodstock now, huh? (Even better, a third "Great Awakening"!) Thanks to all who've tried to keep the dreams, visions and ideals alive. As Joe Cocker said, "Keep on lovin'!"

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 10, 2009 11:19:43 AM PDT
If we did have another Woodstock I would like to see ALL electronic and digital equipment banned. No cell phones, iPods, headphones, laptops, blackberries, etc. to be seen or used anywhere. FORCE EVERYONE TO TALK, AND MOST OF ALL--LISTEN--TO EACH OTHER! My friend had a a small transistor AM radio. I brought my harmonica, one person brought a guitar and others brought bongos, congas and tambourines. We had OUR OWN sing alongs! Can you believe that? We sure had a helluva lot of fun back then!

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 14, 2009 10:39:14 AM PDT
Rimshot says:
Heavy, man.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 15, 2009 10:36:08 AM PDT
SO TRUE,you were fortunate.Thanks

Posted on Jul 26, 2009 2:28:43 PM PDT
Woodstock was about the music for me. Having gone to lots of shows at the Fillmore East, I thought maybe this was the chance to see CSN and Y. I got turned down at the Fillmore. Well it happened. After a terrible rain storm I might add. I had a ball at Woodstock but I might add, it was wet and it got cold in the hills at night. Still, I lasted the full tilt. I thought Creedence, Sly, Santana and the Who tore the house down. Truthfully, the Dead were dead. Hendrix looked a little tired. Maybe after 3 days of waiting he lost the spirit?? I thought Joe Cocker was at his top with Feelin' Alright? I really enjoyed meeting people from all over the country it was special. Having lived in the northeast I knew the Catskills were not like the Adirondacks but I new they would get mucho cold when the sun went down. Took a little rain to make those sweaters -- not so good. Wew it got cold. Anyway to all the people sitting on the right side of the stage HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOrah and a happy 40th. Hope you see the 50th in good health and spirits. Its been a helluvah run.

Posted on Jul 26, 2009 5:03:20 PM PDT
Dan--you were a LUCKY man to get anywhere near the stage area. It was an impossibility for me and my friends so we just had to settle down as close as we could, which was a considerable distance away. We were late in arriving so it was our fault. I remember the cold, wet nights and stealing blankets, towels and other peoples clothes to try to stay warm and dry. My clothes were ripped off as I was trying to wash up and cool down in the water nearby the day after we arrived. A lot of unmentionable stuff went on in the water so I'll leave it at that. I never had the chance to see any of the performers but many years later I personally met Grace Slick in an art gallery in Salinas CA and Joan Baez in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. I also spent a good hour with Jerry Garcia at Ocean Beach in San Francisco as our dogs played. I came across him when I was walking my dog on the beach (I recognized him immediately) and he was alone with his dog, throwing a tennis ball. We NEVER discussed music, just the love of our furry companions, as our dogs chased each other in the water. I never let on that I knew who he was and he could not stop talking to me. In the end he told me his name was Jerry and how much he enjoyed our conversation. I said "I'm Jane" and he left me the tennis ball as he had to leave. It must have blown his mind when I asked him if I could pay him for the ball as my dog would not give it up. I still have it on my dresser. This was a year before he passed away. This is one of my most fondest memories of a conversation with a "stranger."

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 27, 2009 7:44:11 AM PDT
I guess I was lucky in many ways. A bunch of us were friends at a campground and experienced campers so we went prepared. I remember us laughing at people who pitched a tent in the bottom of the roadside ditch. friday night two of made it right up to the stage to watch Arlo Guthrie. Saturday we were about half way back from the stage, but Sunday we had our best setup. Then came the rains.I don't remember insect bites, but came back with my feet shredded from poptops in the mud. Remember they came off the cans back then.Yeh, I remember the talking. it was like people you just met had been friends for years. And the sharing. I remember basking in the sunrise, listening to Jefferson Airplane. We had broken out a bag of oranges and were slurping away when a guy came by and his eyes got big as saucers as he saw the oranges. What else could we do but give him a couple and bask in the warmth of his joy. When the rain started Sunday we had everything but rain gear. It looked like it would be a nasty one so all the guys stripped to the waist, we rolled up all our gear and I sat on top. The one woman with us sat on my lap with my back to the storm and the other guys gathered around to shield her and our gear as much as possible. We were wincing to the hardest coldest rain I remember when suddenly it got dark and dry. Two guys down the hill with ponchos saw us and came up and covered us all.Back then we would have talked about good karma. With their ponchos and bowl we weathered the storm. As the rain let up I needed to stretch and wandered through the crowd till I came to the river of mud and the beginning of the mudsliding. Yeh you can see me if you know where to look. The rain and cold started breaking up the group. I couple of us tried to wait for CSN&Y but didn't make. Although I did get to meet Graham Nash several years later. The music I remember most was from Saturday dusk with Canned Heat through that incredible night. We fed off the music and it seemed the bands fed off the crowd. We'd be amazed by one performance then the next band seemed to top it, finishing up with the Who playing Tommy as the sky lightened and dawn broke. I can still see Peter Townshend in his white jumpsuit under the purple spot.mmmmmm should we be telling these stories with Springsteens Glory Days in the background?

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 27, 2009 6:15:20 PM PDT
onsenkuma says:
Jane,
Nice post! Well, I was 14 in the summer of '69 so I had to content myself with some of the great music that came out that year - Johnny Winter; Ten Years After: 'Stonedhenge'; Jefferson Airplane: 'Bless Its Little Pointed Head'; The Who: 'Tommy'; Santana; Sly & The Family Stone: 'Stand'...and others. My chance came in the summer of '71 - no Woodstock, but no Altamont either. As best I can recall, I had a pretty great time...

Anyway, I like what you've said here about 'communication'. Talking, yeah, just 'talking'...I remember that! Anyway it must have been quite a time, no matter how far from the stage you were. Bet you coulda done without all that rain though, huh? Cheers...

Posted on Aug 19, 2009 8:40:05 PM PDT
* says:
I've read that there are 25-30 million people who claim to have been at Woodstock.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 19, 2009 9:21:47 PM PDT
Oh really? That's a LOT of claims. Are the claimants younger than 58 and did they live near the New York area at the time? I was there when I was 19 and lived in New York City so there was no distance issue. We borrowed a VW van and drove up. While I no longer have my ticket stub I have two other friends who also went and we can back each other up. Unfortunately my Kodak Brownie camera got totally soaked in the relentless downpour of rain and my rolls of film were ruined as well. We did not have digital cameras and memory cards back then to firmly record the event along with our presence. However, my underwear may still be buried at least 6 feet deep on Yasgur's farm!

Posted on Aug 21, 2009 2:00:04 PM PDT
Major Jealousy here. I was on the wrong side of the continent.
I did score tickets for the first Montery Pop Festival.
I invited a very desirable friend to go thinking it would be a "Mood Enhancing" place to be.
When I went to pick her up to go, she asked weather I REALLY wanted to go hear music or
whether we could just stay at her place, drink wine and stay in bed until we couldn't anymore.
I later bought the recorded highlight so I could hear what it would have sounded like had I gone.
Even now, I think I made the right decision....Afternoon Delight.

Posted on Aug 21, 2009 2:03:28 PM PDT
Major Jealousy here. I was on the wrong side of the continent.
I did score tickets for the first Montery Pop Festival.
I invited a very desirable friend to go thinking it would be a "Mood Enhancing" place to be.
When I went to pick her up to go, she asked weather I REALLY wanted to go hear music or
whether we could just stay at her place, drink wine and stay in bed until we couldn't anymore.
I later bought the recorded highlight so I could hear what it would have sounded like had I gone.
Even now, I think I made the right decision....Afternoon Delight.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 22, 2009 3:47:50 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 22, 2009 3:50:30 PM PDT
B. Comdohr says:
Jane, That was Great. Thanks for putting things in perspective.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 11, 2009 2:46:04 PM PDT
Deadhead69 says:
Jane that is fantastic you and Jerry shot the breeze on the beach! That is so cool!!!

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 28, 2009 9:00:09 AM PDT
bostonears says:
"I've read that there are 25-30 million people who claim to have been at Woodstock."

Yeah, the best line about that phenomenon was from Graham Nash, who said that if everyone who claims to have been at Woodstock had actually been there, the planet would have tilted on its axis.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 28, 2009 5:11:28 PM PDT
Hmmm. Well that proves it.
The planet IS definitively tilted on its axis.
Wow...I feel it tilting even more as I write this!

Peace out!

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 28, 2010 6:10:06 PM PST
ZoetMB says:
There could never be another Woodstock because this is an entirely different world. Perhaps you don't attend music shows today where every idiot pushes their way to the front of the stage no matter how late they arrive because they consider it to be "their right" to stand exactly where they want to, no matter how crowded, or people who decide to dance when there's no room, or the idiots who think nothing of spilling their beer on you. And that's aside from the people who when almost finished with their beer in a paper cup, simply drop in on the floor, right where they're standing. Or the morons who come to a show, and then ignore the music and talk loudly the entire time. Or, when seeing a classic rock group, spend the entire show screaming out a request for some song (sometimes sarcastically, sometimes not) the group obviously doesn't want to play.

And while many of the Woodstock groups had already been signed to a label (especially after the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival), most of the groups who appeared were relatively new to the scene and still finding their way in what had become an entirely new genre of music. Who would you have at such a festival today? American Idol winners (or losers?). With the record industry in shambles, you would think that a new independent scene would have evolved, much as new "underground" acts evolved out of places like San Francisco and New York's Village starting around 1966, but that hasn't happened.

Watch the Woodstock movie. There is no sponsorship or advertising at the festival. Could that ever happen today? A three-day ticket back then cost $18. With inflation, that's only $106 today. But I bet a concert like this today would be priced around $350 and up. And of course, there'd be VIP tickets for those willing to spend upwards of $1000 to sit in a reserved area close to the stage. And there wouldn't be any tickets available anyway, because the ticket scalpers and resellers would suck them all up and then try to rip everyone off. I think I bought my Woodstock tickets at the local newsstand for the regular ticket price (no service charges back then.)

While the Woodstock festival founders wound up suing each other, there weren't really any lawsuits that I'm aware of from the people who attended. Today, there'd be tons. And if such an event were held today and extra cell phone towers weren't put in place, people would consider it a personal affront that they couldn't send their damned text messages to people siting five feet from them, etc. The entire festival would be spent with people holding up their cell phones to record the concert, even though they were at least a quarter mile from the stage.

In spite of the traffic jams, there was no horn-honking around the festival grounds. Today, all the Wall Street jerks in their BMWs would go nuts.

At Woodstock, in spite of the crowds (I was there), no one rushed the stage. Today, every idiot, no matter when they arrived, would consider it their personal prerogative to get as close to the stage, no matter who they had to push. And today, when asked to get down from the speaker towers before the storm, everyone would probably ignore those warnings.

Do you really think such a festival could be held today WITHOUT numerous fights breaking out? No local town would let a festival like this happen again anyway. If you really want somewhat of the feeling of a Woodstock, the closest you're going to get is an outdoor blues festival in the South. And while there was certainly plenty of drug use at Woodstock (although i suspect, aside from marijuana, less then "legend" has it), the kind of behavior you get with alcohol is far more aggressive and even if it was banned from the concert grounds, people would get drunk before and after and this would lead to all kinds of problems. And while there was nudity (and obviously a lot of sex happened there) at Woodstock, there was no outrageous behavior that I observed. Today, I suspect there would be all kinds of "girls gone wild" grossness.

Unless we have another revolution in society like the one we had in the 1960s (even with all its faults and hypocrisies), there can never be and should never be any attempt at recreating Woodstock. Woodstock worked because no one involved or attending had any idea what it was going to be. Do you know that the original modest purpose of Woodstock was to raise enough money to build a recording studio in Woodstock?
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Participants:  13
Total posts:  18
Initial post:  Jul 7, 2009
Latest post:  Feb 28, 2010

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