Woodstock

Discussion in 'Other Reminiscences' started by Thomas Stearn, Aug 22, 2019.

  1. Thomas Stearn

    Thomas Stearn Veteran Member
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    @Ken Anderson used the word hippy in one of the other threads which made me think of Woodstock and some questions I've always wanted to ask.

    Some days ago there were anniversary celebrations of the famous rock festival. Over here, every news channel reminded viewers of the 50th anniversary of that hippy pilgrimage by showing original film material and those of the anniversary celebrations.

    Woodstock was an iconic symbol of the free world for my generation and although it took place at the most remote location we could think of and even though there was no chance whatsoever to be part of it, lots of young people I knew at the time thought they had missed out on something really great.
    Since I've never had a chance to ask an American and since you are the only Americans of that generation I seem to be kind of in touch with :D, I was just wondering what you thought of it at the time and how you look at it in retrospect? Has anything changed since then? Did you go? Would you have liked to?

    What does Woodstock mean to you?
     
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    Last edited: Aug 22, 2019
  2. Holly Saunders

    Holly Saunders Supreme Member
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    Good question @Thomas Stearn , like you I was too young in '69, although I do remember hearing about it at the time, and of course know all about it since I grew up..but it would be interesting to hear the views of Americans who were aware of it all going on during that period!!
     
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  3. Patsy Faye

    Patsy Faye Supreme Member
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    Never appealed to me Thomas - the thought of being amongst that crowd gives me the shivers
    Never been to an open air concert, even back then, I wanted a comfy seat - would be nice to hear from someone
    that did take part
     
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  4. Bess Barber

    Bess Barber Veteran Member
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    I grew up in the rural south. We were quite contained within ourselves. It would've been way too many hippies and yankees all clustered up for us to attend. :p
    Later in life, my second husband was from Michigan. It took my dad 6 months to get used to the whole idea.
     
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  5. Lulu Moppet

    Lulu Moppet Veteran Member
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    I didn't go to Woodstock. That year I was in Europe, where I attended the Isle of Wight Festival, which was held after Woodstock ended. Most of the same acts appeared, but the main act, the last act, was Bob Dylan. The conditions were the same; mud, outdoor sleeping, huge crowds, music all day & night. Was young, so didn't mind it, but never went to another Festival. To me, roughing it is staying at a motel.

    Now my parents----they DID go to Woodstock! They were driving around the area (Bethel) and would pick up the hitchikers and drive them as close as they could; they made a few trips helping out the kids. They did so in honor of me, they said; knowing I was hitching around with friends, they did it for me, hoping I would be meeting folks as nice as them!

    I had a weekend house in the town of Woodstock in the early '70's, which I shared. My nearest neighbor was Mike Lang, the main producer of the Woodstock Festival and movie. He was always having friends over, like John Sebastian, members of Dylan's Band, etc. Very nice, down-to-earth people; generous.

    I remember Woodstock, that era, as being one of peace and hope (and sex and drugs and rock & roll). Only one big thing wrong, that damn war; although it was probably responsible for the best music, IMO, EVER, or at least so far. That damn war also brought about Questioning Authority, the counter-culture, new ways of living. That's how I remember Woodstock. In one word CHANGE.
     
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  6. Hal Pollner

    Hal Pollner Veteran Member
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    What an opportunity that would have been for eliminating half a million hippies in one instant.

    Hal
     
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  7. Lulu Moppet

    Lulu Moppet Veteran Member
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    You were obviously over 30 at the time, weren't trusted and missed out. LOL.
    But seriously, Hal:
    Joking about murdering people is contemptible. Makes you seem like a sicko. Of course, you're not that. Right? However, if you're not joking you may want a psychiatrist to help you seek out the roots and depths of your anger, jealousy, emotional deprivations and hatred. Best of luck to you in your quest.
     
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  8. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    Woodstock was held the summer that I graduated from high school. Two friends and I talked about going. Then we decided that, since the tickets were all sold out, we probably wouldn't be able to get in anyhow, so we went to California instead. So, for me, it means a missed opportunity. I know someone who did go, however. He said that, while in retrospect it was the event of a lifetime, at the time it was very uncomfortable. Near constant rain, everything mud, more than an hour standing in line to use a very smelly porta-potty, and bathing was out of the question. He also said it was very hard to hear the music.
     
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  9. Don Alaska

    Don Alaska Veteran Member
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    I was traveling through the area at the time it happened, but I did not go. I don't remember where I was going, but I suspect I was headed for Boston to visit my college roommate who married about that time. I had a full-ride fellowship to grad school but couldn't take it, as my draft number was &, so I was sure to be drafted out of grad school if I went. I ended up enlisting in the Navy to avoid camping in the mud. I remember the 70s well, however, and there were naked people everywhere in California when I lived there. You couldn't go for a hike or a walk in the woods, or even a paddle down a river without encountering naked people. Not to mention the beach....:)
     
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  10. Holly Saunders

    Holly Saunders Supreme Member
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    I didn't go to Woodstock. That year I was in Europe, where I attended the Isle of Wight Festival, which was held after Woodstock ended. Most of the same acts appeared, but the main act, the last act, was Bob Dylan. The conditions were the same; mud, outdoor sleeping, huge crowds, music all day & night. Was young, so didn't mind it, but never went to another Festival. To me, roughing it is staying at a motel.

    ...and the Isle of Wight Festival is Still on every year..and somehow always when it's raining!! :D @Lulu Moppet
     
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  11. Holly Saunders

    Holly Saunders Supreme Member
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    Do you actually say things like that to deliberately try to cause controversy ?...why Hal?..
     
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  12. Thomas Stearn

    Thomas Stearn Veteran Member
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    It's really interesting to read the different post here which are, if you like, a kinda cross-section of our/your generation. What you wrote is authentic and that's what makes it valuable. Never had that chance before. Thank you all.

    I didn't expect enthusiastic replies only but just this mixed bag of opinions and experiences at the time. Hearing and enthusing about it is one thing, really roughing it is another. I'm not sure if I had attended it either @Patsy Faye. Would probably have depended on a number of things. But people like to have choices and the dead certainty that I didn't have that choice back then was devastating. @Ken Anderson had that choice and heading for California was certainly not a bad one.
    As your posts show, memorable events such as this one which later was described as "Three Days that Defined a Generation" often get in the way of personal plans. It happened to me as well.
     
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  13. Patsy Faye

    Patsy Faye Supreme Member
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    @Thomas Stearn - I'm not into camping either, like me home comforts too much but I guess those that do - would
    have enjoyed Woodstock. I don't like such big crowds and the noise would be too much - the Palladium or 'Talk of the Town'
    would be just fine :)
     
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  14. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Senior Staff
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    I was really only vaguely aware of Woodstock at the time, and would not have gone even if I had lived somewhere close to it. By 1969, I was married and had two children, and didn’t like rock music anyway, so a huge outdoor rock festival held no significance for me in any way.

    I did read a very interesting book that gives a whole new outlook on the early Hippie culture here in America, and brings up some little-known facts about many of the legendary performers of that era.
    It is called “Weird Scenes Inside the Canyon”, by Dave McGowan, and is about Laurel Canyon, where most of the leaders of the cultural performers lived, back in those days.

    You can actually read the whole book, chapter by chapter, from his website:
    http://centerforaninformedamerica.com/
     
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  15. Peter Renfro

    Peter Renfro Veteran Member
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    While young I had attended a few local festivals. Woodstock as advertised was just another of many festivals,so the distance(abt 200 miles) would have kept it off my list. By the time Woodstock grew into what it became there was no way to get near the place.
     
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