If you had a chance to go to Woodstock today, would you let that sun shine in?
Some boomers could do it with certain conditions attached like first class airfare, a luxury condo, and a shuttle to get back and forth to avoid spending the night outside.
That’s one way.
The other would be throwing in with the other half-million fans and tough it out.
Six bucks for a day of music? Today you can buy a pint of Portland craft beer for the same price. One is an experience of a lifetime, the other’s a damn good beer.
Blitz and Olympia were local beers in 1969 and no one complained. While you don’t see much of those brands, you still hear the music on classic rock 92.3 KGON and no one complains. And why would they?
The music of Woodstock will never go away. Those bands punched a golden ticket of immortality. They clarified the music industry for the next forty years.
By performing, recording, and filming under less than ideal conditions, rockers, artists, and fans staked their claim. Future generations try living up to those standards, but it is futile.
The Sixties sound simple when you don’t dig too deep. Sex, drugs, and rock and roll. Peace and love. Highlights and low lights fill books from the time and the time after, but there’s always more.
Classic rock and a warm coat drive for foster kids?
Screaming guitars and Salmon Spawning Volunteer Orientation?
The enduring message asks you to be a better person. Be a better inhabitant of earth. Share the good parts and work on the rest.
One man from Woodstock spent the week camping there. He was 17, a recent high school graduate still too young for the Vietnam draft.
Q: “How was the food at Woodstock?”
A: “We didn’t see any food there. We brought our own. Water was the problem. Standing in line for water. Hours standing in line. You’ve seen the movie? I was sliding in the mud and thought I’d be in it. We walked around. So many people, some without clothes. It was incredible.”
“On the last night we didn’t make it back to our tent. We slept on the ground. When we woke up, Jimi Hendrix was on stage playing the national anthem. You’ve heard that? One of my favorite musicians is Richie Havens. I’ve seen him more than anyone. But there was Jimi and The Star Spangled Banner. I was seventeen.”
BoomerPDX Lesson: Play your guitar like it’s a time machine.
Better Boomer says even if you weren’t born yet, the spirit of Woodstock is still in you. Now start cleaning up.