Tag Archives: Woodstock

50 Years Ago in Rolling Stone: Woodstock

Rolling Stone issue #42 had a cover date of September 20, 1969. 40 pages. 35 cents. Cover photo of naked Woodstock attendees by Baron Wolman.

This issue is back up to 40 pages again after issue #41 was down to 32 pages, and this is where the myth of Woodstock was created.

Even scholarly Greil Marcus was rendered breathless by the scene:

At the festival thousands were able to do things that would ordinarily be considered rebellious, in the terms of whatever current nonsensical sociological theory one might want to embrace. Selling and using all kinds of dope, balling here, there, and everywhere, swimming, canoeing or running around naked, and, believe it or not, staying up all night—one could do all of these things simply because they were fun to do, not because such acts represented scoring points against parents or Richard Nixon or Reader’s Digest.

So yeah, the Stone’s Woodstock coverage is to blame for all of the Boomers’ nostalgia. This was the peak of their civilization and nothing would ever come close to comparing with it. And the rest of us have been failing to live up to their standards ever since. Thanks a lot, hippies.

Features: “Woodstock: It Was Like Balling for the First Time” by Jan Hodenfield; “The Woodstock Music and Art Fair” by Andrew Kopkind; “The Woodstock Festival” by Greil Marcus; “Earthprobe” by Colin Moorcaft; “Pale Marble Movie” by Richard Brautigan.

News: “‘New’ Dylan Album Bootlegged in LA” by Jerry Hopkins; “Dylan’s Back Up Comes Up Front” by Jack Hurst; Beatles Get Back, Track by Track; John and Yoko On a Peace Cruise; “From Stud to Star: Ronnie Hawkins” by Ritchie Yorke; “Journal of Jazz On Texas Nights” by Don Roth; Jefferson Airplane Flies Free in LA; David Harris Goes to Jail – Noisily; Festivals; “Kim Fowley” by Ritchie Yorke; Heat Canned In Denver; Court Kicks Out Anti-Rock Laws; “Pepper’s Lounge: Home of the Blues” by Jim O’Neal; Motown Cleffers Balk, Take Walk; Jesus Saves—In Topanga Canyon; “Now, the Medium Is the Movies” by Jerry Hopkins; “Germans Beat Off Sex Film-makers” by Eric Geiger; Free Press: Know Your Local Narc; Flatt and Scruggs Get Together; Random Notes.

Continue reading 50 Years Ago in Rolling Stone: Woodstock

50 Years Ago in Rolling Stone: Issue 40

Rolling Stone issue #40 had a cover date of August 23, 1969. 40 pages. 35 cents. Cover photo of Jerry Garcia by Baron Wolman.

Features: “The Grateful Dead” by Michael Lydon; “James Taylor on Apple: ‘The Same Old Craperoo'” by Jerry Hopkins; “The Dope Story” by Joe Pilati; “Newport 1969” by Jan Hodenfield; “The Doors in Mexico” by Jerry Hopkins.

News: TV Discovers the Music Scene; “Felix Finally Gets His Own” by Ben Fong-Torres; Woodstock Festival Is On the Run; Pop Comes Back To Miami; Airplane Puts RCA Up Against Wall; The Sound of One Side Negotiating; Country Joe Is Fixin’ to live; “All along the Hash Trails” by Samy H. Abboud; A Sky Pilot in San Francisco; James Brown at City Hall; John and Yoko’s Wonderwall; “Us Dope Crisis: Who’s Holding?” by Ben Fong-Torres and Geoffrey Link; Leary Busted in LSD Death Case; Dylan Booked for Isle of Wight; Aretha: Troubles In Motor City; “Faith Plays Soft At NY Debut” by Jan Hodenfield. And Random Notes on Jimi Hendrix, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Lothar and the Hand People, Expo 70, Eric Burdon, the Plaster Casters, and Ronald Reagan.

Continue reading 50 Years Ago in Rolling Stone: Issue 40

“Don’t Take The Brown Acid”

At the Woodstock Festival that occurred 50 years ago this coming July the performers included Creedence Clearwater Revival; Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young; Jefferson Airplane; the Grateful Dead.

For reasons that probably have more to do with lucre than love, there is Woodstock 50 planned for this summer. There has been a considerable amount of more notoriety of this event as regards the financing than the acts, but the roster is nothing if not robust.

If we go back to the opening paragraph of this, know that among the performers are John Fogerty; David Crosby; Jorma Kaukonen & Jack Casady (a.k.a., Hot Tuna); and Dead & Company.

Fogerty is 73. Crosby, 77. Jorma, 78. Casady 75. And just to pick one still there and still alive, Bob Weir 71.

At this point you might expect one of my typical rants about old musicians hanging it up.

But I’m not going to do that.

Rather, it simply strikes me that back in 1969 there was an event that had a certain music-changing magnitude (I’d argue that all of the variants of the “Star Spangled Banner” that are now heard at NASCAR races and sporting events go back to Hendrix taking what had theretofore been something of an untouchable icon and molding it into something completely different) that has never been equaled. It was a phenomenon. While it certainly wasn’t the first music festival, nor will it be the last, it was something that had far more cultural resonance than anything that was there before or after, and much of this has to do with the spontaneity of the events on the ground as they transpired and changed the entire dynamic of what was to be into something that was more representative of the age: a whiff of anarchy.

Yes, there are music festivals. Yes, there should continue to be music festivals.

But what are the organizers thinking is going to happen? Are they going to catch lightning in a bottle, or are they going to be working out—as seems to be the case right now—how much they’re going to be able to capture in terms of monetary value? Is this a music festival or a payday?

Continue reading “Don’t Take The Brown Acid”