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.

Reviews: Fire on the Mountain, Richard Greene (by Susan Edmiston); Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs, Marty Robbins (by Alec Dubro); Let’s Work Together, Wilbert Harrison One-Man Band (by Langdon Winner); Spooky Two, Spooky Tooth (by David Gancher); Bongo Joe, George Coleman (by Gary Von Tersch); Presenting Burton Greene (by Eleanor Roosevelt); Faithful Friends, The New York Rock and Roll Ensemble/Sunshine and Shadow, Ars Nova (by Ed Ward); The Genius of Earl Hooker/Two Bugs and a Roach, Earl Hooker (by Pete Welding); Oar, Alexander Spence (by Greil Marcus); Pilgrim’s Progress, Mark LeVine (by Barret Hansen); Rhythm ‘N’ Blues: The End of an Era, Vol. 1 (by Gary Von Tersch); Human Ball, The McCoys (by Lester Bangs).

Columns: “Books” by Tom Clark.

Poetry: “Vots” by Larry Fagin; “Denver” by N. Indiana; “Day; Do Ya Wanna Dance?” by Henry Pritchett.

Subscription offer: Love Man by Otis Redding, free with 50 cents shipping. $6 for 26 issues; $10 for 52.

Previously: Issue 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41.

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