“What the hell is that?”
“It’s ‘50’s music, Sha na na.”
“Tell me I didn’t sleep through Hendrix.”
“Nope.” Leona peeled her blanket from the well soaked ground. The population of Woodstock had thinned during the night. The campers on the crest and half the audience had gone, believing as we did, that Hendrix ditched Woodstock.
What a bummer.
So, tired, dirty and completely spent we trekked over masses of abandoned stuff to the top of the hill. We turned to take one last look at the stage and the mess that we’d made as we abandoned what was the third largest city in New York State.
It was still raining lightly…and then Jimi Hendrix took his Stratocaster… a right handed guitar held upside down and played by the left handed Hendrix, the best lead guitarist of our time and he made magic. His convoluted rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner” forever changed the way guitarists viewed guitars… showed us what a Fender sounded like in the hands of an artistic genius… another musical landmark.
Our lost people waited by the car and we left for home under the danced-on, dented roof of my Mother’s Buick. Leona expertly drove past the New York State Troopers who arrested freaks for driving badly. I guessed that they were pretty pissed off that we had wrecked their state.
Hours later I pulled in front of our home and Mom greeted me as if I had been abducted by space aliens and was finally returned safely, happy I was alive. She peeked into the trunk and closed it quickly. “Everything will have to be thrown out.” She said. That included all of my coolest clothes that were still in my pack and my almost white pillow case flag. But I kept my mud smeared Woodstock posters.
I bathed and slept, just long enough for her to get an estimate of the damages to her car and then I was grounded forever!
“You are grounding me for this?” I was indignant. “I didn’t dance on your car! Look at this
poster. It says music and art fair. Look at all these hearts and flowers with all the babies and birds on it. How was I supposed to know it would be a disaster?” Even then I had a flair for the dramatic. “It wasn’t my fault.”
But she was from a time of Perry Como and Doris Day. She barely made it through the British invasion and now children were wearing weird shabby clothing, dodging the draft and taking mind altering drugs. How could she understand that Rock and Roll had changed the landscape of our world and it would never be the same again?
It was a rough time to be a parent.
Over the years I have heard many accounts of the Woodstock experience and I can tell you this for free. We came together when one nation… under God and Nixon… was divided by War, civil rights and opinions. We, the people, were recovering from loss of Jack, Bobby and Martin Luther King, the loss of our soldiers, all brothers, cousins and friends. It was a time of division… much like today… and the phenomenon that was Woodstock validated us as the lovers of peace.
We knew that a half million people could live harmoniously under the most deplorable of conditions and continue to love one another unconditionally. United by music, our desire for peace, and a sincere consideration for our fellow man, Woodstock gave us hope for our world. It was an accidental dream and I am blessed to have experienced it.
I still hold out hope.
The thoughts and opinions expressed, herein, have been relegated to the Doors of Perception. This blogger does not, in any way, condone the use of illegal substances nor does she condone the operating of motor vehicles while under the influence of said substances. Moreover, she does not encourage the skipping of summer school classes, swimming in water intended for human consumption, engaging in unprotected sex with handsome teenage boys or the benefits of LSD for weight loss. Do not attempt to recreate this festival while selling capitalist-pig-like promotional items, i.e. T shirts, coffee cups, guitar straps or cozies and please don’t try this at home. They don’t call it a mind altering drug for nothing.
Thanx for visiting,