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FAQ About Woodstock (from someone who was not yet born)

Posted August 10, 2009

2 comments posted. Read them now.

As you might have noticed it's the 40th anniversary of the Woodstock Festival, 3 days of peace, music, and a legendarily bad set by the Grateful Dead. They say that everybody claims to have been at Woodstock. Since I wasn't even born in the same decade as the festival I can't claim to have been there, therefore, this will be a useful FAQ for others who were also not alive at the time.

So what's your connection to the Woodstock festival?
My mom had the Woodstock 2 album on vinyl, the one with the naked blond kids crawling all over a sparkly drum kit. Although I wasn't around at the time, I was present on the fairground site at the 20th anniversary while attending running camp near Bethel, New York. I ran up to the site, talked to a hippie who showed me photos of the site, which was cool because we were standing at the place where the photo was taken so you could really imagine where the stage was. But the trees were bigger.

Strangely enough, I used to hang out with the grandson of Max Yasgur in college. Yasgur's farm, as mentioned in Joni Mitchell's classic song Woodstock, was the site for the Festival.

Is running camp like fat camp?
No. Running camp is for cross country runners who are training get a leg up, yep, we wrote that, a leg up on the coming season. It involves breakfast, a grueling morning run, speed training, another grueling afternoon run and then things like swimming and talent shows. I brought down the house with my rendition of "All Along the Watchtower" and got the other kids mad because I correctly claimed that the song was by Bob Dylan, not Jimi Hendrix. Runners just don't know their Dylan.

Wait, it was in Bethel, NY but it was called Woodstock? Why?

Woodstock NY was a small artistic community where Bob Dylan used to live, and is 43 miles away. There's probably a good answer for the connection, mostly that people from New York City tend to lump everything upstate together and they might have called it Buffalo or Binghamton-fest, for that matter, but Woodstock is a cooler name than Bethel.

Woodstock may also refer to the small avian sidekick of Snoopy, the dog from the Peanuts cartoon. Such characters were used with whimsy back before content providers, formerly known as artists and writers, sued the bejesus out of anyone who dared violate their copyright.

There was also a clean, potent form of LSD known as Woodstock, because the tabs containing the drug had the image of the Woodstock bird. Acid dealers are much harder to sue than rock promoters so they tend to use unauthorized images with impunity.

Oh, yeah, acid. What's that?
A psychedelic drug which, when taken in small doses, can make you feel goofy for eight hours and then brag the next morning to your friends that you've had a religious experience.

When taken in larger amounts, acid will lead you to drop out of society, join a commune, realize you hate making your own bread then drop out of a commune, get an MBA and spend the next forty years accumulating capital so that you can buy tons of shit you don't really need, leaving the world much worse off than it was when you were making bread back at the commune.

Are you going to keep babbling or tell us anything about the actual festival?
I don't know. Rent the movie. It won an Oscar. Or better yet, rent Festival Express.

 

 

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