It’s that time of year when some of us look back on August 13-18, 1969 and wish we’d had the presence of mind to head to Max Yasgur’s dairy farm in Bethel, NY that weekend.
It would have been so easy to stick my thumb out on the Mass Pike. Maybe with “Woodstock or Bust” on a piece of cardboard. But, no, it was almost time to go back to college in Amherst. I couldn’t bail on my waitress job—I needed the money for school.
I only know one person who was there, and all I seem to remember about his recollection is mud and more mud. I guess you had to be there.
Since I wasn’t there, I’m not going to rattle on about it except to say that this weekend The New Yorker has reprinted Ellen Willis’ August 29, 1969 coverage of “The Not-So-Groovy Side of Woodstock.” (RIP Ellen Willis.)
It’s a very good read, and, to be fair, I’d rather you read it at the source.
To whet your appetite:
Willis told of Abbie Hoffman interrupting The Who’s set to berate the crowd re: listening to music when a Michigan activist had just been sentenced to a long prison term.
She said “Peter Townshend hit Hoffman with his guitar.”
And for the list of performers, thank you, Wikipedia!
Can you dig it?