By the time we got to woodstock. By the Time I Get to Woodstock: Peace & Love in Retrospect 2019-12-02

the Time We Got to After Fifty Years

by the time we got to woodstock

Apparently on Saturday there was a hike back to retrieve some things from the car with another Wisconsin friend, Charlie Uehlin, but I know I wasn't in on that. The fence was purposely cut in order to create a totally free event, prompting many more to show up. I have come to lose the smog, And I feel myself a cog in somethin' turning And maybe it's the time of year Yes and maybe it's the time of man And I don't know who I am But life is for learning We are stardust, we are golden We are billion year old carbon And we got to get ourselves back to the garden We are stardust, we are golden We are billion year old carbon And we got to get ourselves back to the garden By the time we got to Woodstock We were half a million strong And everywhere was a song and a celebration And I dreamed I saw the bomber death planes Riding shotgun in the sky, Turning into butterflies Above our nation We are stardust, we are golden We are caught in the devils bargain And we got to get ourselves back to the garden. But, still, maybe they have a point. Otherwise, the festival grounds seemed orderly on that Friday, with food vendors, toilets and camping grounds. The concert happened in tiny Bethel, 43 miles away. On the low-keyed end of the spectrum, I sat with less than a hundred others before a little outdoor stage back by the Hog Farm's kitchen listening to a relaxed Joan Baez sing and chat in the most intimate setting imaginable.

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Counting Crows

by the time we got to woodstock

Mike answered, definitely, the way in. But we keep plugging away. However, if I know my American history, tens of thousands of Americans in uniform gave their lives in war after war just so those kids would have the freedom to do exactly what they are doing. My morning shower consisted of a co-ed nude swim down by the lake. If any copyright owner objects to the use of any music or images appearing in these videos, please contact me and I will remove the video and music with immediate effect.

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Μatthews Southern Comfort

by the time we got to woodstock

Our movie stood in awe of its own soundtrack: Janis Joplin, Sly and the Family Stone, the Who, fringed Daltry twirling his mike like some golden god of the dawning Woodstock nation. We just jumped in that Chevy Nova and drove. During the three days of the Woodstock festival, there were no reported incidents of violence among the half-million people in the audience. It was quite obvious that the weather and the bulge of 400,000 people, at least twice the amount anticipated, made Woodstock organizers to remedy an urgent food shortage. It seemed like hours before we were able to open the can by steadily knocking keys against it. Since the fences were torn down, advanced tickets were never collected and are now worth many times their face value.

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Crosby, Still, Nash & Young

by the time we got to woodstock

This soon led to our first group reunion, 25 years after the fact. The flat platform-like area at lower left in the photo above is approximately where the stage was set up; they still use the site periodically for concerts. The program's one real poem, by imprisoned John Sinclair, was in a different league altogether. Now it feels as though we've all been friends forever, a special bond having risen out of experiencing that generationally defining, crowning event of the Sixties. Max Yasgur donated dairy products.

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By The Time They Got To Woodstock...

by the time we got to woodstock

At a town meeting, local citizens of Wallkill brought up their concerns about safety, moral issues and the overall impact a huge concert event would have on their community, and although the corporation answered their questions, and presented plans, drawings, and contracts, but the meeting got heated, names were called, and the Woodstock Ventures reps realized just how bad it was when they started to hear threats of violence against the Mills and calls from some of the more irate locals to get pitchforks and shotguns and run the hippies out of town. When Dave dropped out of sight on the way in, I lost my familiar moorings and from that point on it was all unexplored territory. On August 7, Woodstock Ventures threw a mini concert for the Bethel site workers that featured a roster of local rock bands, along with a performance from an acting troupe called Earthlight Theater. On the internet you can now read about this incident, which occurred in the middle of that legendary Who set. He's written more than sixty sets of liner notes. Neuroscientists know that revisiting a memory changes it, and so in a very real way what I present in this prose is a composite story the six of us have built and polished together in the fifty years since the relative innocents we were ventured with half a million others onto the rural highways of upstate New York.

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By the Time I Get to Woodstock: Peace & Love in Retrospect

by the time we got to woodstock

The first night I shared a tarp with some Philly hippies, the second an Army surplus tent with a girl from a New Hampshire commune, her feet dirtier than mine. I dropped a bunch of acid none of it brown , smoked a lot of weed, took naked baths in the lake, wandered Gentle Path and Groovy Way, canoodled with pretty strangers. Now I think, what a crazy, lucky, right thing it was for us to do. This could well have developed into a disaster; the miracle of Woodstock is that it didn't. Getting anywhere in the vast bowl of the natural amphitheater itself was to learn to step carefully across an infinity of blankets and outstretched limbs. All around me, festival-goers were shielding their heads or roasting their weenies with my free verse.

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Crosby, Still, Nash & Young

by the time we got to woodstock

The pair soon departed and hitchhiked back to their car. You became aware that our generation did have this thing in common, everything that people had been talking about had actually happened. State police, however, did close the Newburgh and Harriman exits for a time in an attempt to keep even more people from streaming to the festival. It seemed that there were as many people walking away, as walking to the concert. One whiff of our gear and he hastened us on without searching the trunk where our stash lay swaddled in debris of the pilgrimage. It was declared that the program book had to be unique, memorable.

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AbeBooks: By the time we got to Woodstock...

by the time we got to woodstock

Over the years I tried to condense the events of that sprawling, quintessentially counter-cultural weekend into the space of a poem, and finally, about ten years ago, decided I'd done well enough by my experience. From our comedic attempts to reconstruct our adventures that weekend, it occurred to me that maybe we keep the most fixed memories of people we know best. The 50-page program read like a cross between an issue of Rolling Stone and a volume of bad stoned poetry. Instead, many crowd members became volunteers in the kitchens and medical tents. Cars parked all over the freeway, everything just abandoned. Hundreds upon hundreds of cars were temporarily abandoned, and many thousands of fans with tickets were unable to make it to the festival. And I don't know who I am, But life is for learning.

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Μatthews Southern Comfort

by the time we got to woodstock

He was now Director of Communications at Warner Publishing, and after we caught up on the changes in our lives, he offered me a job as a junior editor on one of their magazines. One aspect of Woodstock that tends to get overlooked is just how bad things got and how easily danger could have escalated. In one of my few jottings from the trip, I noted that by the time the Who hit the stage in the wee hours of Sunday morning I'd sat through 18 hours of previous acts. In other words, you had to be there. But I was satisfied with the split.

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