Woodstock (multiple responses)

SIXTIES-L (SIXTIES-L@jefferson.village.virginia.edu)
Tue, 11 Mar 1997 23:48:26 -0500


From: jenny <Surfwolf@asu.edu>
Subject: Re: Woodstock

I was 16 at the time. My Mother took me to Woodstock along with
my sister and a friend of mine. We lived further upstate...right
below Plattsburgh, on Lake Champlain. My Mom was PTA, active in our
church... Girl Scout leader, etc. I had never really gone out of my
way to dis- obey heror to give her too much grief. I loved her very
much. But I recall reading teh Sunday Times one morning and there was
an ad for a concert in Bethel, New York...3 days of Peace, Music..etc.
My Mother walked by me.. as I lay on my stomach in the living room
that Sunday morning..and i looked up at her calmly and said.."Mom, if
you don't take me to this. I'll have to run away from home..." And
she answered calmly..'Well, I guess that I had better take you then."
And she did. We left on the morning that the festival began...My
friend, Scott..went along with us. His parents were letting him go to
Woodstock but they refused to let him wear bellbottoms. I still smile
when I remember my Mom saying that we had better stop at the first
Army/Navy store and get Scott some bellbottoms. She said that she
didn't want Scott to feel out of place at Woodstock..:-) We got right
up to the sight on that 1st day..I don't know how she did it but my
Mom took practically every back route she could find and invented a
few in doing so. One State Trooper stopped and said to her.."Lady!
What the hell are YOU doing here?" She was dressed in her best casual
country club...God! She was great. Anyway, there was a huge ocean of
people and there is no doubt in my mind that the stats are pretty
correct in their assessment of 4 to 500,000. My Dad was reporting for
NBC News out of New York at the time..and was paying pretty close
attention due to the fact that his family was up there..and he says
that he feels that the the estimates are not too far off. We ate what
my Mother packed for us.. We did go over and get something from the
Hog farm Family..I can't recall what it was but I remember going over
there to get something. My Mother was a little concerned about drugs
so we mostly ate what she brought..I don't recall looking for water to
drink or anything...But I seem to remember some of the townfolk
charging for drinks of water from their hoses and such. They had run
out of food and gas in town...We had to leave on Saturday... My
sister began her journey into womanhood that weekend...What a time to
start your period! She was miserable and my Mom was beginning to get
upset over my buying nude photos of John & Yoko that were circulating
thru the crowd..:-) My mother passed away in 1990 and when she was
buried..she was buried with her Woodstock pin on. She was a lifelong
Librarian who was very proud to have gone to Woodstock..:-)


From: RozNews@aol.com
Subject: Woodstock

I also arrived at woodstock a week early to help set up. My friend
Jean Jacques Label & I had rented a cabin on the grounds near the
cabin producer Mike Lang had rented. I think we drove up with Abbie
Hoffman & Paul Krassner or perhaps we met them there.

There were food stands around the area. As a photographer from Newsreel I
shot various photos and have one of the food stands. If if wasn't for the
photo I would not have ever remembered them. I remember you had to first
buy tickets and then go to the food stands. At one point I believe some one
from the group Up Against the Wall Mother Fuckers ripped off the tickets and
handed them out to people. Free food for the people.

Months before the concert , a group of us went to Michael Lang and
asked for free tickets for the community , & money for an alternative
stage, a printing press, & other things. He agreed. I think he gave
us 500 tickets. The producers flew the hog farm in to set up an
alternative kitchen which at the end was giving out mainly a type of
granola . We had Posters made for the concert. Every porta john had
a blue and white poster that had a picture of a toliet on it . It
said , "We've had enough of this shit ". Inside the toliet were turds
with words written on them like war, LBJ, racism etc. The other
poster we brought to Woodstock was a well known photo of a couple
kissing behind a barracade holding a waving red flag . The words
said, "The more we make love the more we want to make revolution. The
more we make revolution the more we want to make love. I have copies
of these posters in my large sixties achives. We also brought a
printing press onto the land along with generators and movie projector
for the alternative stage which was built near the hog farm area. The
point of that area was that after performers did the main stage they
would go to the alternative stage and perform for folks free. I
remember Jean Jacques going over to a No Tresspassing sign and
changing it to a Peoples Bullitin Board. The workers the week before
were putting up the fence around the outside edge of the area to keep
people out and at night folks that had come earlier would simply go
and unscrew the bolts holding the fence up. After the event was over,
a group of us had a large U hall truck arrive and we packed up the
printing press, generators etc. and the entire field hospital that
had been flown in . We drove everything to NYC and gave stuff to the
Black Panthers for their Free Health Clinic. I've got so many stories
that I don't have time to write them now. Hope this fills in some

warmly, Roz


From: Walter Teague <wteague@igc.org>
Subject: Re: Woodstock

Woodstock, the film and the event have helped to create many myths and
thousands of individual true stories. When I have more time, I would like
to comment on the politics of Woodstock as part of the effort to influence
the alternative culture and anti-establishment views that were growing
particularly among youth at that time.

Let me just suggest now some thoughts to consider:

1. There were many pre-event meetings with political activist
groups in NYC and elsewhere hosted by the organizers of Woodstock.
Promises by the organizers to allow or even assist health and
safety efforts were broken and even sabotaged.
2. Hogfarm gave out free food and at the same time defended the many
vendors that at times even sold water for $1 a glass and opposed
those who complained. After one violent confrontation between a gun
wielding vendor and young opponents of such practices, the leader of
the Hog Farm told the audience from the main stage, that they should
support these poor, maligned small business people!
3. The lessons learned from crowd control at Woodstock were used and
improved upon at the many subsequent similar, but profitable
concerts around the country ever since.
4. Just as there were on going struggles around the country about the
War in Vietnam, politics took many similar forms at the concert
5. The production and distribution of the film contain many political
elements that I have not seen discussed.
6. As usual, the truth was far more complicated and instructive than the
story of Woodstock as it is usually told.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Walter D. Teague, LCSW-C, LICSW
Clinical Social Worker in Maryland and DC
Tel. 301-439-6755 Fax 301-439-2436