Woodstock – 50 Years Later

Woodstock, August 1969, the world’s most iconic festival – remembered for its cultural significance, great music and message of 'love and unity'. A look into its history, however, will also reveal some less flattering sides. Woodstock’s later reincarnations had their shortcomings and 'Woodstock 50' never saw the light of day.


So what about the ‘Three days of nothing but Peace & Love’?

If you look at it on paper, one could say that the festival certainly had its … issues. Woodstock lacked in basic food and water supplies, sanitary facilities and medical resources, transportation logistics and many other areas of organisation.

They had one toilet for every 833 people with people opting to take their business wherever they saw fit. No blue portable loos, no food trucks selling gluten free Halloumi fries, “Glamping” tents or V.I.P passes … Instead, lots of mud, spiked drinks and tripping teenagers.

According to one nurse, burned eyeballs were actually a thing at the festival. They appeared to have resulted from kids on LSD who would lie down on their backs and just stare at the sun.

Not even the artists and stage staff had a particularly easy job to keep the show running. Delays due to bad weather and a plethora of technical problems caused some artists like the Grateful Dead to call their show the worst performance they ever delivered. 

If things like that happened today you could expect „money back“ claims, lawsuits and calls for health and safety galore. Not to mention all the cases of, should we say, public indecency.

Then there is the fact that Woodstock certainly wasn’t the first, the only or even the biggest festival of its kind. Bob Dylan left the States only a day before Woodstock to play the Isle of Wight festival, which had an estimated 600 000 visitors, surpassing the attendance of Woodstock by 200 000.

Last but not least, the artist line up, while excellent, lacked the most popular acts of that time, like the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin or Dylan.

Then why is Woodstock viewed as the “Most important Music Festival of All Time”? 

Well, we haven’t been there, weren’t even born back then. All we have is second-hand information – from reading stories and interviews, from listening to its music and watching the documentary, and from talking to people who experienced this event from their personal viewpoint. 

There is no denying that there was something special happening between the artists and the audience. A kind of „we’re in this together“ thing. People seemed to view it as a manifest of “their” cultural movement.

Considering all that, it looks to us like a victory of imagination over reality. 

Obviously, enough people wanted Woodstock to be an example of love, understanding and peaceful togetherness, so it became one. Despite all the problems, or maybe just because of them. 

It was an adventure. There had been obstacles to overcome, problems to solve and statements to make … “Woodstock” as a whole became the statement. Against the Vietnam War, the establishment, intolerance, … and for “peace and love” (we only mention the constructive ones here). In that case, less seemed to be more. A lack of organisation led to people organising themselves and even having a good time doing so.

When we wrote Once Upon A Time we took all the positive and inspiring aspects we feel about that time, or even just shamelessly implied them, as did many others before us. We are in good company there.

If Woodstock wasn’t about honest music, brotherhood, peace & love, it at least could or maybe even should have been so.

What do you think? Did you attend, do you know people who did … or have you experienced it as a contemporary witness from somewhere else in the world?
Are people just romanticising a failed social experiment or has it been this example of peace and solidarity we should all learn from? How did you see it back then and how do you view it now?
And lastly, we are curious about what people of our generation think about the Woodstock phenomenon.
We’re looking forward to reading from all of you in the comments below!


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1
Alex Jordan

Yours is a lovely song whose spirit I think is very akin to Woodstock. I too was a bit young when Woodstock happened but I grew up with the music of the 60s and 70s. That music is in my blood and has also influenced my songwriting over the years. When I listen to your music I feel you were perhaps born in the wrong era, because your songs musically and lyrically seem so connected with the 60s. Perhaps Woodstock was magical and special as it encapsulated the homespun idealism of the time. It wasn't a prepackaged, polished event but a spontaneous, organic, messy happening. It was an experience, not just a concert. Sure, it's now been romanticized and probably wasn't as wonderful as we'd like to remember but its imperfections are charming. One can't even imagine something like this coming together today. Our age is far too commercial, too lacking in imagination. The dream of becoming an 'American Idol' or the next 'Voice' are far removed from wanting to actually say something significant. Where is the new Dylan, the new Beatles? Our crass age seems to mock the Woodstock era's naive idealism. But at least youth then aspired to somehow come together to make the world a better place, full of peace and love. Is our age too jaded and cynical for that? I hope not. Keep on rocking, MLT! I love your style and your musical idealism, that is so refreshing in these times. You inspire me to carry on with my own music & reconnect with what was best about those days-- the idea that music should be a creative force for positive change, not just a product.

2

Said it perfectly...there's a song in there, let it out...

3
Bob Galella

Guess what? I was there!!! It was the summer before my sophomore year in college. I am glad that you allow us to add pictures, you may be interested in seeing these:
My friends and I were there for Saturday and Sunday and were upset when they made it a free concert - we got ripped off for $14.00,

4
Bob Galella

Check out my Introduce myself. There is a picture of my Woodstock tickets. Original ones ladies

5

The thing about Woodstock was that it served as the focal point for a kind of cultural revolution which was happening at the time, one which many thought would lead to a political revolution, but that was not to be. And I think this is what leads to the disappointment when you look back at the movements of the 1960s, that they failed to change the world in a political sense, although they did lead to cultural changes. The most tragic failure of those movements was the peace movement. Nowadays, the kind of peace movement which existed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, a determined, broad-based opposition to the war on Viet Nam which actually hastened the end of that war---well, that is almost unimaginable. Where is there any continuing peace movement today? Where has there BEEN any continuing peace movement in the five decades or so since those times? 500,000 Syrians died in a needless war pumped up arms and funding from the U.S. and its allies and...who protested? And if you give up on striving for peace, well, then you are basically giving up on the entire social agenda, as the warmaking mentality is so foreign to the peacekeeping mentality, fighting versus caretaking... Look at the one of the refrains from Joni Mitchell's conic song about Woodstock, which she was not able to attend:

By the time we got to Woodstock
We were half a million strong
And everywhere there was song and celebration
And I dreamed I saw the bombers
Riding shotgun in the sky
And they were turning into butterflies
Above our nation

The dream was ultimately about beating the swords into ploughshares, transforming the bombers into butterflies. And for many people, no other festival of the time incarnated that profound desire to radically transform the basis of western societies from purveyors of war to builders of peace. The peace movement had some success..-but its main leaders (MLK, RFK, and some others) were either murdered or driven underground by the establishment and it lost the kind of leaders who could have kept it alive for the longterm… And I think Joni Mitchell knew this, there is such melancholy in the harmonies of that song...it is so wistful...so wishful...so...NOT...triumphant. A cry of idealism against a world "caught in a devil's bargain" as the last chorus says...

6
Dave Oxborrow

Like your "Once upon a time" song, as to be expected, very good and well done. Now, I am old enough to have been to Woodstock except I lived in the wrong part of the world and doubt if my parents would have considered stumping up for an air fare. Woodstock was a long time ago and am not desperately sorry that it was missed. I will contact you with our experiences of growing up in this era but will have to transport my self back in time to relive the feelings and lifestyle we then had. It was a wonderful time to be young and not having TV was actually a blessing as more time was spent with friends and going out to the beach. We have pretty much all year sunshine and beautiful weather so sitting around indoors was not as much fun. Am not particularly good at writing so will have to think hard about how to present these experiences so they can become real to you. I do think the experiences would vary tremendously depending on which country you were based and what your circumstances were at that time. In those days in South Africa, there was no TV and only 4 radio stations. One for English, one for Afrikaans , one for general appeal and LM radio which was based in the country next door and played good music. As always, thank you for your wonderful music.

7
Ademir Manzato

Well, I’m not of your generation, but you seemed to be of mine (due to your taste of music, of course). It’s interesting to think about it now. I’ve changed a lot since then, but my essence is the same. I was 13 years old when Woodstock took place. I was a shy teen with some difficult to get along with others people. It seemed that some Lennon’s lyrics, as “I’m a loser” and “I don’t want to spoil the party”, were writing for me. What a loser!
I don’t remember when I first heard about the Festival. Probably I read it in some Rock magazine. Despite the drugs, it always seemed to me about Peace and Love. It still do. It was a magic time. It looked that the world were changing to a better place. People fought against war, now it seems that the war is part of the culture of some countries. Were we went wrong?
In 1969, while in the USA people protested against Vietnam war, in Brazil people protested against a military dictatorship, in it first years, lasting about two decades. Some people, including musicians, had to leave the country, others simply “disappeared”. Unfortunately, the current president of Brazil has as his great hero the worst torturer of the dictatorship era. The same musicians that once were expatriated are his critics. I’m proud of them, but, for the president and his followers, they are just communists. Sorry, I’ve changed the subject, it’s that the wind is blowing the smoke of the burning trees of the Rain Forest, they can’t speak, but I do.

8
Howard Bedwell

Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us Ademir. You sound a lot like me in the late sixties - “I’m a loser” and “I don’t want to spoil the party”, were written for me too! It's a shame what is happening in your country at the moment and it's unfortunate that the warmongers around the world are beating the drums again. Fortunately, we still have our music and musicians like the MonaLisa Twins to share the love through their beautiful creations! Try and stay groovy and happy in spite of the difficulties at the moment.

9
Ademir Manzato

Hi Howard! Thanks for your kind words. I was disappointed before the election, because people that I know, who grew up listening to the sounds about love and peace from 60s had voted in a so hateful person. They didn't get the message. Some of then have already regretted. I'm hopeful, sometimes things get worse to then get better.

10

I was too young to attend. I supposed Woodstock was so great because it was all in the people's minds that attended the festival. How can anyone remembered what happen with all the drugs. I suppose one of the unique thing about Woodstock I remembered watching in a documentary about how Jimi Hendrix right before he went stage they installed hand-wound pickups in his electric guitar. Jimi Hendrix blew everyone away! I believe they were Seymour's. Jimi's guitar's neck turned into a "snake" so he thought, he just kept on playing. He wasn't supposed to go on stage at the time. The band at was to play at that time slot was delayed. He just got through taking hits of LSD this is why he said his guitars neck turned into a snake.

11
Greg Smalley

Ron, I believe you are conflating two different stories. Seymour Duncan did in fact provide Jimi with hand-wound pickups that were installed on his white Strat, but that happened on March 28, 1968 before a show at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. Also, the acid-induced guitar-neck-snake vision was Carlos Santana at Woodstock, not Jimi.

12
Dave Cornelius

Always great to hear your original material as well as your covers. You have captured much of the 60's and 70's sound and this song is no exception. I wasn't at Woodstock, but at 73, I remember the time well (or at least as well as some of my contemporaries). Keep up the good work.

13

I was only 9 at the time, and all I remember was seeing a report on the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite. My impression from the report was that it was a huge mess. I didn't even know it was called Woodstock until a few years later. I first heard the records when I was 14, and thought it was pretty good. Now, after watching several documentaries, I'm actually pretty impressed that they were able to pull it off without causing a riot (there were lots of riots in the news those days).

14
Jerry Chamness

I was 16 and my middle brother was 19. We looked at the map and showed our parents that it was only a nine hour drive. We wanted to go so badly. Our parents were unmoved. We were not going and that was final.
My brother and I even talked about running away, but that idea fizzled out. When we first got news, it was all about people having to abandon their vehicles, there was no food, gangs were robbing people and gang raping girls and no facilities, and on and on. One bad thing after another. We began to feel glad that we hadn't gone.
Eventually the news began to highlight good things: releif aid began to flow in, a medical facility was set up, free food was being given out, there were no gangs rampaging just an isolated incident here and there, people were looking out for each other. It was a festival of peace, love and music - depending on your preference. It was also sex, drugs and rock & roll.
It all left my brother and me with mixed feelings about whether we missed an advent of a lifetime, or dodged a potentially dangerous experience.
Basically, we were happy to read and hear about it, and enjoy the music when the album came out.
Your video just takes me back to that time of my life. It is some of my favorite memories. Good years.
And , I agree with Rick, you summed it up well and "Once Upon a Time" is an amazing video and song. Fantastic! You always blow me away. Can't wait to see and hear what you do next. I love your "Starman" video and cover. That one took me completely by surprise. A very good surprise. You are so awesome! When it comes to the MonaLisa-Twins, I'm insatiable. Love you all so much! I would rather have seen the MonaLisa-Twins play live at the Cavern Club then to have gone to Woodstock. I wish I had fifty more years to spend with you, but it's not in the Stars. ☺ 💛💖💙❤

15
Don Crispien

At the time of Woodstock, I was 24 stationed at a Navy base in Guam living with my wife, who was already 8 months pregnant with our first child. Looking back, I doubt that I would have attended, even if other things were different, and if the opportunity had been given. My views of the world then were still fairly liberal. I'd already been to Vietnam but remained basically opposed to the war. The music of the time didn't replace any music I previously liked but plenty of room was added for it. Some psychedelic music was really good but I never saw the need to take drugs to appreciate it. My time in San Francisco 1966-67 offered lots of temptation, but cheap wine and beer was legal and,for me, served the same purpose. Fortunately I was old enough then to keep everything else at arms length, but I have serious doubts about my path had I been 5 or 6 years younger.

16
William Nau

I was 10 years old in the summer of '69 and just starting to learn about the world. While I do remember the news reports of the day, much of what I remember about Woodstock is what my brother told me. He was going into his senior year of high school and trying to figure out his future. The draft and the Vietnam War were very much on his mind. Some of his friends were enlisting while others were going off to college. I still remember how worried I was about my big brother maybe going to war. He ended up going to The Ohio State University and joining ROTC. I am not sure when, but on one of his breaks he brought home his Woodstock album. We listened to it while our parents were in another room. When the FISH Cheer started my mother blew a gasket. I said something like, "What's wrong?" My mother just stormed out and told my father to handle it. He looked at my brother and said, your record, you explain it and left. What I remember most about the album is Country Joe's I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-To-Die Rag and Jimi Hendrix.

17
Paul Rivenburgh

I was 14 years old at the time and wanted to go very badly. I grew up about 2 hours drive from there, I had a few older friends that did go and I was invited to go with them but my father would not allow me to go. I can still remember his quote when I asked him, he informed me you aint going to no rock festival with those pot smoking hippies you know. If I had been a little older I might have gone anyway but at 14 I wasn't gonna defy my father he was really adamant at the time.

18
Christomir Rackov

I'm not yet 40 years old, so I wasn't born back then, and can't comment (and, even if I had been born, we were behind the Iron Curtain here in Bulgaria... you know how that goes)...
I am just glad you are being level-headed about it, and I thought you review was very intelligent and well written, after all the research you've apparently done on the subject.

19
Kevin Simpson

Hi girls it’s Kevin Simpson from Wallsend I love the video and I hope you are both fit and well I was only about seven at the time it was when I was in my twenties I heard about Woodstock and what happened there it was the so called “ Summer of Love” the hippies were around drugs galore but then a young man called Jimi Hendrix came onstage and blew everybody away! What was coming from his guitar I don’t know but it mesmerised people that were there! And of course the Beatles with Sergeant peppers lonely hearts club band a couple of years later there was a song called Woodstock written by Joni Mitchell some months later a group from England called Matthews Southern Comfort recorded the same song and it went to the top of the music charts in September 1970 I know the Vietnam war was going on in America man had landed on the moon etc unfortunately I’m a bit too young to remember that period of time but what people told me the music was good at the time so keep up the good work and hopefully you’ll do another cracking version of a song I’m sure Mr Bowie would have appreciated what you did with your version of Starman kind regards Kevin Simpson

20
GUILLE ANTI

"Con fondo de música rock, embarrados hasta las tetas, sin registrar dónde quedó la ropa, con los brazos engarzados a cuellos y cinturas de personas que nunca habían visto, una generación festejó el encuentro de quienes no querían formar parte de un sistema que tampoco los admitía a menos que pudieran usarlos para la guerra, las elecciones o el consumismo." No estuve allí pero me emociona cada vez que lo evoco. Fueron y son nuestros hermanos mayores, músicos, productores y público... luego aquí, en Argentina vendrían años muy duros. Abrazos. Guillermo,

google translation:

“With a rock music background, muddled up to the tits, without registering where the clothes were, with arms wrapped in necks and waistlines of people who had never seen, a generation celebrated the meeting of those who did not want to be part of a system that either I admitted them unless they could use them for war, elections or consumerism. ”I was not there but I get excited every time I evoke it. They were and are our older brothers, musicians, producers and audiences ... then here, in Argentina, very hard years would come. Hugs. Guillermo,

21
William Schart

What a nice song. It captures the sound of the sixties quite well. As to Woodstock, I was in grad school at the time and neither attended nor do I know anyone who did (to the best of my knowledge). Woodstock was for many of us a symbol of what we hoped to achieve through all our protests, demonstrations, etc. Peace, love and all that. But I believe that it has perhaps been somewhat romantised over time. I am sure not everything went well, as you have allude to above.

Although I like the music of the sixties, it was in many way a terrible time: Vietnam, assassinations, racial discrimination and so on. Unfortunately we have not learned and many of these problems are still with us. When will they ever learn.

22
Mike Grimshaw

I didn't go. My best friend went to Blackbushe and loved it. It would have been nice to be able to say "I was there" but I'm not sure I could have put up with camping and lack of toilets. I'm not a concert-type person anyway - I think I get much more lasting pleasure out of listening to an LP than of going to a live gig. I do love your song, though, and for me it really captures the spirit of the Woodstock age. Plus you have the wonderful John Sebastian in it, one of y musical heroes.

23
Richard McGlenn

Woodstock was a preview of how the baby boomers would run the world. A total logistical failure on all levels which created a weekend of chaos and ad hoc solutions that luckily was glossed over by drug induced euphoria that once the film came out convinced many that something magical had happened up there on Yegar's farm. The one thing the promoters did do well was promote the event and documented the events on film so they could at least get their money back when the film was released. My hat's off to all the folks that handled the communications and information that was provided throughout the event which went a long way to keeping people calmed and at least lulled into believing that this was going to go as well as the Sermon on the Mount. If that PA system had failed them, there would have been a totally different outcome.

24
Andrew Hill

50 years ago I was 17, in England. It was that preciously rare time of freedom from responsibility with school just finished and university a month or so away still. For the first and last time for a long time I had no pressures. My parents provided food and a home, a part-time job helped pay for travel, clothes and records and there were no deadlines to meet or company rules to obey.

I read about Woodstock and may have seen some clips on television and I can still see some images now in my mind. Every girl seemed to be beautiful, flowing hair and tanned, mostly bare skin, dancing to whatever tune was in their head. Every guy seemed very hairy, wearing the essential jeans and patterned shirt or T shirt, sunglasses and a dazed expression of unconcernedness, if that is a word. For me, these were the Americans who hadn't been told they had to go and fight. They seemed to be the lucky ones and represent an almost total contrast to the other scenes, or rather glimpses, that we were seeing of their colleagues in Vietnam, wherever the hell that was.

This contrast was quite dramatic and Woodstock, for me, was the end of an era that had begun in late 1966 or early 1967. Then, the gentleness of Flower Power, fashions which previously I had only seen in magazines and on television reports, began to appear all around - at school, in my home town streets and at the parties we went to. Compared to the practical, brown and grey contents of our parents' wardrobes, these colours and shapes were hugely different. A massive line had been drawn between one generation and the next. Even my older brother by just ten years seemed out-of-date and out of time, as Chris Farlow might have remarked.

The music was not easy to hear at first. Pirate Radio stations like Radio London and then Caroline were the only sources of continuous pop music for many years. A transistor radio might pick up the signal but needed regular adjustment. A reel-to-reel tape recorder kept some of our favourites available to listen to again. By 1969, the BBC had effectively nationalised and somewhat cleansed the music we could hear on the airwaves. Hair had grown longer, almost every younger guy had a beard and moustache and the flowers and gentleness had started to fade. Every young bloke looked like he could be a member of Creedence Clearwater Revival. The girls' dresses became long robes of curtain fabric or hot pants as we sought to find yet another rung in our ladder of difference from the grey men in suits on the train. Woodstock was something that happened. Over there. Hugely iconic images and video clips which I thoroughly enjoy seeing again. After that, everything seemed to become more organised, a little less amateur but music had become an essential part of my day and remains so to this day.

I have often wondered when the next great divide between generations would occur. My children adore the tracks I play from those times and it is wonderful to hear how refreshingly enthusiastic these two girls have been in covering tracks we love and, indeed, in writing new songs which capture our Sixties sensations still.

I may not have flowers in my hair now but I can be heard singing White Rabbit or The Boxer at some point most days!

25
Richard Knights

First, the frame:
The 1960's were a time of huge change and violence. They began with the assassination of President Kennedy, and continued through the murders of Dr. Marting Luther King, Robert Kennedy, Malcom X, and hundreds of others. President Johnson escalated the war in VietNam, and the government, as a whole, could not give a compelling reason for us to be there. In 1968, things got worse. We experienced violent riots in Chicago, L.A., Harlem, Watts, and on the campuses of Berkeley, Davis, Kent State, and others.
I grew up, then. I remember both the feeling that the world was an open doorway we were just beginning to explore, and the fear that we were going to tear it to pieces before we got the chance. We had great music because we had to. It was where most of my friends hid from what was going on in the world.
By the time Michael Lang and his team began the preparations for the Woodstock festival, it was a lost cause. Kids were deemed to violent to be allowed to congregate, and the entire peace movement was seen as a sham.
The city of Woodstock cancelled their permit, as did the town of bethel. They were forced to rent a field on Max Yegar's farm.
So, just a month after mankind landed on the moon, the world received another gift: A peace protest that was actually peaceful! Great music, great fellowship, and the kind of memories that only happen when people survive harsh times together (rain, mud, lack of food, water and toilets.)
The summer of 1969 was the jewel of the 1960s. It should always be remembered, celebrated, and honored.
Right after Woodstock came Altamont, the Manson murders, and the end of America's involvement in the Vietnam War, as well as the deaths or break-up of most of the most influential musical acts that got us through the decade. It was the beginning of what we still call "The decade of apathy."
I love Woodstock, all that was done, there, all that was shared. But I am disillusioned with my generation, who promised that it would be a turning point, that we would plant the seeds and continue the growth. But, 50 years later, not much has really changed. The Woodstock 50th Anniversary lost it's permit because "kids these days are too violent, not like the 60's." The it lost it's permit again, and finally was forced to shut down.
And to many of my generation actually celebrated that! They felt that another Woodstock to promote peace and acceptance would "ruin the original for those who were there". Really? How? They also complained that "The kids today are too violent," and that they "Have no talent, and their music is all noise".
So, not much real change, then.
My wife and I celebrated this weekend by watching the "Woodstock: Director's Cut" and two accompanying DVDs of performances that got cut from the film. We celebrated all that was done there, the music, the statements, the proof that things can be better. We celebrated the kids of that time, and the kids of this time. May their bid for harmony end up better than ours did.

26
wilson marganelli

I was only 16 when the festival took place, and living in Brazil would be impossible to be there physically. But when I saw and heard the result of that madness all through the discs and the movie, it was as if I had been hit by a hurricane. Listening to Joe Coker singing With a Litlle Help From My Friends, Jimi Hendrix playing The Star-Spangled Banner fiercely, Santana, CCR, Canned Heat, The Who, among so many others and seeing that whole audience living and feeling that unique experience, made I felt small and distant from a new world that was emerging. But the future proved that what happened there was a unique moment of peace and love that would not be repeated forever, as always. But it was without doubt, if not the biggest, one of the biggest rock festivals of all time. I am very grateful to God for being born and raised during the best years of Rock & Roll history, and surely without the Woodstock festival the history of Rock and music would not be as wonderful and rich as it is.
Being there was a privilege for the few on stage and in the audience.

27
Daniel Smith

When Woodstock happened, I was in the Air Force stationed at Keesler AFB near Biloxi, Mississippi. About the same time as the festival began, we were getting slammed by Hurricane Camille, one of the strongest hurricanes ever to make landfall in the U.S. After the storm, we were drafted into the cleanup efforts. There was no electricity or phone service for about ten days, as they were knocked out by the storm. We had virtually no contact with the outside world during this time, so I only learned of Woodstock after it was all over. Once we did hear of it, well, most servicemen were basically anti-hippy, so it had little effect on us at the time. I do believe, however, that it had a great impact on everyone as time went on.

28
Dave Gardiner

I was only 15 when it happened. But the music that came out of it was stunning. You girls are bringing a fresh, Sixties-ish spin back into music! Keep it coming!

29
Jacki Hopper

I was only 8 months old at this point, but did come to learn of it when I was old enough to understand of it, I'm guessing around 10-12 when I read of it, seen stuff on TV and seen the documentary on TV and on VHS video tape, and it's quite a mixture of things going on to me and I do agree with your observations of it.
I'm in awe how what was going to be just some music in a farmer's field became an Iconic historical event in both music and 60s culture history.
I can understand lack of basic amenities, due to the unexpected turnout of more folks than was probably anticipated of, weather, etc.
As for drugs, like LSD, etc, I 'm guessing that was normal to have and do, the behaviors from people, it all varied, good, bad, ugly, funny...
To see those musicians who did perform must of been quite the scene and memory, some were performing first time ever, some already were somewhat established, etc.
To me, from what all I know from reading, etc. Certainly was a moment of it's organic essences truly captured in time to be remembered, talked about, debated, etc.
Yes, there's been reincarnations of it, but it's just not the same vibe, it's one of those, " You Had To Have Been There"... to grasp the full understanding of the whole thing, I think.
I must say I did like John Sebastian's performances there at Woodstock that I've watched on tv/video, etc... Recently in Honour sort of to the 50th Anniversary, an Iconic photo of a young couple embraced by a comforter wrapped around them on site, well, the couple are still together, and there was an article they did an interview for that I read, so for that, that was a Positive and Groovy outcome to have stemmed from the Woodstock Experience.
The fact that you all created "Once Upon A Time", truly is testament to collectively gathering all the Positivity and Harmony that came out of it all, with such feeling and authenticity to recapturing the essences of those times and Woodstock itself. Will another Woodstock type experience ever come to fruition?!... Will the magic of it be rekindled?!, If so, the good thing is, we could better accommodate the basics now, Have a Groovy Good Time, no need really for alcohol and drugs, just show up music spirited, enjoy the music, get your Groove organically through the tunes... Perhaps MLT would perform?!... These are my thoughts on this.

30
Lynn Gauthier

Woodstock came at a time when the world had just been transfixed by the moon landing. It also came at a time when young people, an indulged generation, were wanting to change the world. Everything changed after Woodstock. Music changed and so did the buisness.

The spirit of Woodstock has lived on through the years in folks such as John Sabestian, Levon Helm, Roger McGuinn, and Melanie Safka. There's still a thriving culture in the Woodstock area.

Peace and love.

31
George Gilchrist

Hi girls, just listened to your video about Woodstock;wow;it captures the spirit of the time;spot on;for me;I was in my 20s;and remember it well;although I cant remember last week[lol] I contacted you a while back;I was a bass player in the 60s70s it was a magical time;or it seemed like it at the time;I did not make it to woodstock;I was playing with a band at the time;but the vibe was magical;I am
in my 70s now;and disabled;but your music keeps me going;so keep up the great work girls;I wish you every success for the future.
Yours sincerely.George.

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Richard Carson Morton

In 1969, my girlfriend and I each bought a three-day pass for the Woodstock Festival. The pass cost $18. She went on opening day, Friday, August 15, but I was playing in a club band that weekend, and couldn't set off with friends till midnight Saturday. We arrived around 1:30 am and had to park far from the festival grounds. We were so exhausted we decided to sleep in the car. We didn't know that the music played on till dawn. On Sunday, we walked to the festival grounds. No one was collecting tickets. The sun was already baking hot and the sloping field in front of the stage was a carpet of dry mud dotted with strange pod-like mounds. Soon, the mounds cracked open revealing thousands of hollow-eyed but happy hippies as if awakening from a strange psychedelic dream. The music hadn't started yet so I went in search of my girlfriend. I never found her. I camped out in front of the stage in time to see Joe Cocker play his legendary set. As soon as he finished his iconic version of With A Little Help From My Friends, a shroud of ominous black clouds boiled across the sky, threatening ferocious wind and rain. Promoters on the stage begged people to climb down from the huge sound towers before the lightning could strike. And then the sky opened up, a drenching downpour which turned the acres of dry mud into a roiling thick sludge. I was there, man

33

Thanks Richard for that detailed description. Was great to hear a first hand account of what it was like by someone who was there and experienced it. Certainly when people talk about the 60's today, the iconic images of that period are Hippies, Beatles, JFK and ML King assassinations, Vietnam War/anti-war demonstrations, Moon Landing, Civil Rights Movement, Hight-Ashbury (San Francisco), Berkeley student protests...and WOODSTOCK is right up there as an iconic moment of that period. One of the most creative periods of modern times.

34
Michael Rife

I was 15 going on 16. I lived a few hundred miles south of the festival. I was even given the offer to go, but I knew that Mr. Rife (my Dad) would have had some rough things for me at the time. The primary motivation was that I was going to be 16 in about a month and I could easily see him delaying me getting my driver's license or a car. Anyway...…..afterwards it was hyped as this major success of 3 days of peace and love...…..we were told there were on 39 arrests but then the police were told to "stand down". The mess was huge afterwards...….seems like environmental issues were not all that big to them. It made or advanced the careers of some artists: CSNY (but they would have been huge anyway, those few times they actually got together), Janis, Jimi Hendrix, the Who, and a few more. I believe the hype was more than the reality...….these legends would have been just as big without Woodstock. That said...….by the summer of 1970 the 8-track of Woodstock sound track was in many kids' cars and was the soundtrack of our cruising the town (for guys my age it was our first summer with a car). So......Woodstock represented the "hippy ideal"......never repeated again when forced, e.g., Altamont, and quickly became mythological quickly. In looking at what was going on in the US during that time period.....during a 4 week period we had a man walking around the moon, the Manson murders, and then Woodstock. We kinda took those things in stride, but we also had a degree of "emotional whiplash" when those things happened. Those are my views or memories of the events. In retrospect, it was more likely an end of something rather than a beginning. Mike.

35
Michael Triba

I appreciate your perspective Gary Michael! I think you are right; had you gone you might have received your driver's license about age 19, and your first car about the same time as your first legal adult beverage; lol!

36

I worked at A Hotel in the Catskills Mountains those Summers. Our Hotel and another local Hotel had weekly R&R Shows with big name groups like The Who & Moody Blues the summers of 68 & 69. We got word early on about the “Happening” and went there early to check out the Farm and help out. It was a time like no time since, where things that just Happened, With or against the best laid plans were a one of a kind event. Lots of things happened some good some bad but it never crossed my mind were a lot of other people with their mind to think of anything but the Time we were having that weekend. So many stories so many friends both old and new were made that weekend and I could go on forever but I know this is an about that so yes I had a good time Lotta wet clothing never hungry for anything food facilities or drugs and so glad I got to experience it

37

Was 14 @ the time and living in New Jersey. Mom wouldn't let me go, you're too young. Ha', gunna be 64 this year.(when I'm 64...beatles reference). The kids and music of the time, just seemed to tell us anything was possible, even peace and love. Really(bites), said otherwise. Keep a rockin' girls...

38
Robert Blume

I think maybe Woodstock pops out in our history because it was an island of something good that formed in a sea of misery and bad news. In the U.S. we just came out of one of the worst years ever in ’68. Things didn’t seem to be getting any better in ’69. The war was no closer to ending. The Stonewall riots happened earlier in the summer. The Manson murders happened only one week before the festival. And then this happened. Some guys put on a concert expecting 50,000 and over 400,000 showed up. Despite the mud, lack of food, sanitation, etc; etc; people attending seemed to overcome all of it without the violence and nastiness of later events like Altamont. That in itself is some kind of minor miracle. It was just serendipity IMO. And as the record will show, the music was pretty good too. I envy the people who were there who have those memories and stories to tell. Knowing my stodgy, play-it-safe self at that age….I would have just as soon have jumped out of an airplane than go to Woodstock (hmmm….who do we know who has jumped out of an airplane?) I feel different about it now. If they ever invented a time machine to take us back to Woodstock '69, I’d be in line to buy a ticket. Something tells me the entire Wagner family would be in line ahead of me. I’d be sure to pack a few sandwiches though. Maybe a roll of TP too.

39
Tom Cangelosi

I was only 13 in 1969, and remember when it happened. We attended Ringo's concert this past Wednesday evening and Gregg Rolie from Santana was in the All Star band. He commented that he played the same songs 50 years ago when he was a child! 🙂 I also had dinner with a friend on Friday that attended Woodstock, and he was reminiscing about the venue, the band, and the rain.

40

I was in summer camp about 20 miles away. Many of our councilors have left to go to the concert -- they were fired when they returned 2 days late. (Despite their complaints that the roads were closed!).

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age 11 at the time.

42

Thanks for that wonderful insight into Woodstock. For me Woodstock always appeared as this glorified wonderful 60's spirit embodied in a big rock festival that left a lasting legacy. Your description of it here, based on first hand account from people who were there and on stage, give it a sobering reality check. There is the concept of "peace and love" and all the good things the 60's movement embodied, but then there is reality, which like anything that is human, has the good, bad, and ugly side. I think the biggest thing to take away from it is the concept, and the ideals behind Woodstock, which were noble, but the execution as anything human was imperfect and had it's flaws.

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Michael Triba

Totally agree with you, Jung Roe!

44
Lord Barham

Can't listen to your song at the moment because my brother has put music on. Perhaps later on or tomorrow I can give it a whirl. vis a vis Woodstock I was a teenager still in High School (Grade 9, if I remember correctly) living in California (though I am British and Canadian – we moved there after Expo 67 in Montreal) and was unable to go. Obviously, though, Woodstock was a big deal everywhere and one could not fail to be aware of its existence. Of more significance at the time, from where I was living, since I wasn't very far away from it, was the Rolling Stone's Altamont Festival. If Woodstock was the peak of Flower Power, Countercultural expression; Altamont was the beginning of its demise, at least, in popular consciousness. Have to say, in this regard, that the Counter Culture was already beginning to fall apart. Haight-Ashbury had virtually become a no go zone by the end of 1968 and the whole movement was changing. By 1969, disillusion was already beginning to set in. The bright, colourful costumery of the mid sixties was giving way to the drab, boring (but comfortable) denims and T shirts or lumberjack shirts. This may have been due to the changing drug habits of young people, moving away from Pot and Psychaedelics towards downers like barbiturates and opioids. The music was certainly changing, from the joyful experimentation of the sixties towards the self-indulgent navel gazing crap or the seventies. Seen in this light, once could, instead of seeing Woodstock as the high point of the Counter Culture, see it as the ultimate expression of something that was already beginning to fade away. Looked at in this way, Altamont could be regarded as the final nail in the coffin of a beautiful moment that was too fragile to persist: An ephemeral flower doomed to fade and die away, but, hopefully, one that would produce the seeds for further flowers to come.

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Michael Triba

Mona and Lisa; I give you tons of credit and kudos for “telling it like it is” about Woodstock, and not “sugar-coating” it. Personally, I was 18 years old, and had just graduated from high school when Woodstock took place. I was getting even more into the type of music that was performed there. (Jimi Hendrix, for example, was awesome!!!) Obviously, I had already loved the music of The Moody Blues, The Beatles, The Bee Gees, The Rolling Stones, The Beach Boys, and many others since the early and mid-60’s. (And there you have my Top 5 Bands of 1969; lol!)

I never intended or wanted to be a hippie, and the reality of Woodstock would have totally turned me off. I was too busy trying to figure out my own life, enjoying playing golf with my dad and others, and preparing for my first year of college at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln (and enjoying Cornhusker football.)

I’m sure you are aware that Nebraska is one of the major agricultural states in the Breadbasket of the USA. My paternal grandparents were Polish immigrants as children, and with their parents came to America to carve out a better life for their families, and till the black, rich soil here. My dear father was born and raised on the farm with his 11 older siblings; 9 sisters and 2 brothers. Many is the time I wish I would have been raised on the farm or in the nearby small town of Columbus, NE where my father went to school. My ancestors and parents were decent, hard-working, God-fearing spiritual people. My brother and I and 3 sisters had a great upbringing and a very happy childhood!

Why do I tell you this here? I’ll give you an example: When I was about 16 or 17, I had a debate with 2 friends: Would we rather be a hippie or a farmer? They took the side or the hippies, and I the side of the farmers. My argument was that farmers were decent, productive people who fed the nation, but hippies were druggies, didn’t work for the most part, and led immoral and loose lives. I feel like I won the debate.

I know you and others don’t want to ever hear anything negative about The Beatles. However, I credit (or fault) them and Woodstock for legitimatizing the doing of drugs, especially pot, for my generation. Personally, I did not smoke the stuff until my 2nd year of college, and then did so for 2.5 years. Girls, this is a decision that I regret to this day. When I first found you on YouTube on 4/2/16, I was so happy to soon find out that you are so anti-drug. (I have my own theory as to why that is, but will not publicize it.)

I will give you an example of how much things changed in a couple years. During my freshman year of college in 1969-70, the university held a Homecoming Dance. I never went to those things in high school, as I went to an all-boys parochial school. But in college, I learned to love to dance, re-connected and gained confidence with girls, and that went hand-in-hand with my love of music. After my freshman year, I sat out a year to work for money for my sophomore year. (I was a decent student, but did not have all A’s and get scholarships like my older sister.) I made the mistake of not just getting student loans. My first entire year cost only $1,800.00 back then. I should have just got student loans, right? Anyway, because I did not keep my student deferment from the draft, my draft lottery number came up very low, and I would have been drafted. I probably would have been shipped to the Vietnam War and come home in a body bag as a 19-year old. I wanted no part of that, and I hated war anyway. So, I joined a US Army Reserve unit that had been in ‘Nam in 1968, and was not due to go back. After, my 5-month basic training and a year passed, I went back to college; this time in my hometown of Omaha. I was looking forward to another Homecoming Dance, but you know what happened? It turned out to be a concert and not a dance. All the boys and girls just sat on the floor, most of them likely stoned on weed. I was so disappointed. My Baby Boomer generation had “turned on, tuned in, and dropped out.”

Yeah, we were against the immoral war, social injustice, and racial prejudice. We were very idealistic and dreamed of a better and perfect world. But did we do much to improve things? The answer is not much. We rebelled against “the system” and questioned everything. We questioned authority, but when authority answered, did we listen? We didn’t, because we saw hypocrisy everywhere; in government, in corporations, and especially in the churches. We were opening our eyes and crying in the wilderness for change. Satan (who is very real) saw that, and put us to sleep with drugs and immoral sex aka “free love.”

So, when I hear the word Woodstock, what comes to mind for me? Yeah, the great music and awesome artists, of course. But mostly, the realities of the druggery, the sexual immorality, and things like rape and abortion. Having come to know God when I was 23, and serving Him now for more than 45 years, I guarantee that He was not looking down at Woodstock with favor. Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed for similar conduct. His world-wide judgement for such sins is not slumbering, and will again catch most of this world totally unprepared. I hope you let freedom of speech prevail, and let my comment stand.

By the way, to write to you again via Please Mr. Postman is long overdue. I need to finally help you with the questions you raised in your beautiful song “That’s Life.” Finally, does MLT2 still love MLT? Yes, of course he does! Otherwise, he would not care enough to take the time to write this. Michael

46
Howard Bedwell

Mona and Lisa have provided their Blog for us to share our 1969 Woodstock Festival experiences and you would have done well to just leave it at "Mona and Lisa; I give you tons of credit and kudos for 'telling it like it is’ about Woodstock, and not 'sugar-coating' it."

However, you have abused the opportunity by rather than making it about the ‘Woodstock’ experience, making it all about you and your religious proselytizing. Most of us would have heard your life story on previous occasions and this is not the appropriate place to share it again. We all have our own views about drugs, both legal and illegal, and we understand that everyone has their own life situations and understandings that lead to their decision making.

I am not aware of what medications you may have been prescribed, but your particular drug of choice appears to be religion. Whether it’s addictive or not I wouldn’t know and don’t need to know. Your particular anecdotes and straw arguments prove nothing and are wasted on an adult web site like this. Most of us also realise that the members of groups like the Beatles and Rolling Stones are just ordinary, imperfect people like the rest of us, and there is nothing wrong with that. Mona and Lisa are just as human as the rest of us (hard to believe, I know), although far more talented and charming than most of us, and what we like most about them is their passion for music and the positive effect it can have on our mood and well being. Their beautiful creations are enjoyed by many people of all ages, ethnicity, and beliefs, all around the world.

In the sixties, young people started to seriously question authority as there were much repression and violence happening at the time and Woodstock was simply an attempt for young people to come together and share their passion for music in a free and friendly way. In many ways, they achieved their goal, but in a way, they were too successful as the unexpected numbers that turned up, combined with bad weather, made things difficult. Even so, many still had a wonderful time that they still cherish.

In a nutshell, Woodstock happened so youth could share a weekend event of good music in a friendly environment. It rained heavily and some people had a good time and some didn’t! Yes, there is a lot of hype surrounding Woodstock, but in view of the bad stuff happening at the time, Woodstock was a positive, so it is not surprising that people romanticise the event.

As for the questions the MLT raised in their song ’That’s Life’, I doubt you could be much help. My money is on Mona and Lisa working things out for themselves and I look forward to more of their inspiration and insights in their coming third originals album!

47
Steve Jenkins

Just listened to your song and my wife and I just love it! I was 10,11 yrs. Old that year and I can re all very vividly watching all the news reports about Woodstock because our mom was very interested. She was a single mom and I think she had day dreams of being there. Lol over the years, because of playing some music, I would meet people who were there and heard the good and the bad about Woodstock. All I know is the era was filled with people of that mindset, against the war, don't like feeling owned by the government and all that. But everyone all love America! We are all Americans and we need to love each other and this nation of ours!

48

Hello MLT,
Excellent job capturing the essence of 1969 in word and music. So nice to have John Sebastian participate and play a fine harp.
I was 17 that summer and attended the Atlantic City Pop festival in New Jersey that was two weeks before Woodstock. Many of the same groups participated in both. It was not anything like Woodstock, on a racetreack with folks in bleachers. Fun, good music, but no so much of the peace and love vibe.
A keyboard player in my Beatle group currently, lived in New York in 69 and he did attend Woodstock as a 16 year old with several friends. He loved it and said the movie captured it well.
Keep up the good work and music, and tour the USA soon. We would love to see and hear you and the band.

49

I am 72 years old native Californian and played in a surf-band which morphed into a rock band from 1964-1970 so I was a part of the hippie counter culture of the 60's woodstock era. The good things were the greatest bands /music ever! We really believed in the concept "all you need is love" and also in the concept of brother/sisterhood and sharing what we had with whoever showed up at our houses. The bad was definitely drugs! We really pushed the limits in this area, especially in the area of psychedelics (lsd, psilocybin, magic mushrooms etc). This led to sexual freedom which further led to painful break-ups and broken hearts. I made it to the Monterey pop festival in Calif. (Hendrix, The Jefferson Airplane etc) but never made it to Woodstock, but hippies were hippies wherever they went and drugs and free love were plentiful!. The UGLY was when people. OD'd on heavy drugs or "veged out" ((became a vegetable) from too many psychellics! Paranoia was a real thing and sometimes it became a permanent thing. My music helped me live through all those times-----the wild/crazy ass, drugged-out parties! Music , as you two sisters know, has that magical quality of bringing people together and we survive with "a little help from our friends!" Keep rockin Twins! Love your vibe! Rockin Ray

50
Gary Revere

If Woodstock had occurred one year later, I would have been there. I had just turned 16, and didn’t even hear about it until the news reports came out.
The reality of Woodstock was that 400,000 people could get together for three days of music and LOVE. Sure, acid played a huge role - Santana’s breakout performance was fueled by it. They were tripping and weren’t supposed to play until eight hours later (or thereabouts), and look what happened: IMO, if not the best then one of the three best performances at the festival.
Altamont proved that another Woodstock-like event would never happen again. It was just the timing, all the events of the day coming together in one event that I’m pretty sure will never be repeated.
Imaginary or not, it was a reality that many of my generation are just unwilling to write off as “fantasy”, even though, wish as we may, the feeling that was Woodstock is gone, sadly, most likely, forever.

51

I was 15 when Woodstock occurred....a long way from where it occurred in New York. I remember there was a lot of "talk" about Woodstock at the time in my city, but that's mainly all it was...talk. Nobody I knew actually went.

Woodstock got a lot of attention because it was such a "zeitgeist" event. It captured the "spirit of the times" in culture and music in a very general way. However, Woodstock itself was not something your average young American was really interested in. As I remember it, the people that went to Woodstock were more of a "fringe" group at the time, and not representative of your average young person in those days. Those that attended were a "wilder" group of people that were into the overall "hippie" scene, which included using drugs (that most people would have never used back then) and dressing a certain way. They actually used words like "far out" and "groovy" in their everyday speech.....something most people made fun of and rolled their eyes at. They tended to be loose with their morals, beliefs and values....more so than your average American teen at the time. For instance, the type of person that attended Woodstock associated with those who sided with the typical anti-government, anti-war crowd. That was NOT the feelings or beliefs of your average American kid at the time. Not at all.

So although Woodstock deserves its place as a significant event in America's history, in actuality, only a relatively small group of kids acted like they acted and believed what they believed. Without question, America was still relatively conservative (overall) back then.

Oh....and to tell you the truth, the "music" of Woodstock was pretty much hit or miss. They did have several great bands/singers that appeared, but they also had even more that nobody had ever heard of, and truthfully, nobody really liked.

Much of what happened at Woodstock seemed to be people making themselves believe that they were having a good time when they really couldn't have been. In reality, considering the overall conditions over those 3 days, it simply could not have been a "pleasant" time. Memorable, yes. But going around dirty, stinking, hungry, and wet.....with no place to use the bathroom, made the event a relative disaster. Nobody wanted to admit that, though, because of what the overall event of “Woodstock” came to symbolize.

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Michael Triba

Great comment Joe! Too many people romanticize Woodstock and the 60's. IMHO, you "told it like it was" sir!

53

My fiancee's sister and boyfriend hitchhiked from Calgary access Canada to Woodstock. Apparently hitchhiking was safe in 1969.

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Robby Breighner

I was 15.TV was bringing the hippy culture into my life.I wasn't quite tuned in enuf to want to go.probly didn't hear about it till it was aired on the nightly news but it (the TV stuff,the album) brought the music,the culture,the ideology,the whole package much closer to a rural kid who grew up to believe there is still a chance for Peace and Love in this poor old World! I think it is cool that you guys actually know (and have made music with) John Sebastian. He really was an integral part of everything I just told you.

55

Hello Ladies,
A lot of what you wrote is more correct than you know.
I was greatly sheltered when I was young so I didn't get to experience much in music unless it was approved by my parents.
Which meant the Beatles were out. 😱 Yes, I know.
In 1969, I lived in Memphis and lived about 3 blocks from Elvis. He had not gone back on tour at that time, so it was not uncommon to see him at the Mall (shopping).
But back to your question.
What I know of Woodstock came from News stories (which my parents found disgusting) I found interesting.
I heard names of Jimmie Hendrix, John Sebastian (kept thinking Loving Spoonful was with him.) The Who, Jefferson Airplane, Greatful Dead, and others I can't remember.
Your Fantastical, Mesmerizing, original song Once Upon A Time, and following cover Starman captures everything about a time of innocence and secureness.
Thank you both for your research and your continuing influence in the music world. The 60's are alive and well with The MonaLisa Twins. 💛❤

56

I love the video you did with John Sebastian. John an I have a mutual friend Artie Kornfeld sole creator of Woodstock 1969.

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Howard Bedwell

I was in my last year of High School at the time so all I knew was via the media and later from the soundtrack triple album and 1970 film. I enjoyed the film and playing the record and thought how cool it would have been to be there.

However, I’m probably lucky I wasn’t present. In hindsight, I don’t think it would have been too pleasant with the number of people, lack of food and facilities and all that rain.

58
Lenny Zarcone

Hi Mona and Lisa,
I’m looking forward to hearing your new song. I was 16 when Woodstock happened. I didn’t go, but I knew some people that did. It was maybe about a 3 Hour drive from my house in Rocchester New York 🙂
It’s always so nice to hear from you.
Best wishes to you all,
Lenny

59

I was 17, just graduated from High School that June. I was working in the Catskill Mountains as a waiter at a small hotel in Parksville, a few miles north of Monticello and White Lake where the festival happened. I saw a poster for The Woodstock Music and Arts Festival at a local pub, and seeing The Who playing so close I went back to my boss and asked for the weekend off to go see the band. He said "no", so I quit. Actually got a job working for the food concessions in the ice cream stand, was paid $64 for the weekend by a company called Food For Love (still have my pay stub!). There was no cash, you had to buy tickets at a booth and then use those tickets to pay for the food items. After one day we started just giving it a way. I ate at the Hog Farm, saw who I to this day believe was The Greatful Dead playing on a 2nd stage at the Hog Farm, and did actually see The Who and The Jefferson Airplane on the main stage. That's all the music I recall really seeing. It was muddy, it was dirty, if was fun. We were all young.

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Lenny Zarcone

Hi Mona and Lisa, I was 15 when Woodstock happened… I didn’t go but I knew some people who did. I’m looking forward to hearing your song in a minute or so, Once Upon A Time.
Lenny

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Hi twins, gorgeous and oh so hot! Good now that that's out I can start. You know you two gals are great. It's nice to see young people far removed from those times taking the best that they gave and keeping it going. I mean the music was incredible. Something was happening, and it was awesome. Maybe because as baby boomers, there were so many of our generation. And we had money. The generation before us, in the fifties, the beatnick's, the folk singers, it all began moving. Elvis and rock n roll. Yea it just started to roll and got faster. I felt that the Mersey beat started the 60's going. Eventually the British invasion started that whole rock thing. I really viewed it as very English. Just look at all those British groups. Yea OK, a lot of it is pop, but define good rock and you're gonna get some mighty good pop. By the way I owned and started one of the best private radio stations in the Czech Republic, "Radio Beat". It's a "Classic Rock" station. So if you're ever in Prague let me know. But back to WDSTK. I was 19, and I wasn't there. I was moved far more by the political message of the late sixties. Vietnam, the bullshit American-Soviet thing, the geo-politics. The drugs, and love thing was not something I was comfortable with. For one thing, at that age and those times, especially in NA (North America) sex was something that could get a young man a bit up tight. And drugs as well. I lived in the "heartland" and although I was not a red neck, I was not a hippie. Many of my friends could have been thought of as hippies, but I can't recall any of my friends being red necks. But I didn't like drug abuse. And to me that whole WDSTK thing was one big overdose. Not that I would want to criticise anyone, but it seemed that the whole thing was one big "high". So mabe that's why nothing worked, nothing could work, and nothing should work. And it did. Or didn't . Getting high was a bit like opting out, a type of psychadelic get away, and in its' wake, a social anarchy. And that's the reason of why it worked and didn'the work. It was as the times. When we watched the shots of what was happening there, it was hard for me to cheer . And yet I was a bit in awe. Like seeing the after effects of a tornado, except instead of destroyed buildings and garbage all over the place, you saw all these young people and garbage all over the place; for me people of my age, some naked, some half clothed, some making love, all stoned. I don' the think they were destroyed like those buildings, but they looked beat. They looked like they had begun a journey, and we all hoped that now the direction would be only up. I think you probably will think this is just a bunch of rambling words. But I tell you what. You come to Prague. You know we Czechs are your brothers and sisters. Get in touch, we' ll go to see the radio station, do an interview and chat about ALL this in person, OK? Looking forward to meeting you. Grus. Charlie.

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Stephen Clark

Love the song and the video. You asked about Woodstock experiences. I was 14 years old, living in Mississippi. I had an older friend who was 17, and we wanted to take a road trip, so we told our parents that we were going to go camping for the weekend. But what we were really up to, was going to Ft Knox to see the gold. Now we didn't know anything about Woodstock, we just wanted to see the gold, so we headed out with a couple more friends. We got to Ft. Knox and discovered that it was not possible to get into it to see the gold. So our dream was dashed. But on the way to Kentucky, we were hearing about this rock festival in New York state. So we said let's go. Well, we were not big on planning or paying attention to details, like just how far away New York was, and how much gas it would take, and how much (little) money we had. So we got half way up there and ran out of money. Awkwardly, we had to call our parents and admit what was going on, so they could wire us money to return back home. So we never made it to Woodstock. But like when JFK died; and then the Beatles came to America; and then Neil Armstrong walked on the moon; and students were protesting the Vietnam War, which was on our tv's every evening on the news; we knew our world was changing, and that there was something bigger than us happening. Woodstock was part of all that air of change. It was us, our generation coming into our own, with our own ideas, and we felt empowered and were awed by the sense of discovery. Woodstock, like all those other events mentioned, was the marking of our time on earth. Peace and love, whether from the lips of John Lennon, or from the mass of half naked bodies at Woodstock, seemed possible. It seemed like we could make it happen. And that is why Woodstock is important, because it was one of a series of events that shaped our generation. Post Note: Unfortunately, Woodstock marked the end of the Summer of Love, and things got a lot worse for a while after 1969. Peace and love gave way to craziness and the message got diluted and almost forgotten. Now my generation has to admit that we failed in some ways. We became our parents and everything that we initially rebelled against. But some of us still have that spark of peace and love within us, and have attempted to make a difference. So nostalgia takes us back to an idealized time. And since we taught that ideal to our kids, and they to their kids, the spirit of Woodstock lives on as an ideal. A time when 450,000 people came together in the spirit of love and peace, and listened to the music of our generation. We walked on the moon of our making that weekend in 1969, and we soared high (with a little help from our friends & "stuff"). Love you MLT. Wish I could write a song with you. Be safe and happy and keep making music.

63

I was 20 years old and I remember very well the film that I saw in France, it was an era of total and sexual freedom, the young people that we were seriously started to take care of politics, that of our parents did not suit us, we were the generation of post-war, revolt and rock & roll...

©2020 MonaLisa Twins  |  Woolgoose Records

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