002Somewhere there are 2 REAL flower children who will have birthdays this weekend. They were born at the Woodstock Music and Arts Festival in 1969.

August 15, 2014 through August 18, 2014 is the 45th anniversary of that epic (and yes, this one deserves the word epic) Rock Festival.

There were two births and two deaths. Yes, as Blood Sweat and Tears sang, “There’ll be one child born in a world to carry on, to carry on.” (BS&T was there at the fest too).

I felt the 45 year anniversary to be significant since much of the music that was played back in those days was a scratchy 45 on a turntable.

Over 400,000 people peacefully coexisted for three days on Max Yasgur’s farm in upstate New York. One author suggests that was because marijuana was the party element of choice as opposed to alcohol or other drugs.

I did a little reading on this and it turns out, Woodstock was actually held in Bethel, New York 40 miles or so southwest of Woodstock.

The stage was at the bottom of a ravine on the hilly slopes of Yasgur’s farm with a lake behind it. It rained at times over the weekend.

Richie Havens did a two hour set to kick it off at 5PM on Friday, just strumming and playing while they finished building the stage. He played that long because other acts couldn’t get through the traffic.

Swami Satchidananda gave the opening speech.

John Sebastian was there to attend, not perform, but went on stage on by request of the promoters on Saturday to fill the gap while they waited for bands to be flown in by helicopter because the roads were impossible to travel.

Creedence Clearwater Revival played to a mostly sleeping audience at 3 in the morning after a rain storm according to a quote I read from John Fogerty.

Santana was a hit act at Woodstock and they had not yet released their first album,

The Who played the most songs, 23 in just over an hour set.

Tickets were $7 for a one day session, $18 for the whole thing. But it ultimately turned into a “free concert” as the documentary movie reveals.

Browse the web and read the anecdotal stories of the event. It’s fascinating. Bands that were there; bands that were there but didn’t even know or remember they were there; bands that were invited but opted out,

It was billed as “3 Days of Peace and Music.” It was.

Here’s how Richie kicked it off:

Advertisements