Woodstock was a concert created by three entrepreneurial hippies. What it became however, was something more than just a concert, it became a total mind-fuck for "squares" all over the country.
Woodstock 1969, was inspired by the Monterey International Pop Festival of 1967, which had successfully put on an outdoor concert over the course of three days, yet - Monterey Pop only drew 10,000 hippies, Woodstock 1969 drew anywhere from 200,000 to 400,000 (everyone was either too wasted or hopped up on hallucagins to get a true accurate count.)
Michael Lang, who adopted his hairstyle from Shirley Temple, took on organizing the festival and helped scout out a good place for the concert. What he found was a 600 acre farm ran by a man by the name of Max Yasgur, who was a simple dairy farmer who looked like this:
He would go on to loan out his land to the hippies for the festival. He would later have some people in town turn on him for letting the hippies come in and run amok - but that all comes later. He was a square, he was unhip, he was like a lot of other people in the town of Bethel, New York, who found hippies to be freaks. But can you blame them? Hippies were people of questionable ethics and social ideas, who dressed differently or didn't dress at all - some just went walking around naked. They were in a lot of trouble recently over drugs and draft dodging and protests turned violent. Hippies looked this:
Today, kids who think they are hippies, and dress differently and act like complete idiots, scumming around from bar to bar talking about how great their band is, our how great their band will be - you know, when its formed - they're not hippies. They're just hipster scum, they look like this:
But anyway, I digress. Max Yasgur was a square. The Hippies were not. Max Yasgur was in favor of the Vietnam War. The Hippies were not. Max Yasgur was in favor of regular shaving. The Hippies were not. Despite these differences, Max Yasguar and these other men who were supposed "hippies," they worked up a deal, and the 3 rich well-to-do-upper-middle-class-white-boys-playing-hippie rented the land for 3 days, and also payed any losses Max would lose on the business end, due to his inability to graze the cows in fields full of drugged up hippies.
Then came the building of the stage, which really meant riding around the farm on motorcycles with bare chested Jesus look-a-likes on horseback:
Well things did eventually get done, after about a thousand or so rides down the sloping hills of Yasgur's giant farm, one big enough to house 650 cows. People started coming, too many people. Word had gotten out and everyone from all over was coming to Woodstock - bongs were being abandoned everywhere in parents' basements, tabs of acid were being pack safely away in ziploc bags, weed was coming in by the tons, EVERYONE was go going. I mean... everyone.
So many people came in fact, that the entrepreneurial efforts of Michael Lang and his buddies were thrown out the window - Woodstock was now going to be a free concert, simply because it would be impossible to hassle everyone for tickets.
Imagine trying to ask this dude for a ticket.
The influx of people also backed up the New York State Freeway, which made it difficult for musicians to come in, they had to be flown in by copters.
Richie Havens opened for Woodstock, even though he wasn't suppose to. He was just one of the few people who was actually there - due to the horrible traffic problem. He also played longer than he was suppose to. He had to stall for people who were trying to get there - due to the horrible traffic problem. Note his stoned buddies in the beginning.
Sha-Na-Na (Sha-No-No) - Imagine you're sitting in a field, somewhat confused in that you've lost all your buddies. You don't feel like wading through the human sea, so you just decide to sit down and listen to the music. . . And then these men of questionable sexuality come out singing 40's tunes. Did the acid just suddenly kick in? Or is it a flashback? The result of some LSD in the spinal chord? Some feel it having to watch this was a fate worse than death.
Apparently no one was high enough for Sly. Woodstock 1969 did much in furthering the career of Sly and The Family Stone. . . Still I prefer Martin Lawrence's version of I Wanna Take You Higher, as seen in the movie The Black Knight.
Joe Cocker, you know, the guy who sang the theme song from The Wonder Years. As seen in the video, Joe had an unusual way of performing, a mix of village drunk and epaleptic fit.
The Who, who was interrupted in the middle of their set by Left-Wing Radical Abbie Hoffman, who went up on the stage to protest the war, and was promptly punted in the head with Pete Townsend's guitar and kicked off the stage.
Carlos Santana, who claims that during this song he was so high on mescaline that the guitar was turning into a snake, and the fret board was moving around so much he was just hoping to God he could hold onto the damn thing.
Jimi Hendrix, who was the headliner of Woodstock, naturally came last. By this time most of the hippies had gone home, had had enough. So, the last lucky few, operating on but a few brain cells, were treated to this rendition of the Star Spangled Banner, with guitar sounds emulating the "bombs bursting in air" and the screams of those they land on. It is another fine example of what acid can do to a song, as Jimi Hendrix was reportedly high on LSD during this entire concert.
The drugs were a part of the life style, in fact acid alone had created a wave of LSD freaks, called heads. They were apart of the Acid Wave of the mid-sixities, which one leader, Timothy Leary advised users to "Tune in, Turn On, Drop Out."
None the less a lot of drugs were there at Woodstock, including all the good ones: marijuana, cocaine, hashish, LSD, mescalline, reds, uppers, downers, heroin (there was one heroin related death at Woodstock 69' - overdose) and of course there was booze, wine and beer and such. The LSD was so apparent they had freak out tents, for people going on bad trips, where they would be given drugs or be placed in the hands of a wise hippie with plenty of experience with bad trips - having had many himself.
But what was mostly used was marijuana. Marijuana is a plant that is grown from the earth. Its flowers, when in its reproductive stage produces an oil on its leaves and buds, so that it may attract the pollen of the male plant. The plant is trimmed for its buds, which are then placed in a drying process known as curing, after which it is then smoked. In the United States it is illegal to smoke this plant, although some states allow it medically. It looks like this:
In Africa, some kids huff jenkem. Jenkem is collected human waste, preferably from drainage areas where feces is left to rot. It is placed in a soda bottle with a plastic balloon on top and is placed in the sun. There it is allowed to ferment until the balloon fills. The user then takes the balloon to their mouth and huffs the fermented gas. It immediately knocks them out and leaves a shit taste in their mouth for many days. It is said to produce flashbacks though. It looks like this:
Hippies never did jenkem. But some people do.
Not all drugs are pleasurable.
The free, anti-establishment ideals of hippies meant that they would often go without clothes, which can be construed as a label. Hippies don't like labels, except for the Hippie label. For some it was a form of expression, for others it was an attempt to get laid, but mostly they were all so high it didn't even matter. Max Yasgurs farm had access to a lake, which the hippies gladly jumped and swam in, but not before getting completely naked.
Now this seems like a good thing, lots of naked chicks and free love floating around, but the sad truth is the Sausage to Beaver ratio was 5 to 1, which meant there was always atleast 4 other dudes she would fuck before she would ever fuck you.
Yep pretty much the story of Woodstock, 1 chick, 5 dudes.
On the second day the sky opened up and rained down upon the hippies. This meant electroqution and that everyone would have to give off the "damn towers," as wet rails + high hippies = danger. The rain produced a thick mud, as all those people and the rain churned the green pastures into ankle deep mud.
The hippies went with it though. Since there was no music, they made their own, with Pepsi cans, drumming out a beat similar to one found in a drumming circle - loud and obnoxious. Since there was nothing else to do, and smoking grass can be quite difficult in the pouring rain, many of them took to playing in the mud like young children, sliding around and tossing mud until they were all caked with mud and possible cow dung.
Mostly, the hippies didn't mind getting so dirty because they were already dirty to begin with.