1-woodstock_posterI keep getting emails asking me if I am going to post about Woodstock.

The short answer is Nno, it was not my generation’s gig. I’m a tweener, born between the baby Boomers and Gen Xers. I was 7 during Woodstock (couldn’t hitch a ride upstate NY).

And, I don’t care for most of the bands that played. There was a lot of stuff that might have seemed groovy at the time, but much of it has not held up well. There were but five acts out of 50 that I listen to regularly:

Creedence Clearwater Revival
The Who
Crosby, Stills & Nash
Neil Young
Jimi Hendrix

The rest are simply boring or dated or irrelevant. Yes, I know, Janis Joplin, blahblahblah. When was the last time you put on a Janis Joplin record? I am not a Grateful Dead head, and have long ago stopped listening to The Band.

This weekend, on the drive East, I played a Ultimate Yes. And on the beach, I have been reading Pigs Might Fly: The Inside Story of “Pink Floyd” — and listening to the albums as the book describes them (the early shit is insane).  SOme years ago, I did some work for someone at Sony, and got the Shine On boxset as a gift. Sweet!

So, longer answer — no Woodstock, but late 1960s/70s psychedelia / Prog Rock this weekend.

Category: Music

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

38 Responses to “Woodstock?”

  1. VennData says:

    What about the “recreationals?”

  2. When I was 7, I was too young.

    This weekend? Too old!

  3. beth1708 says:

    Joplin — I was listening to her not long ago at all. Pretty cool …

    Also like the Dead and the Who, but no, don’t care about hearing about Woodstock.

  4. tradeking13 says:

    Grateful Dead
    The Band
    Neil Young

  5. Blif says:

    Carlos Santana- not only still relevant, but still rocking hard.

  6. Tom K says:

    Santana’s performance at Woodstock was horrible.

  7. Blif says:

    Compared to what?

  8. karen says:

    kings of leon

  9. Andy T says:

    Yeah, Grace Slick’s vocals were way over-rated.

  10. Andy T says:

    Yeah. Sly and the Family stone really didn’t contribute to the music scene either…very unoriginal stuff that! Joe Cocker? Yeah, he was unmemorable as well…he didn’t sing with quite enough soul.

  11. marakima says:

    Dude, prog on! I recommend the recently published autobiography of Bill Bruford.


  12. bergsten says:

    Synchronicity — I was just listening to the Yes “Keys to Ascension” 4 CD set (and I’ve just about convinced myself that the Wakeman keyboard “solos” are in fact potentially playable). And a 1994 Pink Floyd (well some of it anyway) concert was on the Begging (PBS) channel yesterday — their light show still puts everybody else to shame.

    BTW, I suspect he would call it “prog rock,” but Steve Hackett’s more recent solo stuff is very eclectic and contains phenomenally, unbelievably good guitar playing.

  13. karen says:

    Andy, you are full of cr*p or being facetious. i’ll give you the benefit of the doubt..

  14. Quonk says:

    Set the controls for the heart of the sun. Nous sommes du soleil. Arf, she said.

  15. alfred e says:

    @br: Well at least you got Hendrix right. And Joplin? Kind of agree. Her Big Brother stuff was not her best. But Pearl was one of the all time best albums by anyone.

    No Santana? For shame.

  16. Dogfish says:

    Ahhh… Pink Floyd. Echoes, Wish You Were Here, Be careful with that axe, Eugene… album-wise I have to go with Meddle… some of the most original and beautiful music.

    And Fugazi.

  17. Christopher says:

    You’re missing out not listening to The Band anymore.


  18. Andy T says:

    karen. Indeed. Being snarky with BR. He’s batting 1.000 this weekend with the Austrian School sleights and the dissing of Woodstock.

    I was actually at a j.cocker mini-concert, front row, at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas 1997-98? (when it was still ‘cool’). He was spectacular….spat all over us as he wailed….was great. Left mildly disappointed when he didn’t do bye-bye blackbird. Oh Well.

    Grace Slick hit notes with a tremendous depth rarely seen.

    Sly/Family Stone were true originals of the time with music that still stands today.

    Won’t even discuss the Joplin dismissal….that kind of sleight needs no rebuttal….ridiculous.

    But heh! This is America….everyone is entitled to their own opinions!

  19. Clem Stone says:

    I’m trying to imagine anyone being able to sit through an entire Hendrix album. One or two good songs per album was about it.


    BR: Check out Are You Experienced — One of the greatest debut albums of all time . . .

  20. Transor Z says:

    Not important equals not in BR’s iPod, I guess.

  21. IdahoSpud says:

    Country Joe and the Fish… “Gimme an ‘F’” :)

  22. snapshot says:


    Barry – Enjoy – My personal favorite: Suite Judy Blue Eyes – Only the second time they performed…

  23. Lugnut says:

    Thanks for the heads up on the Pink Floyd book, I’ve been half looking for a good bio on those guys for a while. Sounds like a good read.

  24. The Curmudgeon says:

    I was seven in ’69, too. My dad had just been drafted out of med-school for a two-year stint in the Army. We had just arrived in Ft. Bragg, NC when Woodstock rolled around. I didn’t much know nor care about any of the counter-culture stuff. There were times when my dad would have to correct a soldier passing by that would salute with a peace sign or a left-hand salute, but I didn’t know what all that was about–I just knew that they had to salute my dad (all doctors were commissioned as captains), and I thought it was cool. I spent my days happily flying my new red bike down Mann Avenue, racing the shadow on the ground of the C-130′s overhead as they spit out their load of paratroopers on their training exercises.

    My ipod (am transistor radio wired to the handlebars of my bike) was tuned to the Partridge Family. It was a great time and place to be a kid.

  25. Groty says:

    That generation is an embarrassment to the country’s history. They’re the most selfish pigs ever. Bork had it right when he said we are “Slouching Towards Gomorrah” thanks to the irresponsibilty and immorality idealized by the “new left” baby boomers. They’re the ones in power, and look what they’ve left us.

    Fuck the boomers.

  26. ToNYC says:

    You missed the real value of Woodstock that Max Yasgur said that day and is in the movie..
    “ I’m a farmer…(interrupted by cheering from the audience)…I don’t know how to speak to twenty people at one time, let alone a crowd like this. But I think you people have proven something to the world — not only to the Town of Bethel, or Sullivan County, or New York State; you’ve proven something to the world. This is the largest group of people ever assembled in one place. We have had no idea that there would be this size group, and because of that you’ve had quite a few inconveniences as far as water, food, and so forth. Your producers have done a mammoth job to see that you’re taken care of… they’d enjoy a vote of thanks. But above that, the important thing that you’ve proven to the world is that a half a million kids — and I call you kids because I have children that are older than you are — a half million young people can get together and have three days of fun and music and have nothing but fun and music, and I God Bless You for it! ”
    Guns and ammo hoarders please note.
    Your attitude toward psychedelics will be the principal determinant of your survival in the 21st Century.
    No, I wasn’t at Woodstock. I was at Altamont…watching from on top of a school bus parked behind the stage disappointed to see Chet Helms ( of the Family Dog/Avalon Ballroom fame) bummed on some bad acid. Wavy and the Hog Farm was way better security than paying Hells Angels with beer. The show sucked but the Stones tried..”Why are we fighting?!
    Please choose..Love or Death.
    Good for you New York was the thought. There is always hope when we realize we were one.

  27. BSNEATH says:

    If anybody wants to have a spontaneous Country Joe and the Fish moment at the corner of Wall Street and Broad, count me in…

  28. Pat G. says:

    A couple of friends of mine and I were a day late arriving at Woodstock. We rolled up in a ’66 Chevy Impala only to find that the “NY thruway” had become a big parking lot. So, we parked about 8 miles from the farm and were shuttled in (for a small nominal fee) by a group of bikers. It was just one, big spontaneous party. The three of us had a great time and really enjoyed ourselves. A big contrast to where I found myself just a year later; in Vietnam, wounded and surrounded by 5 dead U.S. soldiers. Fantasy versus reality…

  29. dallas says:

    Sorry, Barry, but by the usual definition of boomers (born 1946-1964) you are lumped in with us old farts. I was at sea tailing Russians around at the time of Woodstock, so I don’t have much of a personal perspective, but the music was fabulous. Can you imagine trying to stage something like Woodstock today with all the performers demanding huge $$ and 24×7 coverage by the cables trying to find or stir up some controversy?
    Groty, your sentiments (if not your vocabulary) are justified. As a boomer who (like most boomers) lived within my means, saved for retirement, and was scrupulously honest in my business dealings, I, too, resent the “Me, Me, Me” attitude of my generation that seemed to surface in the 80′s and has culminated in the mess we find ourselves in today.

  30. Pat G. says:

    @ dallas

    If, as you say, “like most boomers, (I) lived within my means, saved for retirement and was scrupulously honest in my business dealings, I, too, resent the “Me, Me, Me” attitude of my generation”, what are you sorry about? All that society can expect from you is that you take responsibility for yourself and that you treat others with honesty and respect. Groty’s comments are repulsive and immature. Why? In the 1970s, when the wheels of the USG started coming off—there were NO baby boomers sitting in power in D.C. Now, yes. But the political road map was designed then. I just had my grand-daughter here for a couple of weeks. She slept with her cell phone under her, on vibrate. When it came to playing games or running errands, she couldn’t be bothered. But when it came to shopping for her or spending money on her in some way ( movies, bowling) that was a whole different thing. She came out here with 3 pairs of sunglasses (for different outfits). She lost one at the lake and moped around here until my wife took her to get another pair. If that’s not Me, Me, Me, what is? She had no attention span. You can not blame an entire country’s ills on just one group of people.

  31. beaufou says:

    Didn’t Woodstock suck?

    No Doors, no Zeppelin, no Stones, no Dylan.

    Bunch of hippies Jim Morrisson and Bob Dylan referred to as leeches.

  32. Pat G. says:

    @ beaufou

    I guess that would have depended on your experience. The only time it partially sucked for me was when it rained. Morrisson was a drug addict and I never cared for Dylan. But in their absence, was Jefferson Airplane, Hendrix, Santana, Sly, Baez, the Who, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. I wasn’t a hippie and neither were several thousand other people I observed. The manufactured Woodstock in California several years later sucked. It demostrated a huge difference in the character of the people attending both.

  33. karen says:

    while i was too young for woodstock (and probably living in Kansas) i was certainly into the music as I matured.. went to many, many concerts between the age of 16-18 while living on the east coast.. thanks for sharing your stories, those that attended.. (Pat) or couldn’t (dallas, who also reminded me of Blind Man’s Bluff!)

  34. jeg3 says:

    “dallas Says:
    August 17th, 2009 at 10:53 am
    Sorry, Barry, but by the usual definition of boomers (born 1946-1964) you are lumped in with us old farts.”

    Not true, read “Generations” by Strauss & Howe (1991) which define Boomers through 1960 and 13′rs as 1961-1981, with 1961 to 1964 being the “troubled cohort-group”, and I have to agree as being part of the troubled group. Even before I read this book I definitely noticed a big generation gap and attitude between 1960 & 1961+.

    With the president being born in 1961 one hopes he will cause a lot more trouble for the deserving. If not get someone else (same for the majority party if they turn out to be spineless).

  35. TRW60 says:

    Interesting blog. Arguably, the biggest legacy of Woodstock is its huge impact on the real children of the sixties: Generation Jones (born 1954-1965, between the Boomers and Generation X). This USA TODAY op-ed speaks to the relevance today of the sixties counterculture impact on GenJones: http://www.usatoday.com/printedition/news/20090127/column27_st.art.htm

    Google Generation Jones, and you’ll see it’s gotten a ton of media attention, and many top commentators from many top publications and networks (Washington Post, Time magazine, NBC, Newsweek, ABC, etc.) now specifically use this term. In fact, the Associated Press’ annual Trend Report forcast the Rise of Generation Jones as the #1 trend of 2009.

    Here’s a page with a good overview of recent media interest in GenJones:

    It is important to distinguish between the post-WWII demographic boom in births vs. the cultural generations born during that era. Generations are a function of the common formative experiences of its members, not the fertility rates of its parents. Many experts now believe it breaks down more or less this way:

    DEMOGRAPHIC boom in babies: 1946-1964
    Baby Boom GENERATION: 1942-1953
    Generation Jones: 1954-1965
    Generation X: 1966-1978

  36. Braden says:

    There are a few that I think might have slipped through the cracks, BR:

    Canned Heat
    Sly & The Family
    Arlo Guthrie

    The Dead either work for you or they don’t. If you haven’t listened to Canned Heat lately, give it another whirl.