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Three Days of Peace and Music August 15, 2009

Posted by Kimmothy in Experience, Fam Damily, Music, Oldies, Travel, Uncategorized.

A few other cool things besides me celebrate their 40th birthdays this year. The moon landing. The Manson murders. The ’69 Mustang. And this weekend the coolest one of all, Woodstock. And while it sort of horrifies me a little now that we’re well into the 00’s that I’ve been alive so damn long, I do think it’s pretty rad I made my first appearance in the coolest decade ever. (Just try and say any different; go on – I dare ya.) My parents liked to say I was an Aquarius who was born during the Age of Aquarius and while I had no idea what the hell they were babbling about at the time, I now appreciate it a lot more and know this must be where I get my latent hippie tendencies.

In 1994 some promoters decided a great way to make an assload of money would be to throw a bunch of bands together, most of whom had no ties or history to the first Woodstock whatsoever, and do a huge reunion. This was during those bleak, pointless days before the Internet, but I still paid a lot of attention to what was going on in the music world (thank you Rolling Stone subscription) and when I caught wind of this, I lost my shit.

I was twenty-five that year (again, me & Woostock, same age). I was living with Delorme and one of our favorite pasttimes was attending concerts. It would take willpower and effort, but we had eight months to save up the money (even back then the tickets were 120 bucks) and by God, we were doing it. The serendipitous part was, a lot of my relatives live a very short distance from where the show was held, so we decided to make a week’s vacation out of it as well. It remains up there as one of the best vacations of my life.

It was a twelve hour drive from our house in Lexington, S.C. to my cousin’s apartment in N.Y.C. Woodstock isn’t exactly Scott’s scene, but we are and have always been BFF’s and he was young back then too and knew this would be an adventure we needed to share. Arriving at his place at six in the morning, he let me sleep exactly one hour before yelling in my ear, “YOU’RE IN NEW YORK FUCKING CITY, HOW ARE YOU EVEN SLEEPING RIGHT NOW???” I got up. And I just realized that’s probably why a few years ago I bought a t-shirt that says “New York Fucking City.” Huh.

It was fun showing Delorme the city for the first time but we only stayed a few hours before it was time to make our way upstate, picked up a few of Scott’s friends and arrive to the festival grounds late Friday afternoon. It was almost sunset by the time we set up camp and with the help of some huge crazy lighting set-up, there literally was a purple haze settling in everywhere around us. It was gorgeous and surreal and I don’t know how many times we just hugged each other, in awe we were actually there. Little did we know that would be the last time we saw any hint of sun while we were there, as it started raining around noon the next day and never really stopped. Ha,  like it mattered.

For three days we camped. We shared food and water and booze and weed with people we didn’t know. Supposedly there were hundreds of thousands of people there, yet we saw not one fight. Even when food, water and toilet paper ran out. We brushed our teeth at a big square communal water trough. We watched the “mud people” slip and slide around until they looked like primordial ooze creatures. Delorme woke me up one morning around 5:30, saying, “You’ve got to come with me now,” and led me to where Joe Walsh was standing nearby in the middle of a quickly growing crowd strumming an accoustic and smoking a joint someone had handed him. We never got really close to any of the stages, but there was never a moment where music wasn’t playing somewhere in the background:

Crosby, Stills and Nash. Melissa Etheridge. Green Day. Metallica. The Chili Peppers. Nine Inch Nails. Blues Traveller. Aerosmith. Sheryl Crow. And on. And on. Look it up on Wikipedia sometime – the lineup was ridiculous. I’ll never forget as we were reluctantly but exhaustedly walking out of there on Sunday, we could hear Arrested Development singing Tennessee (Take me to another place, take me to another land…) and it was sort of the perfect song to walk out to. There was no moment that wasn’t perfect that weekend.

I treasure the pictures I have and I should probably scan them or something. It was such an amazing experience and weirdly kind of symbollic for me. And one day, if I have my way, I will get myself back to the garden.



1. iamheatherjo - August 15, 2009

The Manson Murders were cool? 😉

Not as cool as The Rollins Band at Woodstock!

Kimmothy - August 15, 2009

Okay, not EVERYTHING in the 60’s was cool! Just most of it!
Sadly I didn’t see the Rollins Band until I watched the recap on MTV. Even back when I was young I wasn’t hardcore and missed a lot of the concerts because I was too busy eating, sleeping or deciding which t-shirts I should buy.

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