FILE- Mud-covered moshers cavort in front of the stage at the Woodstock '94 festival in Saugerties, N.Y., shown in this Friday Aug. 12, 1994, file photo. Some Saugerties residents
don't want the hassle of hosting a city-sized Woodstock reunion crowd again and have threatened to sue the promoters planning a "Woodstock '99" festival in July. (AP Photo/Charles
Rex Arbogast, File)
Woodstock just ain't what it used to be.
Just ask anyone who attended the landmark music hippie-fest 25 years ago,
anyone going to the commemorative concert next weekend, or anyone who has ever
heard of Woodstock.
WOODSTOCK REDONE 90'S STYLE
BETHEL, N.Y. (AP)-- Forget trying to recapture a piece of the Woodstock '69 magic. The moshing, crowd-surfing teens who came for the third and final day of this
year's Woodstock concert wanted no peace signs or tie-dye. They came to rock.
TRASHING A TRADITION IN NAME OF WOODSTOCK
Call it Greedstock, Woodschlock, Mudstock, Tentstock, Gridstock.
Don't call it Woodstock.
The three-day festival last weekend in the upstate New York town of
Saugerties (we called it "Soggy-ties" after hours of torrential rains) doesn't
have anything to do with Woodstock, one glorious, peaceful weekend in August
1969 that became a sacred countercultural symbol to a whole generation.
This year's 25th anniversary attempt at celebrating the memory was more
Generation Xers -- the vast majority of the crowd of 350,000 -- came to
party mega-time and get wasted.
Wastedstock. There, you got it.
As my sister, Marie Rice, told a New York Times reporter tracking down
interviews on the festival grounds: "There's only one Woodstock."
WOODSTOCK '94 -- HIT & MYTH?
On the morning after, the myth-making (and the cleanup) began.
Bleary-eyed survivors of the 25th anniversary of Woodstock, plastic bags on
their feet and mud caked on their scalps, staggered away from a Catskills farm
that appeared to have been hit by a hurricane and began weaving their tales
about the most wonderful weekend of their lives.
SOME CALL IT GREED$TOCK
Woodstock '94 or Greed$tock '94?
It was hard not to be cynical about this $30 million festival, dismissing
it as a shameless attempt to exploit the 25th anniversary of one of the most
defining moments in pop culture history.
The event was underwritten by record industry conglomerate PolyGram, with
every sort of money-making side venture known to man: pay-per-view TV (nearly
$50 per household, thank you), an album (in time for Christmas, of course), a
documentary film (video to follow) and an endless array of souvenirs,
including an official Woodstock '94 condom.
Tickets, $135 a pop, could be bought initially in blocks of four (credit
cards accepted). Each order was accompanied by rules so restrictive it
conjured up the image of going to prison instead of a concert grounds. So much
for the liberating spirit of Woodstock.
WET, WILD WOODSTOCK HAS ITS INJURIES
They're wet, they're caked in mud, they paid $135 for no good reason, but
the kids are all right.
Woodstock '94 turned messy last night. State police ordered the site
closed, but even though they blocked dozens of roads, thousands more rock fans
-- many carrying beer -- hiked to the 840-acre Winston Farm and walked right
PEACE, LOVE, MUSIC & MUD
Sex, drugs, rock 'n' roll and rain -- what would Woodstock '94 have been
That's a question that doesn't need answering. The weekend-long musicfest
had them all.
Woodstock organizers knew what they were doing when they made special
Woodstock condoms available. The free love of '69 is history, replaced by
today's safe sex, likely practiced -- or not practiced -- in many of the
thousands of colored tents spread across this 840-acre site.
MUSIC, PEACE, NO JUSTICE
When Michelle Roe of Elizabeth, N.J., bought her $135 ticket for Woodstock
'94, she thought, as her ticket stated, she'd be able to enjoy a weekend of
peace and music.
She was wrong on more counts than she could have imagined.
After driving with friends yesterday to her assigned parking lot, where
buses were shuttling concert-goers to the concert site, she was turned away,
ticket in hand.
DAY ONE AT WOODSTOCK
"I took a day off work for this?"
That was Sara Killings' reaction to Day One of Woodstock '94, the 25th
anniversary concert that kicked off yesterday on 850 acres of meadow and woods
about 50 miles from the site of the original.
When Killings, of Detroit, purchased her $135 ticket, the event was
scheduled for two days -- today and tomorrow. Then a third day was added --
yesterday -- that included daytime performances by local bands and evening
performances by up-and-coming national alternative rock acts such as
Candlebox, Live, Collective Soul, Blues Traveler and the Violent Femmes.
By mid-afternoon yesterday, Killings, 19, sporting a dyed-blond pixie
haircut, tie-dye T-shirt, cutoff shorts and sandals, was wondering why she got
here as early as she did.
WOODSTOCK LOOKS MORE LIKE ORIGINAL
If you didn't actually buy a ticket for Woodstock, it almost didn't
WOODSTOCK '94 IS SHOWING HOW 25 YEARS CHANGED U.S.
The first of the Woodstock '94 pilgrims arrived yesterday to a scene far
different from the late, great love fest of 1969.
Metal detectors. Wire fences. Police patrolling the perimeter. Police dogs
sniffing for drugs. Hundreds of security guards in orange Peace Patrol
T-shirts. Special Woodstock currency to buy food and souvenirs.
This is not your father's Woodstock. The strict rules on what can be
brought in -- no bottles, food, booze, metal tent stakes -- have left some
fans fearful they'll be spending the weekend in the Gulag Woodstock, the
Woodstockade, Woodstalag 17.
WOODSTOCK LESSONS ARE JUST AN ILLUSION
Woodstock lives because no one died during that long August weekend on Max
Yasgur's farm in '69. We got by in the rain. We got along in an instant
community that mushroomed to half a million.
It wasn't much. Just a big party, really. But it impressed some of us and
shocked the adults.
They were running things then, and not very damn well, either.
In Chicago the summer before, they had felt compelled to beat in a few of
our heads when we dared to point out they were killing our friends and
brothers in Vietnam.
And for what?
Someone said go. So we went.
Woodstock was like that, too.
Only no one died.
25 YEARS LATER - FORGETTING WOODSTOCK
It's a large black-and-white photograph of a comely female hippie, sitting
under the Woodstock poster that advertised "3 days of peace & music." A
college chum shot the photo in 1969 in Greenwich Village, not at the Woodstock
Festival or anywhere near it.
That's why I like it.
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