RIP, it up, Tear it up, have a Ball —– Woodstock closing credits

It’s the most famous concert no one in our generation can attend and no one in our parents’ generation can remember. The plan was simple, get the greatest musical acts of the era together on one farm in New York and bring to life the living creature that was the Now Generation. By now most know it was more complicated than that, with local objections, last minute venue changes and so many guests that they stopped selling tickets and left the gates open.
Ask someone what Woodstock is and the answers today may vary.
‘It’s where Hendrix played the ultimate rendition of the Star Spangle Banner.’
‘It’s where Santana made his debut.’
‘It’s where Peace and Love met.’
‘It’s where Peace and Love delivered the infamous ‘Woodstock Baby’, the child of love that has never been confirmed.’
But is that really what Woodstock was about? A bunch of drug-addled hippies strumming guitars? According to Elliot Tiber, the music wasn’t the point. While Joplin may have rocked harder that weekend than any other, it wasn’t about the music. It was about family.
That message was first laid onto celluloid frames and shipped around the world by docu-director Michael Wadleigh [with famed Martin Scorsese editing, (imdb.com)]. His footage of the concert formed the documentary ‘Woodstock’. It won the 1970 Academy Award and is preserved by the Library of Congress as a historically significant source (Wikipedia).
Yet it was another movie that caused a storm during the 40th anniversary of that epic weekend. ‘Taking Woodstock’, directed by Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain) and based on the book by Elliot Tiber, gave viewers the chance to get personal with someone close to the event. While Tiber wasn’t one of the members of Woodstock Inc. who put on the show, his autobiography puts him in the thick of the action.
Stuck in upstate New York and spending his life savings rebuilding his parent’s dream, Tiber (Demetri Martin) was desperate to escape. He needed the freedom of the Woodstock family. In the end he discovers he’s a part of a generation that can’t be held down. There are no restrictions. He’s free to be himself, a gay interior designer with an penchant for dropping acid.
The Woodstock perspective says that everyone can be happy and in love. A modern Woodstock would consist of Emo-rock, anti-depressants and the unifying feeling that things could be better. The irony is that the current Millennial Generation, people born between 1985 – 1998, is obsessed with the ideals of the Hippie Generation. The idea of living the life of a flower child appeals, so why not embrace it? How could the flower children bear such pessimistic spawn? Maybe it’s because everyone keeps saying that we live in apocalyptic times (buzz kill anyone?)
Or perhaps Millennials don’t appreciate Woodstock for what it truly was. The Hippie Generation built Woodstock as a chance for the unification of people with a purpose. The generation of Millennials seems to have turned these ideals into a tye-dye tee-shirt and Beatles tramp stamp fad, seeing only the greatest concert of all time and not the cause. Or maybe we’re just looking for our own great, living creature to be a part of; the thing that binds us all; only something that we can process in our over-stimulated, post-YouTube world.
We’re not apathetic, we’re just ADD. I blame the internet and therefore I blame Al Gore. (If I learned anything from Woodstock, it’s always blame The Man.)

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One Response to “RIP, it up, Tear it up, have a Ball —– Woodstock closing credits”

  1. Word. Stick it to the man.

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