Peace, Love, Music: Sharing the Spirit of Woodstock

Two monumental events took place a month a part in 1969: The Moon Landing and Woodstock. So few attended one, so many attended the other, both are being celebrated fifty years later. Two myths persist: The moon landing was faked… and everyone you meet over sixty at an Arlo Guthrie, Graham Nash or Joan Baez concert claims they were at Woodstock. The music festival means that much to those of us of a certain age.

The good news is regardless if we were there in flesh or in spirit, we can have the opportunity to celebrate and pay tribute to the Woodstock at 50. The list below is extensive, although it may not be comprehensive. It is intended for those unable to make it to Bethel Woods on Woodstock Weekend

Celebrating Woodstock across the Land

Aug.  1, Mahopac, NY Mahopac Library Concert Series

Aug. 1,Ocala, FL  Peace & Love Tour Woodstock 50th Anniversary

Aug. 1, San Leandro, CA Woodstock 50th Tribute to Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin Bal Theatre

Aug. 2 & 3, Foxwood Casino, CT The Woodstock Experience

Aug. 3, Palm Bay, FL Peace of Woodstock Kenny DS

Aug. 3 Hudson Valley Exposition 50 Years of Woodstock Peeksville Riverfront 1:00-10:00 pm

Aug. 3 Highland Mills, NY Palaia Winery Woodstock Festival

Aug. 7, Norwalk, CT Calf Pasture Beach Concert Series

Aug. 8, Boyton Beach, FL Peace of Woodstock. The Venu Restaurant and Bar

Aug. 9, Croton-On-Hudson, NY Croton Summer Concert Series (Free Concert)

Aug. 9, Utica, NY Tribute 50th Anniversary of Woodstock Music Festival Stanley Theater

Aug. 10, Monson, MA Monson Rocks!

Aug. 10, Melbourne, FL Peace of Woodstock Lamplighter Village

Aug. 10 Detroit, MI Woodstock in the D! 50th Anniversary Celebration

Aug. 11, Beacon, NY BTTG 1969 10th Anniversary Show

Aug. 13, Woodbridge, NJ “Tuesday Night Tributes” Woodstock Tribute Concerts and Celebrations

Aug. 13 Oxford,CT Public Library Scott Parker discusses Woodstock documentary

Aug. 15, Carrollwood Cultural Center, FL Peace of Woodstock Athens Theatre

Aug. 16 & 17 Moorehead, MN 50th Anniversary of Peace and Music

Aug. 16, Deland, FL Peace of Woodstock

Aug. 16 Las Vegas, NV Centennial Hills Library  Woodstock Weekend 50th Anniversary Celebration

Aug. 16 Sussex County DE Rehoboth Beach Public Library Sunset Music Series

Aug. 16 & 17, Cleveland, OH Cleveland Civic Auditorium (Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Bus Tour)

Aug. 16- Sept. 2 Canadian National Exposition Woodstock Weekend bandshell concerts.

Aug. 17 Watkinstock concert Lavelle Park Watkins Glenn, NY

Aug. 17 &18 Austin, TX Austin Public Library Woodstock 50: Tribute Concert and family events

Aug. 17, Chattanooga, TN 50th Anniversary Tribute to Woodstock by Songbirds South Stage

Aug. 17, Princeton, NJ Princeton Public Library Woodstock 50th Anniversary Tribute Concert

Aug. 17 Pinellas Park Performing Arts Center, FL Peace of Woodstock

Aug. 18, Lake Chautauqua, NY Bemus Bay Concert Series

Aug. 20, Norwich, CT Lunch & Lean: Woodstock 50th Anniversary at the Otis Library

Aug. 22, Avon, Ct Avon Free Public Library,  Woodstock 50th Anniversary Celebration

Aug. 17 & 18 Winnipeg, Canada Woodstock 50th Anniversary Weekend Show

Aug.22, Fairfield, CT Pennfield Pavillion Concert Series

Aug. 22, Jacksonville, FL Peace of Woodstock

Aug. 23, St. Petersburg, FL Peace of Woodstock The Palladium

Aug. 22-24 Dam Stock Austin, PA  A Tribute to the Greatest Festival of All Time

Aug. 23, Jim Thorpe, PA  Mauch Chunk Opera House

Aug. 24, Windber, PA Arcadia Theater

Aug. 25, Austin, TX  Woodstock 50th Anniversary Celebration w/ Paisley Craze Long Center

Aug. 25, Stanhope, NJ “Let It All Hang Out” Festival

Sept. 2, Daytona Beach, FL Peace of Woodstock

Sept. 7, Yorktown, NY Yorktown Grange Fair 7:30-10:30

Sept. 13, Pawcatuck, CT The Phoenix

Sept. 14, Mahopac, NY Town Of Carmel Summer Concert Series

Oct. 5, 2019 Collinsville, CT Bridge Street Live

Nov. 9 & 16 2019 Bronx, NY Brewski’s

Nov. 16, 2019 Piermont, NY The Turning Point

Nov. 17, 2019 Pawling, NY Daryl’s House

Activism in the Woodstock Era

On July 15, 1969 the Wallkill Zoning Board of appeals officially banned the Woodstock Music and Art Festival. But a humble farmer named Max Yasgur would find the courage to stand up to his neighbor. He said: I hear you are considering changing the zoning law to prevent the festival. I hear you don't like the look of the kids who are working at the site. I hear you don't like their lifestyle. I hear you don't like they are against the war and that they say so very loudly. . . I don't particularly like the looks of some of those kids either. I don't particularly like their lifestyle, especially the drugs and free love. And I don't like what some of them are saying about our government. However, if I know my American history, tens of thousands of Americans in uniform gave their lives in war after war just so those kids would have the freedom to do exactly what they are doing. That's what this country is all about and I am not going to let you throw them out of our town just because you don't like their dress or their hair or the way they live or what they believe. This is America and they are going to have their festival.

This 49-year-old, Republican, pro Vietnam War farmer agreed to host the Woodstock Festival on his farm in Bethel Woods. There were calls that threatened to burn him out and signs were erected around town, saying, “Local People Speak Out. Stop Max’s Hippie Music Festival.” “No 150,000 Hippies here!” “Buy No Milk.”

Max would not back down and thirty days later, Richie Havens opened the Woodstock Festival singing “Freedom” to 400,000 concert goers. Max Yasgur was a private citizen who was motivated by principles and fairness. Fifty years later, we could use more citizen heroes like Max.

The Lost Poem of Jimi Hendrix

We are four months from Woodstock’s 50th Anniversary. The iconic music festival has different meaning to different people in memory and imagination. During my research for my upcoming novel: This is the Dawning: A Woodstock Love Story, I have met people who were there, wished they had been there, or heard about it from parents and grandparents. I am constantly inspired by what I am told.

Recently, a coworker told me about her mother who used to be a flight attendant in the 1960s. There was a passenger on her flight who handed her a slip of paper with a poem written on it. As the passenger deplaned, another flight attendant said to her, “Do you know who that guy is? That’s Jimi Hendrix.

Neither my coworker, nor her mother, has any idea what happened to hat piece of paper. I imagine it has been floating on air, landing on sidewalks, pushed into a random pocket, blown against a falling leaf. I can imagine the lost poem of Jimi Hendrix; and if I were to find it blowing in the wind, I believe the verse is as follows: The Lost Poem of Jimi Hendrix

Falling through clouds

Again gravity battles for my soul

Black hole pulling up

Earth pulling down

 

Clouds morph to a sky of molten gray

Tanks roll by

The National Anthem blares from the belly of this beast

Black hole pulling up

Earth pulling down

 

An elephant emerges, trunk raised

Trumpets a response in Satchmo riffs

"Jump on my back"

I try as gravity battles for my soul

Black hole pulling up

Earth pulling down 

 

It rains my mother's tears

It thunders my father's wrath

The elephant flaps his ears and flies away

I'm falling through clouds again

Black hole pulling up

Earth pulling down 

 

Night ascends without the stars

A deafening silence fills my ears

I cannot see; I cannot hear

I reach for my absent guitar

As gravity battles for my soul

Black hole pulling up

Earth pulling down

 

I feel the sun's rays on my cheek

A murmur of voices fills my ears

The voices of heaven crawl over each other

Trying to be heard

“Hey man, move over man, I don’t have no room up here!”

 

I am mute as gravity battles for my soul

Black hole pulling up

Earth pulling down