Monday, August 12, 2019
25 Years Ago This Week... MY Woodstock Happened.
Lots of folks this week are celebrating the 50th Anniversary of WOODSTOCK that happened in Bethel, NY. For me, I am looking back fondly at my Woodstock... Woodstock 1994, that happened twenty-five years ago tonight as I type this.
I was a smidge too young to have been able to go. I was only 16. But I wanted to be there so bad! The lineup included bands I was way into even back then. Like Nine Inch Nails, Collective Soul, Rollins Band, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Greem Day, Primus, Metallica, Peter Gabriel and so many more. I was upset I wasn't able to go. At 16 I had just got my driver's license. For me to venture 20 miles out of town to visit a mall in Midland, Michigan was a major journey. There was no way I could drive from Michigan to Saugerties, NY for such an event.
However, I feel like I was "there" in a sense. I had taken the weekend off of work at McDonalds and I stayed peeled to MTV all weekend watching the coverage and footage. You couldn't see too much of the performances, as they were selling that as a PAY PER VIEW feed at the time. But later on I saw bootlegs of a lot of the performances. And I think most of them are readily available on youtube if you do a simple search. I watched well into the night every night and wished I was there. It really had an impact on me for some reason. I felt like it was a cultural thing I just had to take note of and be a part of.
Shortly after that weekend, they released a VHS and double CD of one song each from the major performers. I watched and listened to it over and over. I STILL have that double CD. No joke. Recently I missed out on an exclusive Record Store Day vinyl of Green Day's entire set from the show. I'll get it someday.
You can tell I was obsessed with it because in the comics I drew at the time, I drew a couple WOODSTOCK posters in the backgrounds and on t-shirts. So yeah, I was there... in a sense. Sorta. Kinda. Shut up. ;)
I wasn't into the lineup of bands that played at WOODSTOCK 99... and we all know the story of what happened there. I'm glad I did not go to that event. But I had hoped that for this year, the 50th/25th of Woodstock that they would announce a big show and the lineup would be killer. They did announce a show, but in my opinion, the lineup was total ass. I was very disappointed. Apparently so was everyone else because ticket sales just weren't there. So investors pulled out. They tried to save it, move it, but it wasn't happening. A couple weeks ago it was officially cancelled. Its a pity, but I completely get why.
Something happened in 1969 and even in 1994. Stuff that you cannot recreate. I remember Peter Gabriel saying at the show, "Twenty-five years ago, they believed you could change the world. To live their dreams. This is YOUR Woodstock. These are YOUR dreams." That line always stuck with me.
Well here I am, 25 years later. I'm a middle aged man. I still listen to those same bands and I have evolved myself as a person and my ideas in how I view the world. Some of my dreams have come true. Some didn't. But its been a hell of a ride. Sometimes the world seems darker than ever, especially when compared to 1994. But we strive on. We rock on. We live on. Forever young at heart.
This week I think I will dust off some of those CDs and relive the magic of that year and time. I will remember where I was mentally and how far I have come. Music is the best time travel machine there ever was. Because when I push play I am taken back again. Back where I belonged.