As Magical As Woodstock Was, Some Memories Are Better Left Alone

A Final Few Words on Woodstock’s 50th anniversary by Doug Draper

Posted August 19th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

Before I leave the 50th anniversary of the Woodstock music festival completely, just for a bit of fun, I will leave you with this.

Is ‘going back to the garden’ 50 years later really such a cool idea? Skip the brown acid. Cue the Geritol.

While I was writing and posting my own tributes to this legendary pop culture event on Niagara At Large, there I was, at one point, amusing myself with the thought of what it might be like if all of those festival goers – looking so young and fresh in the Woodstock movie and those 50-year-old photos – went “back to the garden” and gathered on the festival grounds today.

With images of these people, many of them now in their 70s, back on Yasgur’s farm, sliding in the mud, and God help us, having another skinny dip in the ponds, I came across a cartoon on the editorial pages of this past Saturday’s August 17th Buffalo News that placed the hilarity and, perhaps a bit of the nightmare of such a reunion, fully into focus.

Thanks to Dave Granlund, a well-known and respected cartoonist from Massachusetts whose cartoons are published in many daily newspapers across the United States and who was kind enough to grant me permission to  his cartoon, here it is –

Some of the organizers of the 1969 Woodstock festival tried to put together another one for the 50th anniversary. But unlike the first time, when they finally managed to find a person in Max Yasgur to let them host it on his land, despite opposition from other town’s people, they couldn’t overcome the opposition this time.

And ironically, as could be seen on a special report CNN did on ‘Woodstock at 50’, many of the opponents looked like they could have been in their late teens and 20, and been among the more than 400,000 who were in the audience for the 1969 festival.

It is a wide open question whether anyone – even the original festival organizers – could replicate what many view as the magic and the miracle of what unfolded over more than three days on Max Yasgur’s farm anyway.

There is an old saying that, the older I get, rings very true, and it goes something like this; ‘Some dear memories are better left alone’.

Tie-dyed cartoonist Dave Granlund in 1969

Thanks again to Dave Granlund for the use of the cartoon. If you would like to see more of his work and learn a little more about the cartoonist himself, you can visit his website by clicking on the following link https://www.davegranlund.com/cartoons/.

To read a recent story in the New York Times on how plans for another Woodstock festival unraveled, click on – https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/01/arts/music/woodstock-50.html .

For another commentary on Woodstock, recently posted on Niagara At Large, click on – https://niagaraatlarge.com/2019/08/15/remembering-the-fleeting-magic-of-woodstock-50-years-on/

If you want to go back in a time machine for just a moment, though, one of the 1960s and 70s best TV talk show hosts, Dick Cavett, had a young Joni Mitchell on as a guest, along with members of Crosby, Stills & Nash, and the Jefferson Airplane, who had just got back to New York City from their performances at the 1969 Woodstock festival. To watch what was a very higly rated appearance by these young and rising musical stars at the time, click on the screen below –

Okay, that’s all for Woodstock on Niagara At Large until it turns 60. Now back to all the other good, bad and ugly news.

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“A politician thinks of the next election. a leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders

 

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