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Woodstock at 45 Years: Still Stardust, Still Golden

Woodstock at 45: Still stardust, still golden -

Stashed in: Music, Boy, that escalated quickly., Beatles!, Marijuana, Drones!, 1960s, Marijuana, GoPro, Santana

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"The entire Woodstock festival was peaceful and the kids were respectful because of one word: marijuana," said Spitz. "Everybody was high. If it had been other drugs it would've been chaos. But because of dope and LSD, everything was peaceful there for those three days."

Festival organizers who had been expecting a crowd of 80,000 to 100,000 people were blindsided when quadruple the crowd showed up. No one was prepared for a surplus of 300,000 people. With no system in place to charge them, Woodstock became a free event.

He says one word, marijuana. 

Then he immediately jumps to LSD. 

Boy, that escalated quickly. 

Woodstock was nothing *but* escalation!

But to be clear, those two drugs are on opposite ends of the spectrum. 

Santana vocalist Gregg Rolie spoke to CNN while promoting the Blu-ray release of the director's cut of the 1970 Academy Award-winning documentary "Woodstock: 3 Days of Peace and Music."

Rolie recalled arriving with the other members of Santana via helicopter.

"We flew in because everybody parked on the highway," said Rolie. "It was kinda like 'Close Encounters' or 'Field of Dreams,' you know? 'If you build it, they will come.' The highways were closed. Upstate New York was like a parking lot. So we had to fly in on helicopters."

Santana's appearance is considered one of the festival highlights. The band played early on, before the first of two downpours that reduced Yasgur's alfalfa field to a sloppy, slippery slew of mud puddles.

All of Santana's music was new at the time and the band was virtually unknown. They had not yet released their first album. Woodstock is credited for jumpstarting Santana's career.

"If you played at Woodstock, you had a career," said Rolie, who had no idea that the festival's legacy would resonate so powerfully 45 years later.

How did bands get booked there? Or did they just show up?

Festival promoters invited bands.  Here's a list of the major groups that declined.  (Ian Anderson didn't like "dirty hippies.") 

Aw man, no Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin, or The Doors, either.

Best story is why the Beatles didn't go. Because Richard Nixon.

It can be difficult to connect the storybook reality with Woodstock's harsher realities like overflowed toilets, lack of food and water, and a makeshift, 20-bed hospital tent to accommodate roughly 3,000 medical emergencies.

A tractor crushed a teenage boy in a sleeping bag, fatally wounding him. One young man died of a heroin overdose, another died of a burst appendix. A young woman broke her back falling off of stage scaffolding.

In addition, there were about 400 bad acid trips, sprained ankles from sliding in the mud, and many a gashed foot as a result of stepping barefoot on broken glass.

Two babies were born, too. One child arrived in traffic en route to the festival, and the other was delivered in a hospital after the mother was airlifted out of the field.

A lot of sex was going on at Woodstock and, according to Spitz, a lot of women forgot to pack their birth control so supplies of birth control pills were flown in.

For an event where facilities were strained far past capacity, not a single fight or incident of violence erupted among the crowd, which endured near-unbearable conditions.


Now there's an image. :)

Now we know why there are drones at Burning Man.

Because birth control pills?

Nah, because GoPro, but birth control pills is the more provocative story.

Can you imagine if they had had GoPro and Drones for Woodstock 1969?!

It would be so great for us now to be able to look back, but for them then, PARANOIA!

So maybe it's a good thing that drones are the norm now?

So that in 2060 people will have a good idea of what 2014 was like.

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