I wasn't at the show...at least not in this life. But in a way it changed my life. You see the title of this blog? The 'hippie' might have never been a part of it, and of me, if I hadn't been flipping through channels in June of 1999 and paused for just a moment on a woman singing in such a way that I hit record immediately to capture whatever it was that was on. The woman, of course, was Janis Joplin and the show that was on was the last forty minutes of Woodstock the Director's Cut. That day, in that moment, two important things happened to me. I fell in love with Janis and I decide that hippies, those strange people I had heard about all of my life but had never watched before, were MY kind of people. The clothes, the music, the fact that all of them were fucking crazy enough to go sleep in a field to hear bands they loved...to my twelve year old mind they were the coolest group of people I had ever laid eyes on. And I wanted more.
In time I would find many bands of that time that I love. I would get everything Janis Joplin ever put out. I would fall in love with Jim Morrison and Jimi Hendrix. And I would write a book about that time and about the fall of its ideals, a book I am still trying to get published and will, I think, one day (hopefully soon). And when I do, any success I ever have from it will all be traced back to that one day when I was looking for something to watch and I found a moment in time that has touched the lives of more than the half a million people who were there.
I had planned on posting the links to the version of Woodstock, The Director's Cut that I had found on youtube but unfortunately it's been removed. However, if you don't mind watching it very small, I did find a link for a blog post that has the show embedded in its entirety. So, if you are interested, the link is
If you don't want to see the whole show, I will post some videos of what, to me, where the greatest bands that played starting with Canned Heat's Going Up the Country:
I saved the best for last. ;) Yep, thirteen years later and I am still quite partial to that performance. What can I say? Normal people with normal lives never forget the moment they met their first love. I will take to my grave the first time I saw Janis Joplin sing Work Me Lord at Woodstock with every bit as much fondness and love. haha
Eventually everyone at the show went home and reality came to the whole scene in many ways. Altamont, the deaths of the three of the biggest names in the music scene, the deaths of many more to drugs, the war, and dreams that couldn't be maintained for long, and the truth that until the whole world hopped on the bus there was no way to make a moment like Woodstock last beyond that weekend. BUT for three days there was true magic, music, peace, and a fucking rocking good time. So no matter what people might think of it all now, it was not wasted and it will never be forgotten. :)