Sunday afternoon, waking up from a nap, half awake and half asleep. I’m trying to make out the woman’s voice I hear coming from the downstairs TV. “Hmmm, sounds like Joan Baez at Woodstock. No, couldn’t be.” After a couple of minutes, I just HAD to find out, so I stumbled down the stairs and find the teenaged boy watching, what else, Woodstock on VH1 Clasic.
We sat there and watched together for the next 2 1/2 hours, with Julian asking “who’s that” and commenting that Joan Baez “wasn’t that good,” and correctly identifying Joe Cocker’s version of With A Little Help From My Friends as a Beatles song. I told him he HAD to see John Belushi’s parody of Joe Cocker, and that when I saw Joe Cocker he was stinking drunk. We rocked out to Santana and Sly & the Family Stone and Ten Years After and Country Joe and the Fish. Being VH1, the very well-known Fish Cheer was cut from this TV version of the movie, so I felt compelled to fill him in on what he was missing: “Give me an F, Give Me a U… What’s that spell? What’s that spell?…” Finally, when it appeared to be almost over, Julian asked a little sadly, “but where’s Hendrix?” And just then, you could see the white finged shirt and hear the notes of The Star Spangled Banner (simply the finest version of our country’s anthem EVER recorded) wail out of Jimi’s Fender Stratocaster. A great ending to a great documentary.
It was probably the longest period of time we’ve spent together, just Julian and myself, in several months. Thank you Woodstock.
I was talking to Tracy during the movie and mentioned that I can remember listening to the radio during those 3 days in August of 1969, thinking to myself “but I’m SUPPOSED to be there. It’s not fair!” And Tracy said “Me TOO.” There were probably a lot of 12 year old kids out there wishing they could be at Woodstock. Somehow, we just KNEW it was an important moment in our lives, and how right we were. If you had asked us at that very moment what we wanted to be when we grew up, our answer would no doubt have been “hippies.”
Now I see my 18 year old wearing tye dye T shirts and driving around with a Bob Marley sticker and a Darwin Fish on his car and I KNOW he’s channeling his mother, circa 1969. And so I’ve made a vow: If and when our current president visits our fair city, we will be there at the anti-Bush protest, shaking our fists and shouting “No More War.” What else is a hippie mother to do?
This post is dedicted to Cindy Sheehan.