Monday, August 31, 2009

Tunes for Life

(Click here and start the music........ and don't watch the video..... just listen as you read and make up your own pictures..... even if that behavior is sooooo 20th century........)

I'm not sure that it was "the seminal event of the 20th century", as one of its producers pronounced it, but it certainly had an impact.

40 years ago and I was a high school graduate heading off to the Ivy League and "Sure," G'ma and Daddooooo said when I asked if Linda and I could go to this big festival in Upstate NY that summer. Then an opportunity to travel abroad came my way, and I'd be gone til the end of August, and that's how I didn't go to Woodstock.

Graham Nash said that "if all the people who say they were at Woodstock really had been at Woodstock the planet would have tilted on its axis." But I think he's missing the point. We all imagine we were in Bethel that weekend because just thinking about being there makes us smile. And the music and images are part and parcel of thinking about that time; I really can't separate them at all.

I hear Country Joe singing and it's Spring Weekend, 1970, and I'm marching in the streets of Washington, DC, participating in the Mobilization Against the War instead of dancing with my boyfriend at Sigma Chi. I wasn't big on chanting slogans, but yelling The Fish Cheer was totally cool.

Running into Grace Slick in a pet boutique in Marin, I blinked and we were both once again dark haired and looking for somebody to love.

Rob Thomas and Santana made beautiful music together, and because it's the soundtrack to the Little Cuter's freshman year in high school it always makes me smile, but for me, Carlos will always be skinny and vested and wrestling with his guitar on a humid Sunday afternoon. No matter how many times I saw him around town I never failed to see the artwork from Abraxas floating like a halo above his head.

I know the back-story to most of the songs on Crosby Stills and Nash's eponymous first album, and I remember the clothes I was wearing when I heard the tales. It was the album on every stereo as I unpacked my gear freshman year; I'm 17 every time I hear one of the songs.

Jimi Hendrix gave me back the National Anthem at a time when patriotism had become synonymous with support of the war and my flag as a symbol had been usurped by those patriots, leaving me oddly bereft. I can still feel his screaming guitar while listening to some sweet young thing sing it at a ball game.

Woodstock was about making lemonade out of lemons. It was about kids being as responsible as we'd always told our parents we could be, if they'd just relax and let us be. It was being part of a community with great tunes. Is it any wonder we all remember that we were there? In a sense, some of us still are.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Talk back to me! Word Verification is gone!