I’ve recently laid my hands on a copy of “Woodstock”, the Academy-Award-winning documentary about the first rock festival ever. The press called it “Disastrous Zone” while these were three days of Peace and Music. I’ve never seen a crowd that huge, which managed to get along and behave themselves so well.
The documentary covered all aspects of the event. It interviewed the kids around to find out the cause of their arrival. Some of them wanted to get answers to their lives in music, which seems very weird to me. Music may heal soul, inspire vigour, reflect emotional states, but it is hardly able to give answers to where the road of life is going to. The other young people came to hang around and become a part of whatever it was going to be. Finally, there were people who actually paid for the concert and intended to listen to the music.
Janis Joplin, the Who, Joe Cocker, Santana (to name a few) performed at the festival. They were skinny kids themselves, filled with right ideas, radiating energy and love. It was an amazing gig to watch even on a dvd.
The documentary took me back to college years, when I attended an event of the same sort for the first and the last time. The rock festival I went to was far less peaceful: the kids were rather aggressive after hours of rock music and bottles of beer. It was rainy and the kids dirt-bathed. I remember sweaty and smelly bodies around singing rather well to the bands on the stage. I remember the music affecting me more than any drug exist, I was stoned with rock power. The festival was the most disgusting and the most thrilling experience ever.
I wish I had been at Woodstock festival rather than at the local one.